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Search Console

You may have heard of Google Search Console, previously Google Webmaster Tools. It is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimise visibility of their websites.

It's a service that gives you feedback about how your website is doing in Google search results. A bit like Google Analytics, it has two primary functions. To monitor your performance in Google Search results and to show you how Google 'sees' your website.

The Search Analytics reports can help answer important questions such as what type of searches bring people to your site, where they are clicking on your website and more.

It allows you to:

  • Submit and check a sitemap.
  • Check and set the crawl rate, and view statistics about when Googlebot accesses a particular site.
  • Write and check a robots.txt file to help discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt accidentally.
  • List internal and external pages that link to the site.
  • Get a list of links which Googlebot had difficulty crawling, including the error that Googlebot received when accessing the URLs in question.
  • See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings. (Previously named 'Search Queries'; rebranded May 20, 2015 to 'Search Analytics' with extended filter possibilities for devices, search types and date periods).
  • Set a preferred domain (e.g. prefer example.com over www.example.com or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs.
  • Highlight to Google Search elements of structured data which are used to enrich search hit entries (released in December 2012 as Google Data Highlighter)
  • Demote Sitelinks for certain search results.
  • Receive notifications from Google for manual penalties.
  • Provide access to an API to add, change and delete listings and list crawl errors.

Why is this important?

Search Console can generate reports for your site—for free! It might be a few days before you see useful information because it must first gather and process the data. You can use the reports to figure out how to improve your presence on Google. Using the reports, you can make changes to help Google better understand your web pages and as a result make your website perform better.

Get started here today.