Google Webmaster Tools (also called Google Search Console) is a free service offered by Google to help monitor and maintain your websites online presence in Google search results. Using this service isn’t required to be included in Googles search results but it will help to understand how to optimize your website for better search results in Google.
In this guide, I am going to talk about all the features of Google Search Console and how to use it to increase your search presence in Google.
What is Google Search
Google Webmaster Tools (also called Google Search Console) is a free service
offered by Google to help monitor and maintain your websites online
presence in Google search results.
Why use Google Search
The google search console provides a plethora of great tools to monitor and
optimize your sites performance in Google:
• Allow Google to access the content you want
them to access
• Submit new content for Google to crawl and
• Remove any content you don’t want to be
crawled or indexed
• Scan and fix any malware or spam on your
• Submit an XML sitemap so Google knows all
• View recommenced HTML improvements
• Monitor any securities issues on your website
• View search keywords that you are ranking
• Monitor rich snippets and structured data
• View backlinks pointing to your website
• Monitor mobile website performance
• See how much Google is crawling your
• View crawl errors on your website
Who should use Google Search
Whether you have a simple blog or a large corporate website, using this service can
increase your customers and traffic as well monitor your website for any potential
• Business Owners
• SEO Specialist
• Website Administrators
• Web Developers
How do you use Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console can seem quite daunting when you first sign up but after
reading this guide, you will be able to use it to its full potential.
Just sign up for free at the Google Console. Once you are in the
search console you will have to add your website by selecting ‘Add
Note that if your website has SSL (https), then you should add both secure and
unsecure (http) version to the webmaster console.
Google Site Verification
When you add your property to the console, you will then have to verify that you are
the actual owner of the website. Google allows a few different ways to do this:
1. Google Analytics
2. HTML file upload
3. Domain name
4. Google Tag Manager
5. HTML tag
Submitting a XML Sitemap
The first thing you should do after verifying your website is submit an XML sitemap to
Google. A XML sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages included in your site.
• Content management systems
like WordPress allow you
to download free plugins
like XML sitemap plugin to
create a sitemap for your
• Any other type of website can
use a online XML sitemap
generator to create a
In the left menu of the Search Console there is a section
called ‘crawl’. Select crawl->Sitemaps and this is where
you submit your sitemap to Google.
Structured data is a text-based markup that helps search engines organize your
content with data rich snippets in your HTML.
When you include structured data on your
website, you make it eligible to appear in more
Google Search features:
• Rich Results: structured data for things like
articles, videos and recipes. This will
enhance the display of your website in
Google Search and increase its CTR.
• Knowledge Graph Cards: Knowledge graph
cards are a way for Google to interconnect
search results combining facts, people and
places together for more relevant and
Google provides a great structured data testing tool that allows you to view markup and errors on your website.
Rich cards were introduce in May 2016 and build off the success of structured data.
Similar to rich snippets, rich cards use structured markup to display content in a more
engaging format for better user experience.
Currently rich cards are available for use
on the following content types:
Rich Cards (cont)
You can now view and manage your rich cards in Google Search Console. If Google has
crawled your website and found Rich Cards, this data will be available in Search
Appearance->Rich Cards on the left navigation menu in Google Webmaster Tools.
You are able to view and
manage any errors or invalid
cards. Rich cards allow your
website to stand out more in
search results increasing your
CTR, visitors and traffic.
If adding structured data snippets to your HTML or website is not possible, you can
still submit your website to the data highlighter to improve your look in search results.
1. Simply click the ‘start highlighting’
button and fill in a URL to a piece of
content on your website.
2. Choose which type of content your
page is and select ‘tag this page and
others like it’.
Google will crawl your site and find all of the similar pieces of content and make you go through
a tagging process so it can better understand how your content is formatted.
Data Highlighter (cont)
Go through each page selecting each piece of information, clicking done when all the
items have been selected. Make sure to double check that you have selected the
entire text for each snippet.
Select the title, author, date
published, image, category
and any ratings. Once
Google understands your
website structure you
can review & publish the
page set. The data
highlighter page will show
your page set and how
many pages are included in
The HTML improvements section shows you detailed information about any HTML
errors/suggestions that Google has for your website.
If you have no errors like us then you will see a message like below:
Keep an eye on this section to make sure all of your HTML meta tags are all unique and the right length.
The Search Analytics section is one of the best parts about Google Webmaster Tools.
You can analyze your performance in Google Search viewing all your keywords and
where they rank in the SERPs.
If your site is not brand new, you will see a list of keywords and some data about each keyword.
Select the following data to see it in the table:
• Clicks – The amount of clicks to your website from this keyword
• Impressions – The amount of views your website received from this keyword
• CTR – The click through rate of the keyword
• Position – The position in Google Search of this keyword
Removing URLs from Google Search is simple with the Google Search Console.
In Google Index->Remove URLs you
can request to remove certain pages
of your website. To do so, simply
click the ‘temporary hide’ button
and enter in the URL you would like
When you click ‘submit request’ you will see the URL appear in the table below with the status of the page.
Once it has been removed from search results, you are safe to delete the page from your website.
The crawl stats section in the Search Console can give you a good insight on how much Google is
crawling your website per day. If you do not see any data in this section, then Google has yet to
crawl your website.
The most important graph is the pages crawled per day graph. This gives you a good look at how much
Google is visiting your site. The amount of pages crawled per day is usually equivalent to the popularity
and authority of your website.
When Google crawls your site, it also looks for any errors that block Googlebot from
crawling certain pages.
The crawl error section has 2 types of errors:
• Site Errors – If Googlebot cannot access
your entire website, you will see errors
• URL Errors – This section specifies certain
URLs that return a HTTP error code.
For optimal performance and results, you should have zero crawl errors. When you come across an error,
simply fix it and mark it fixed in the crawl errors section of Google Search Console.
Fetch as Google
Fetch as Google is a tool provided to webmaster that shows you how Google renders pages
from your website. It is also a great way to get your website indexed in Google faster.
1. Enter the new URL you are submitting to be
2. A modal will appear asking if you want to crawl
only this URL or this URL and its direct links.
3. Choose to crawl this URL and its direct links to
allow the Googlebot to crawl other pages on
4. Click Go and your website will be added to the