About Google Search Console

Welcome to all my lovely Readers!!! I know most of you are waiting for Google Search Console article since a long time but due to some health issues, it was on hold and as a result of which got delayed. Thank you for your patience and continuous love and support towards by blogs🙂

So, in this article we are going to Learn about Google Search console, How to check performance of your website using same? Also we are going to cover, how to generate and map sitemaps and many more…

Most of the beginners ask that what is Google Search Console? How to use it? What difference it is going to make in-order to increase traffic to your website? So, Let’s begin and cover them one by one.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search console is a free online tool provided by Google. This platform provides various services to users which are extremely important for SEO ranking, monitoring clicks, impressions, identifying & resolving error and many more.   

As we proceed further, we will learn together and explore most of the important services which will help improving one’s website performance.

Why to use Google Search Console?

GSC mainly informs that how Google read your site so based on the crawling results and suggestions one can keep improving their website.

If you want to know how your website is performing? As well as want to know and correct errors associated with same then Google Search Console will help achieving same.

Not only this, it helps even increasing traffic of your website if understood well and used wisely.

Also, if you have your website in-place and not yet started using Google Search console then you are missing important stats that might help improving/increasing traffic to your website.

How do I use the Google 2020 Search console?

In-order to start using Google Search Console, first step is to generate sitemap and map it with your website. Also, add your website to GSC within property option.

Once setup completed, Google Search console will come to know about your website content and help improving website performance.

I have shared all the steps within below sections as well as explained that what is Sitemap? Specially for those who have no idea about it.

Features of Google Search Console

Overview

This is the first tab which appears within Google Search Console and it contains quick overview about three most important reports which are Performance, Coverage and Enhancements.

These three reports already reside within Search Console in depth but for quick glance these are made available on top by Google for users ease. We will learn about them below within respective tabs/headings.

Performance
It mainly shows that how your site performs in Google Search results?
  • Shows click through rate, average position in Google search result, total clicks & impressions based on user clicks.
  • Shows Queries, list of pages, countries from where Impressions and click appears, devices used to view site, search appearance and dates on which clicks and impressions received.
   Tips to Use Information to improve site search performance

Get familiar with queries most likely to show your website

Check from where your search traffic driving from

Learn which pages have highest click-through rate from GSR     

URL inspection
 It shares information regarding Google indexing of a specific page
  • One can always view crawled pages (HTML, Screenshot of page etc.) and can request for indexing. Specially, when someone has made any changes or update to any webpages of website.
  • Test Live URL and check Content type, Page resources within Live Test
  • It also informs if page is mobile friendly or not
  • Sitelinks searchbox reflects about Crawl and Detected items details
Steps to Use

Click on URL inspection option

Enter your website URL and view above details as informed earlier

Index

It shares information that which all pages are crawled and indexed by Google. Also, during this process if any problem reported.

It is mainly divided into three categories:

Coverage

This is the first page which shows summary and also from here only Valid results are shared on Overview page as well.

Tips to use
  • You probably do not need to use this report if your site has pages less than 500.
  • For less than 500 pages better to search your site on Google and see how many pages appear?
  • Keep an eye once in a while to make sure nothing get worse.
  • Go through if any issue reported, also Google will drop notification to registered email address.
  • Start investigating errors appearing within Error tab. If no issue found then it is good and no further action required.
  • Monitor if any fluctuation is there within the valid graph. It should be steady, if not then might be you are aware some content being published or removed which is fine or else need to check reason behind same.
Sitemaps
  • This file informs Google that which pages to know about. Basically, It is present on your site and tells Google where to find it.
  • It shows list of site submitted by you initially as well as if any added later
  • One can add Sitemaps at any time but should be of proper format like .xml.
Submit Sitemap
  • To submit new site map for crawling, just enter valid site map and click on submit button. Down this article, I have shared how to generate one so do not need to worry about it.
  • Important tips to follow before adding one:
  • One should have owner permission or Owner can add and submit sitemap
  • If using hosting services like WordPress, Wix, Blogger or GoDaddy then go through the service document. In some cases you might not need to do that as hosting service takes care of same.
  • First test, if the sitemap is accessible to Googlebot. It can be done by browsing to the sitemap URL and that too browse in incognito mode (means browse the web privately).
Re-submit Sitemap
  • If Google is already aware about your sitemap then no need to resubmit it. Also, even it is changed no need to add as Google will notice the change whenever it crawl your site next time.
Delete

Remove only when you are sure about it. If not then would not suggest to use this option without surety:

Click Sitemaps tab> Click the sitemap (do not want)>Click more option on top (next to Open Sitemap)> Click Remove sitemap

Removals

  • It basically temporary blocks a URL to appear in Google Search Results
  • Remove only when if the property own by you and you want to remove it.
  • Some sensitive content is removed by you from your page and you want Google to remove same without removing page from search.
  • Don’t use this option to block any page until you are the owner. Also, if planning to permanently remove the URL/part of content from other Search engines then please note it only removes content from Google Search only.
Enhancements

Stats for this tab also appears within Overview tab as mentioned earlier within Overview section above. It consists of four subtopics:

Core Web Vitals 

This one is suggested for those with huge amount of data and basically helps maintaining page loading time.

For mostly new websites, it will reflect No Data. If this is the case then either property is new to Search Console or there is not enough data to share meaningful information. For more inside check Google search Guide for reference.

Mobile Usability
  • This is one of the mostly viewed reports which informs about any kind of issues users is facing while viewing website pages using mobile.
  • Also, it is suggested to view this tab frequently and watch if any issue persists.
  • Work on reported error and try resolving same to maintain site performance.
  • Details contain error list (if reported) and after clicking on same provide option to look at and test them.
  • It mainly shows two reports, one if any issue reported within any page and about number of valid pages in your website.
AMP
  • It stands for Accelerate Mobile pages which help improving mobile pages load speed.
  • Also, helps fixing errors which are preventing your AMP pages to appear in Google search
  • Frequently look for zero errors on your site
  • If total count of AMP are not close to the AMP pages on your site then check for missing AMP pages.
Sitelinks searchbox
  • Quick way to search your site or app immediately on Google search result page.
  • Search box is powered by Google Search and it mainly appears within search result page within your website URL and Meta data details.
  • Check Google searchbox page to setup same. It can be set later as well for good user experience so first focus on other aspects and reports then this.
Security and Manual Actions
  • Manually Action report list manually detected issues that are mainly attempts made to manipulate Google search index or we can say try to mislead Google.
    • Also, it is not necessary they are dangerous to users
    • Make sure to resolve them as it might result to rank entire site as lower or may result to drop from search results without any notification from Google.
  • Security Issues report shows the instances where your site was hacked or some harmful behaviour to the users visiting your site example installing malware at user end or phishing attacks etc.
Legacy tools and reports
  • There are still few tools and reports in New Search Console which are not fully replaced like the ones within Legacy tools and reports.
  • Google Search Console team is working on a replacement strategy for these items
  • Note reports under these are not available for domain properties so do not spent time on these further and focus on other reports.
Links
  • It shows details regarding all the External and Internal links associated with your website.
  • Stats about Top Linking sites, pages, total count.
  • You can visit them as well from Google Search Console for your reference.

What is sitemap? Why it is required to link with Google Search Console?

Sitemap is all about how much pages your website contain and what all content/matter it contains? So Google will understand everything once you link your website site map.

After setting up Google Search console will read your site or we can say basically it scan your website. Look for what Keywords you have? From which Keyword you want to rank? So Google will read all the things and that’s why Sitemaps are important and required to link with GSC.

Methods to set & generate sitemap or How do I access the search console?

Step by Step process to map/link Sitemap to your website and Google Search Console:

Before mapping sitemap, we need to generate it so below are the two methods shared for generating; also you can use any one depending upon your current scenario as shared below:

Method 1: Generating sitemap from Google Search Console and map it to your website
  • Firstly, Navigate to Google Search Console
  • Secondly, Click on Start now
  • Thirdly, Verify your Gmail account

If selecting URL prefix option and proceeding (Suggested for None registered domain)

  • Enter your website URL (https://example.com) under URL prefix and click on Continue
  • Download generated Html file by clicking on download symbol or Click on HTML tag down arrow, copy HTML tag by clicking on COPY option
  • Go back to your Website WordPress Dashboard and click on marketing option
  • Click on Traffic tab within Marketing and scroll down to the end
  • Paste copied sitemap under ‘Site Verification Services’ within Google option
  • Click on ‘Save’ setting on top left                       
  • Now go back to Google Search Console and click on Verify
  • Click on done and you are all set 🙂

Important Note

Do not click on ‘Verify’ button until sitemap is placed on your website, right after 2nd step i.e. after copying HTML tag.

If selecting Domain option and proceeding (Suggested for registered domain)

  • Enter your domain (example.com) within Google Search Console
  • Copy TXT record and paste to your Website DNS configuration
  • Go back to your Website WordPress Dashboard and click on Domains option within Manage
  • Click on three dots option within Registered Domain and select Edit settings option
  • Select ‘Change your name servers & DNS records’ and Select ‘DNS records’
  • Select Type ‘TXT’ and paste text copied earlier within step e. Copy TXT record
  • Select ‘Add new DNS record’
  • Now go back to Google Search Console and click on Verify
  • Click on done and you are all set 🙂
Method 2: Generating sitemap from xml-sitemaps website and map it to your website
  • Navigate to XMLsitemap.com (https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/)
  • Enter your website URL and click on Start button – website scanning will start
  • Next click on ‘View Sitemap Details’ and then download your sitemap file
  • Upload this file to the domain root folder of your website or if you do not have any idea about it then
    share with developer to update within your website.
  • Then open Google Search console and add your sitemap URL.

Important Note

– Do not click on ‘Verify’ button until sitemap is placed on your website
– Use any one Option (Domain or URL prefix) as shared above based on the scenario and as suggested above.
– If have paid plan and installed Yoast SEO. Copy the ‘HTML tag’ and paste to ‘Google Verification code’ which appears within Webmaster tools under Yoast SEO ‘General’ option.
– Those with Free WordPress domain make sure to use URL prefix for mapping sitemap as DNS option used within Domain option is restricted for WordPress Free plan.
– If not sure how to add Sitemap then share sitemap with a developer and inform them to insert into your website.

Can one connect their website to GSC with Free website domain?

Yes, you can use URL prefix option while adding property to your site and GSC.

How many options to add site to GSC and what is the difference between them?

There are two Options which appear to add Property in GSC i.e. Domain and URL prefix:

Domain (New Option)    URL prefix (Old Option)
 Tracks everything connected.Only include URL’s with specified prefix.
Only requires DNS verification.URL prefix allow multiple verification options.
Support multiple subdomain.Do not support multiple subdomains
Accept site without http/httpsDo not accept site without http/https
Example: digitalpvblogs.com/ For Instance: https://digitalpvblogs.com/
***For more details on property and examples feel free to check GSC Guide.

What difference it will make using GSC?

  • Able to view full listing of indexed pages and can add to Sitemap, if not already added.
  • Able to know about Mobile usability of pages and if any error associated or not.
  • Can figure-out total number of clicks and impression made by visitors.
  • Able to know if any errors exists and can work to resolve them.
  • Average position in search results, individual can come to know.
  • It becomes easy to track your website performance.
  • One can export reports in CSV, Excel and Google sheets.
  • Able to track average CTR which basically informs how many percentages of people has looked your website in search results and clicked?

Pros and Cons of GSC

Pros
  • Export and Download reports easily associated with related features.
  • Able to give access and permissions to other users.
  • Best Free SEO tool to improve Traffic to your website.
  • Easy to understand, if the help text understood carefully.
  • Re-crawl request can be sent anytime based on the changes made to your website.
  • Give Notifications about the problems plus validating fixes.
  • Provide details about External and Internal Links.
  • Always alerts about the security issues.
  • One can remove and add property easily anytime but prefer initially it is correct and avoid doing same
Cons
  • Do not give much insight about Users activity
  • Do not show latest data like today. Moreover, Data displayed is delayed by two days.
  • Real Time feature is not supported.

Does Google Search Console help SEO?

Yes, it is the most powerful free SEO tool. Also, Mostly users use it to check metrics like clicks, impression, CTR, position etc.

But they do not actually work to improve on errors, problems and hits provided by Google to improve one’s website.

So that can somewhat fit into set Google algorithms and it became easy for Google understand and crawl pages.    

History of Google Search Console

Google Search Console was earlier known as Google Webmasters tool until May 20, 2015. Afterwards, in January 2019, Google Search Console announced the new version and currently being used worldwide.  

Many reports and tools are renamed in new version of Google Search Console for example Search Analytics referred to as Performance report, Links to your site Internal links to Links, Fetch as Google to URL Inspection tool etc.

Learn More

Looking forward to know about Google Search Console vs Google analytics then visit Umasblog for further details. It’s a nice read.

Statistics about Google Search Console

Approx. 130 trillion pages indexed by Google across the web and constantly growing as days are passing.

Google algorithm uses 200 factors to decide any website ranking.

It handles approx. 3.8 million searched per minute on average across the Globe so around 2 trillion searches per year.

Top 10 tips of using Google Search Console

  • Firstly, Give preference to high priority issues.
  • Take actions on regular basis in order to improve SEO.
  • Resolve issues one by one and not try to jump on all at once.
  • Read GSC guide for more visibility and moreover understanding of Features.
  • If unable to figure-out issue yourself then look for solutions online.
  • Focus on improving SEO instead of just viewing performance, clicks etc.
  • However, can test live URL and can request for Indexing and crawling.
  • Make a practice on regular intervals in order to check if any errors/issues appear and work to resolve them.
  • Check excluded pages within coverage option and after that look for reasons why excluded.
  • Make use of URL inspection report by requesting Google to crawl your website so mainly if any new changes or pages/post added.

Thank you readers 🙂 for more upcoming post please subscribe, like and follow my blogs.  In next post planning to cover multiple topics “Keywords, On page and Off page SEO, Niche” so keep learning and sharing!!!

7 thoughts on “About Google Search Console”

  1. Very informative. Even I get many knowledge from this article. Thanks 😊

    Reply

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