Guide for Google Webmaster Tools


Presentation Description

A Complete Guide to Google Webmaster Tools, with all the new features in GWT.


Presentation Transcript

SEO Guide for Google Webmaster Tools:

SEO Guide for Google Webmaster Tools


Contents Introduction: Google Webmaster Tools Verification Site Dashboard Site Messages Site Settings Search Appearance Search Traffic Google Index Crawl Malware Additional Tools Labs

Intro : Google Webmaster Tool:

Intro : Google Webmaster Tool Google's Webmaster Tools are essential for any strong SEO effort. It helps you see your website as Google sees it. The toolset gives you insights into what pages have been indexed on your site, what links are pointing to it, your most popular keywords, and much more. A site that's active in Webmaster Tools has a better shot at being fully indexed and ranking well.


Verification Before you can access any data on your site, you have to prove that you're an authorized representative of the site. This is done through a process of verification. There are five main methods of verification currently in place for GWT. \

Verification Methods:

The HTML file upload. Google provides you with a blank, specially named file that you just have to drop in the root directory of your site . HTML tag. Clicking on this option will provide you with a metatag that you can insert into the head of your home page . Domain Name Provider. Select your Domain Name provider from the drop down list and Google will give you a step by step guide for verification along with a unique security token for you to use . Google Analytics. If the Google account you're using for GWT is the same account as for GA, is an admin on the GA account, and you're using the asynchronous tracking code, then you can verify the site this way . Google Tag Manager. This option allows you to use the Google Tag Manager to verify your site. Verification Methods

Site Dashboard:

Now that you're verified, you can log in and start to examine the data for your site . The first screen you'll see is the dashboard. This gives you a quick view into some of the more pertinent information for your site, along with any new messages from Google. Site Dashboard

Site Messages:

When Google wants to communicate with a webmaster, this is the place they'll do so. There may be messages that inform you that you have pages infected with malware, unable to access the website, they've detected a large number of pages on your site, which may be an indication of other problems. Not all messages are bad . Sometimes we can get congratulate msg that we have an increase in traffic to one or more of your pages. Site Messages


Clicking on the gear icon in the top right gives you access to the tools that formerly resided in the Configuration menu item. Settings

Site Settings:

Here you can tell Google some things about your site if you're not able to tell them in other ways . If you have a .com site, hosted in India, but it's targeted to the US, there aren't too many signals to the search engines that that's your intention. In this tab you can set your geographic target to the UK, which informs Google of your intentions for this site . You can also set your preferred domain – whether you want the site to show up in the search results with the www or without the www . The crawl rate option allows you to slow down the rate of Google's spider's crawl. You’ll only do this if you have witnessed server issues due to Google's crawling. Site Settings

Change of Address:

You decide to migrate your entire site to a new domain, this is where you let Google know . Once you've set up your new site, permanently redirected the content from your old site to your new using a 301 redirect, added and verified your new site on GWT, then you come to this option and inform Google of the move. Change of Address

Google Analytics Property:

If you'd like to be able to see your GWT data in Google Analytics (GA), you can use this tool to associate a site with a GA account . Simply select any currently linked GA account to associate it with this site. If you don't have a GA account, you have the option to create one here. Google Analytics Property

Users & Site Owners:

Here you can see a list of all authorized users on the account, and their level of authorization. Owners have permission to access every item on the site . Users with "Full" permission can do everything except add users, link a GA account and inform Google of a change of address . Users with "Restricted" permission have the same restrictions as those with "Full" permission plus the following: they only have viewing capabilities on configuration data, cannot submit sitemaps or request URL removals, cannot submit URLs, cannot submit reconsideration requests, and only have the capability to view crawl errors & malware notifications Users & Site Owners

Verification Details:

This lets you see any verification issues / successes . It gives displays the list of Verification attempts by Google to verify the website Verification Details


This section allows you to associate different Google accounts with your GWT account. They can't see any data in GWT, but they can perform actions on behalf of your site (e.g., creating an official YouTube account for the site, or posting to Google+ on behalf of the site through an associated account). Associates


To add an associate user, simply : Click on the "Add a new User" button. Enter the email address that's associated with the account you're associating. Select the type of association you want. Click "Add". To associate a Google+ page, if it's the same account on GWT and Google+, you're done. If you're using different accounts : Navigate to the Google+ page. Click on the profile button on the left. Click "About", in the links section. Add a link to the site. Associates

Search Appearance:

Clicking on the ? icon to the right of this menu option delivers a nice breakdown of the various elements of a search engine results page (SERP ). Search Appearance

Structured Data:

Here you can see information about all structured data elements that Google's located on your site, whether they're from or older micro formats. Structured Data

Data Highlighter:

The data highlighter allows you to help Google identify some types of structured data on the pages without the need for the code to actually be implemented. To use the tool, you need to login to Webmaster Tools, choose your site and then click “Optimization”, then “Data Highlighter”. It gives you the option to tag a single page or multiple pages, verify the tags, and then “publish” it to Google. Data Highlighter

HTML Improvements:

Here is where GWT will inform you of issues with your title and description tags. As titles and descriptions should be unique for each page and should be within certain character length ranges. Clicking through on any of these errors will give you a more descriptive overview of the error and will also give you a list of pages where the error was detected. HTML Improvements

Site links:

Whenever Google determines that your site is an authority for a particular keyword they'll show a collection of links below the main link, pointing to what they believe to be the most important links on that page. While you can't specify the actual pages that you want to display in the site links, you can specify which pages you want removed. Site links

Search Traffic:

Search Queries : Here you can get an overview of the top keywords that returned a page from your site in the search results. Data shown here is collected in a slightly different way from your analytics platform, including GA, so don't expect the number to exactly. Search Traffic

Search Traffic:

The Search Queries section is broken down into five main indicators : Query:  Query gives you details on what keywords your site is currently ranked for. It's important to remember that "rank for" means showing up in the SERPs – not necessarily actively attracting traffic Impressions:  If you've ever wondered how many people are seeing your website for a specific keyword search, this will tell you . Clicks:  Of the people who are seeing your site, how many are clicking? This information lets you know how many searchers seeing your site are taking action and clicking on your search result . CTR:  Your CTR, or click-through rate, is the percentage of people that are clicking on your site in the search results. Average Position: This metric tells you where your site typically ranks for each keyword. Search Traffic

Links to Your Site:

This section identifies the domains that link to you the most, along with your most linked to content. While you most likely won't see every link that Google's found for your site . Links to Your Site

Internal Links:

Here you can see the top pages on your site sorted by the number of internal links to those pages . Any pages that show 0 internal links have been orphaned and should either be linked to from somewhere on your site, or redirected to an appropriate page. Internal Links

Google Index:

The Index Status allows you to track the status of your site within the Google index. How many pages are they showing as being indexed? Are there any worrying trends? Have you accidentally blocked large sections of your site from Googlebot? This is a great place to get the answers to those questions and more. Google Index

Content Keywords:

This section displays the most common keywords found by the Google crawler as it navigated your site. One thing to keep an eye on here is if you see unexpected, unrelated keywords showing up, that's usually an indication that your site may have been hacked and hidden keywords have been injected into your pages. Content Keywords

Remove URLs:

If you want to remove a page from your website, The first step is to either remove the page itself or 301 it elsewhere so that it can't be crawled and indexed. Enter the URL that you want to remove, click continue , then select whether you want it removed from the search results and the cache, just from the cache or if you want an entire directory removed. Clicking Submit Request adds it to the removal queue. Typically this request will be processed in 2-12 hours . Remove URLs


Crawl Errors - Here's where you find out about the errors that Google has detected when crawling your site over the past 90 days. GWT shows you the number of errors, lists the pages and shows a graph of your count over time for that particular error so you can see whether it's been a gradual change or a more sudden occurrence. Crawl

Crawl Stats:

The crawl stats section gives you an idea of how fast the crawlers are able to read pages on your site. Spikes are to be expected here, but is you see a sustained drop in pages crawled, or a sustained spike in time spent downloading a page, or in the size of a page, then that's an indication that you should take a look and see what's changed on your site. Crawl Stats

Fetch as Google:

Here is where you can basically view your pages as Google sees them. They'll return the HTTP response, the date and time, and the HTML code. This is a great way of verifying that the Google crawler sees the page as you expect it to and that there are no externally injected hidden links on the page. You are allowed 500 fetches / submissions a week, and 10 linked page submissions per week (submitting a page and all pages linked from it at the same time). Fetch as Google

Blocked URLs:

This section is the place to test out your current robots.txt against any pages on your site to verify whether they can be crawled or not. You can also test out modifications to your robots.txt to see whether they'd work as you anticipate against various pages on your site . Blocked URLs


This section is the place to test out your current robots.txt against any pages on your site to verify whether they can be crawled or not. You can also test out modifications to your robots.txt to see whether they'd work as you anticipate against various pages on your site . Sitemaps

URL Parameters:

What it does is that it allows you to specify URL query string parameters that shouldn't be considered when examining URLs on the site to determine unique URLs . For example, if you had a tracking parameter that you use for a particular campaign, then the page is obviously the exact same page as when it's reached without the tracking parameter. Entering the tracking parameter in here tells Google that they should ignore the tracking parameter when looking at the URL. URL Parameters


If Google has detected any malware on your site, this is where they'll list it out (it will also appear in the messages section). If you see a page here you'll want to get it fixed as soon as possible and click on the "Request a Review" button that will be displayed here . Malware

Additional Tools:

This section contains links to tools that are outside of GWT, but are of interest to webmasters, such as the Structured Data Testing tool, which enables webmasters to test their schema implementations, the Structured Data Markup Helper, and others. Additional Tools


The labs section contains functionality that's in testing mode. Author Stats : With the big push to tie up bylines to Google+ accounts, this tool allows you to see data for pages which you are the author for, so you'd need to be logged into an account in GWT that you've previously set up as an author . Labs

Custom Search:

This allows you to set up Google customized search for your own site . Create a custom search engine that searches only your own site. Put a search box anywhere on your site. Customize the look and feel of the search results pages. Custom Search

Instant Previews:

This tool allows you to see how your site looks using Google's Instant Preview feature (the view of your site that can be seen in the search results when you mouse over the double arrows that show up next to a result). However, Google removed Instant Previews in April, so this feature isn't of any value to webmasters . Instant Previews

Site Performance:

This section of Labs has been shut down and links off to alternative resources. Site Performance

Thank You!:

Thank You!

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