The Definitive Guide to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a web interface for administering your Google search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. It provides information about the status of your site, and you can use it to help check on how well-designed or functional the website is.,
Google Search Console lets users see their websites in order to make sure that they’ve been optimized with quality content and proper functioning links. In addition, there are tools like “Link Crawl” which tracks backlinks from other sites.,
You can also view changes in rankings over time as an SEO metric.

The “The Definitive Guide to Google Search Console” is a guide that includes the steps needed to optimize your website for search. It also includes a list of tools that can be used to help with this process. Read more in detail here: google search console checklist.

It’s crucial to keep track of your website’s performance. So many of your day-to-day operations are influenced by accurate analysis of how your site is doing. It assists you in determining what aspects of your SEO are effective. It enables you to detect technical difficulties with the information on your website. It even aids in the development of your entire marketing strategy.

There are several tools available to assist you in tracking site performance, and Google Search Console is one of the most useful. It can assist site owners and webmasters on a range of levels, from tracking general site visitor trends over time to detecting a particular problem that has resulted in a drop in traffic to a certain article.

At first, utilizing Search Console might be a bit perplexing. The quantity of information it delivers might be daunting if you are new to it. This is why we’ve put together this guide. It will teach you all you need to know about Google’s helpful free tool and how to use it safely. 

The following topics will be discussed throughout the guide:

  • What is the Google Search Console?

  • How to install it and integrate it into your website.

  • How to go to the various reports in Search Console.

  • What you can learn from such reports and why they’re helpful.

What Is Google Search Console, and What Does It Do?

Let me begin by mentioning that Google has a diverse set of tools. Many of these may be quite beneficial to site owners, webmasters, and marketers. Gmail and Google Drive are two easy and obvious examples. Tools like Analytics and Ads are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They provide more specialized and thorough assistance.

Google Search Console is a free Google service that promises to be useful to everyone. Business owners, SEO professionals, administrators, and developers, according to them, may all benefit from it. Its wide-ranging usefulness originates from the variety of characteristics it offers. We’ll have a look at them later. 

What Is the Purpose of the Search Console?

In a nutshell, it’s there to assist you figure out what Google thinks of your site. It enables you to track and monitor the visibility of your website in Google search results. It provides information on how Google sees your site, which may help you enhance its performance in a variety of ways.

To get your site to rank well on Google, you don’t need to utilize Search Console. However, the tool makes a number of things simpler when it comes to enhancing a site’s ranking:

  • Search Console may help you monitor your site’s performance in Google searches by tracking vital site data. You can check how often your pages show in searches, as well as which questions and how frequently they produce results for your pages. 

  • Identifying Difficulties with Different Pages or Pieces of Material — The tool makes it simple to identify issues with various pages or pieces of content. These problems are simple to diagnose and resolve. Then, using the same platform, you may request that Google re-index your material. 

  • Reacting to Indexing Problems – Search Console alerts allow you to quickly address indexing, spam, and other site issues. You can nip issues in the bud before they wreak havoc on your website’s performance.

  • Adding New Components to Your Site – The platform makes it simple to add new elements to your site and make sure they work properly. Structured data and accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are two examples of such components. The first is necessary for mobile usability. The latter might assist you in obtaining Google’s highlighted snippets or rich results. 

We’ll go through how the Search Console can aid you in all of these areas later. You’ll also learn how three distinct reports may provide you with the information you need to improve the performance of your website. I’ll also show you how to use what you’ve learned to accomplish all of the above.

Before you can do anything else, you must first learn how to use the tool. That means you’ll need to figure out how to enable Search Console to start monitoring your site. To do so, you must first authenticate that you own the site and then link Google Search Console to it. 

How to Integrate Google Search Console with Your Site

Getting Search Console up and running entails a number of procedures. Each one will be discussed in more depth further down. The complete procedure, on the other hand, is rather simple and may be stated as follows:

  1. Sign up for a Google account or log in if you already have one.

  2. Go to Google Search Console’s main page.

  3. Add a ‘property’ to the tool’s tracking list. This might be a whole domain or just a single URL.

  4. Check to see whether you own the domain or URL in question.

  5. With Search Console, you can start monitoring your site’s performance.

Sign up for a Google account or log in if you already have one.

It’s quite likely that you already have a Google Account. You might use it for Gmail or Google Drive to organize and share documents. If that’s the case, you’ll need to log in before you can set up Google Search Console. You must create an account if you do not already have one. Fortunately, doing so is fast, free, and simple. You’re now ready to begin the Search Console configuration procedure. 

Setting Up Search Console & Adding a Property

Go to the Search Console homepage after logging into your Google account. If you’ve never used the tool before, you’ll see something like this:

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You must choose a property type on this page. At its most basic level, this entails informing Google about the sort of site, page, or entity for which you want data to be tracked. A ‘Domain Property’ or a ‘URL Prefix Property’ are your options. The distinction between these qualities is simple to grasp and crucial to comprehend.

  • When you want Google to monitor all URLs across all subdomains of a website, you use a domain property. This includes subdomains starting with’m.,’ ‘www.,’ and any other alternative you may think of. These qualities also apply to a variety of protocols. This covers HTTPS, HTTP, FTP, and other protocols.

  • URL Prefix Property — This is a lower-level property. If you choose this option, Google will only monitor data for the one URL you provide. That is, the URL with the protocol and subdomain that you provide. For instance, you may type htttp:/website.com. If you do, Google’s monitoring of https://website.com will be disabled. http://www.website.com or any other variation will not work. 

Your choice of property is determined by your circumstances. A URL prefix attribute will enough if you simply need to monitor a single URL. This option is also appropriate if you wish to monitor data for each URL independently. If that’s the case, you could wish to create a domain property to cover them all. 

For a firm wishing to monitor a commercial website, a domain property is the most common option. It is still possible to gather information about subdomains or protocols independently if you utilize the domain property option. You may accomplish this in Search Console by adding a page filter to the Report on Results. More on that and other reports will be available later.

Verifying Your Real Estate

Google won’t let just anyone track site data for any domain or URL. You have to prove to the search engine that you are the site owner, or at the very least, that you have their permission to track their website. The way you do that is by Verifying Your Real Estate.

For Google Search Console to operate, you don’t have to validate your property right away. As soon as you add a property, the tool will begin recording data. You won’t be able to see it unless you prove you’re a part of the site’s administration. 

After you’ve added a property, the program will ask you to double-check it using DNS. This is the method of verification that Search Console prefers. It’s also the sole way to inspect a property at the Domain level. 

This is what the prompt will look like:

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As you can see, the Search Console includes a TXT record that you may use with your domain name provider. Depending on your supplier, where and how you upload the record will change. The specific instructions for each supplier may be found here. After you’ve completed those procedures, go to Search Console and click ‘Verify,’ and your property will be validated.

Typical Errors

There are a couple of Typical Errors that can occur when verifying via this method. First, you might get the message ‘Your verification record was not found’. Receiving this method often means you have been too quick for Google. It can take a few minutes after you add the TXT record for it to be visible to Google. Wait for a beat and try clicking ‘Verify’ again. In the vast majority of cases, it will work ok the second time around.

‘Your verification record did not match,’ for example, is another typical message. This commonly occurs when you have mistyped or copied the text wrong, or when you have pasted the information incorrectly. Go back and double-check that you’ve inserted the identical TXT record that Google supplied. What you add to the documentation for your domain name provider must be precise. 

If you’ve opted to add a URL prefix property, there are a few more methods to check it. 

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The following are the many methods for verifying a URL prefix property:

  • HTML File Upload — You may check whether the URL belongs to you by uploading an HTML file to your site. When asked, choose the ‘HTML File Upload’ option. The necessary file will subsequently be sent to you by Search Console. It will be associated with you as a particular tool user. Then, to validate, follow the onscreen instructions.

  • HTML Tag — You can add a <meta> tag to the HTML of a specific page, rather than a full HTML file. Once again, Search Console will provide the tag when you choose this as a verification option. Instructions about how and where to add it will also be provided.

  • Google Analytics Tracking Code — This is an option for those who use Google Analytics. You can verify a Search Console property by adding your Analytics tracking code to a page’s code. The code should be added to the <head> section of your page. If it is added to the <body> section, the verification won’t work. Full step-by-step instructions are once again provided as you work through the process.

  • Google Tag Manager Container Snippet — You can also verify a URL prefix property with existing GTM container snippet code. Search Console will take you through the process. In short, you must add the <noscript> portion of the Google Tag Manager code to a page. It must come immediately after the opening <body> tag of the page. You can’t have a data layer or anything else besides between the snippet and the <body> tag. 

You don’t need to do anything to validate the URL you want to monitor if it’s hosted by Google (a Google Sites or Blogger page). The URL should be instantly added to your Search Console and confirmed. Assuming you created the page in question using the same Google account. 

After you’ve completed the verification process, you can begin reviewing your property’s Search Console data. Google will continue to verify verification on a regular basis. Your permissions on the property will expire if it can no longer be verified, usually after a brief grace period. That implies you must maintain any TXT record or code snippet you used to validate it for the rest of your life. 

You’re nearly ready to begin learning about the information that Search Console can provide. Before we get to it, there’s one more thing to talk about. 

Permissions, Users, and Owners

There are two responsibilities for each Search Console property. These are ‘Owner’ and ‘User,’ respectively.

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Each job has its own set of talents and privileges. Here’s a quick rundown of what they’re both about:

  • Owner — A property’s owner has complete authority over it in Search Console. Owners may be ‘Delegated’ or ‘Verified.’ They have access to all data and functionality, as well as the ability to alter settings and add or delete other users.

A confirmed owner is someone who has completed the above-mentioned verification procedure. The verified owner has provided ownership rights to the delegated owners. When a confirmed owner’s verification expires, the delegated owner loses access to the property as well. 

Take a moment to consider what permissions various individuals in your business need. You don’t want to grant everyone complete ownership rights. A lower-level employee might inadvertently alter a crucial parameter. You may require some of your employees to have such permissions so that you don’t have to handle all of the property management alone. 

Google Search Console’s Features

You’re ready to start exploring the tool’s various capabilities after you’ve set up and validated your account with Search Console. You may choose from a number of different reports. They’re designed to provide you different perspectives on your site. A short description of what each report contains may be found below. 

Before we begin, there are a few things you should be aware of.

One dimension and four metrics relevant to Google search are included in Search Console reports. It’s possible you haven’t seen them before. However, some of them are comparable to PPC advertising that you may be acquainted with. 

‘Queries’ is the dimension in question. When Search Console talks about ‘Queries,’ it’s referring to the terms that people put into Google. Specifically, the keywords they looked up before coming to your website. The four metrics unique to Search Console are as follows:

  • Clicks – The clicks metric in Google Search Console refers to the search activity of Google users. It reflects the number of times a searcher clicks on one of your pages after doing a keyword search.

  • The number of times a page from your site shows in a Google SERP (search engine results page). This might be a total number of impressions for the page or the number of impressions for a specific query.

  • CTR (Click-Through Rate) – The proportion of people that see a preview of one of your pages and then click on it. A page may have 10 impressions and one click, for example. The CTR would be ten percent in such situation.

  • Average Position – This is where your content appears on a SERP for various search queries. Is it, for example, feasible to get the valuable position one for a query? Is it on the first page, or is it not even on the first page? 

Now that we’ve cleared up the Search Console jargon, let’s have a look at the tool’s key reports. 

Report on the Big Picture

The Report on the Big Picture is the simplest of Google Search Console’s reports. It is the one that you will see when you first open up the tool. As the name suggests, it gives a brief overview of the different information you will find within the tool.

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The graphs of total page clicks and the number of pages indexed by Google will be included in that summary. The report’s most helpful feature is that it shows your site’s manual actions and security concerns, which are flaws with your site as seen by Google. They are the issues that must be addressed as soon as feasible.

Report on Results

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Within the Report on Results, you can group the available data in different ways. For example, you can view results by URL, by device, and by country. This information will help you understand how your site is performing on Google. You can track any unexpected changes in ranking. You can also analyze search queries people are using, valuable keyword research you can use to improve your site performance. 

Coverage of the Index

The Coverage of the Index Report is the one that you are likely to find most useful on a day-to-day basis, especially if you often add new content to your website. This report is where you can see the index status for all the pages on your site.

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No webpage can rank on Google unless Google has indexed it. The Coverage of the Index report is where you can see any pages that aren’t indexed. It is also where you will learn why Google isn’t indexing them. The report can help you monitor and troubleshoot indexing issues. 

Sitemaps Index

Google Search Console allows you to submit a sitemap for your website. You are not required to do so, but it may assist the search engine in comprehending and therefore crawling your site. In a few situations, submitting a sitemap is very beneficial:

  • If your site is really vast, sitemaps may assist Google’s crawlers in locating new pages as they become available.

  • If your site is brand new, you won’t have many backlinks, therefore a sitemap might assist Google find your material.

Without a sitemap, Google may struggle to identify some of your pages if they don’t have many internal connections.

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The Sitemaps Index Report is where you can track the sitemaps you have submitted to Google. It shows you sitemaps statistics, like how many URLs from the sitemap Google has indexed. It also displays any errors Google encountered when processing your sitemap. 

Enhancements

You may manage structured data on a site in Search Console’s Enhancements section. Structured data is something you may add to your website to achieve rich Google results for certain pages. Structured data will only surface if Google is able to understand the data.

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In the Enhancements section, Google displays any difficulties it has with structured data. You’ll learn about an issue, be able to diagnose it, and have the option to fix it here. Issues with the following sorts of meta-data may be reported using Search Console:

  • Event

  • FAQ

  • Check the facts

  • How-to

  • Job Advertisement

  • Logo

  • Product

  • Q&A Page

  • Recipe

  • Search box for sitelinks

Report on Mobile Usability

It is critical for modern websites to cater to visitors using different devices. Mobile devices generated over half of all web traffic in 2018. That percentage is only likely to keep rising. The Report on Mobile Usability helps you assess how mobile-friendly your site is.

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The Report on Mobile Usability will review up to 1000 of your URLs. It will tell you which of them Google recognizes as mobile-friendly based on its standards. If you have any problems with your pages, the errors will be flagged up on the report. Clicking on one of those errors shows you which individual pages need your attention.

Report by AMP

The Report by AMP is closely linked with the Report on Mobile Usability. AMP pages are a big part of making your site as mobile-friendly as possible. The Report by AMP on Search Console is where you can get data on how your AMP pages are performing. 

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Google has indexed how many AMP pages for your site, according to the report. It also assists you in identifying sites that Google is unable to adequately index. When this happens, Google displays the reason for not being able to index your website. This makes resolving any problem fast and simple.

Report on Manual Actions

Manual actions against your site are displayed through the Report on the Big Picture. The Report on Manual Actions is where you will find additional details of any manual action against your site and suggestions on how to resolve the issue.

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When you have the details of any manual actions, you can then set about fixing the problems that caused them. Once you have resolved the issue, you need to head back to the Search Console Report on Manual Actions. It is from there that you can request that Google review your site once again and check the fixes you have performed.

Report on Links

Link-building is a big part of SEO. Ensuring your site has a healthy link profile is vital to impressing Google. What you want are relevant links from high authority sites. The Search Console Report on Links is where you can keep track of your links profile. The report provides a selection of different insights into your site’s links.

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It displays which websites connect to yours as well as the content used in the links. It also gives you a quick snapshot of your site’s internal link structure. Those findings are beneficial in a number of ways. To begin with, they enable you to keep track of any bogus links you get. Second, you may assess your internal linking structure as well as the anchor text you utilize. 

Conclusion

Google isn’t joking when they claim Search Console is a tool for everyone. The search analytics platform provides actionable data that might be used in a variety of ways. 

Some reports are essential for web developers who want to create an SEO-friendly site. Others are great for SEO professionals looking to improve a website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranks. The tool’s more basic capabilities are ideal for busy site owners who only want to keep their sites running. 

This article should have shown the benefits of utilizing Search Console as well as walked you through the process of setting up and using the tool. All that’s left for you to do now is start collecting data and improving the speed of your website. 

The “is google search console important” is a question that has been asked many times. The “The Definitive Guide to Google Search Console” will answer the question and provide valuable information on how to improve your SEO campaign.

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