Basic SEO Guides Google Search Console

Basic Google Search Console – An Introduction

Google Search Console is a fundamental element of any SEO project or task. It provides basic or detailed information regarding how your site is indexed by Google and if Google finds any issues with your site.

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Setting Up Google Search Console

Purpose:

  • Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) contains a wealth of information on how Google indexes your site.
  • GSC does not give out SEO information per se, but gives information which can be used for SEO activities.
  • Using GSC enables you to make sure that Google has found, crawled and indexed your site, and that it continues to do so.
  • Using GSC also enables you to pick up on (some) technical errors or issues with your website.

Guidelines:

  1. Sign up for a Google Search Console Account
    • Use an email which you will always have control of. EG, one from your domain. Do not let the web intern use their personal Gmail.
  2. Verify your control of the domain using one of the various methods listed by Google.
  3. Create an XML Sitemap, test it and submit it.
  4. Once Google has finished its initial processing of your site (usually a few days), review the Dashboard for an initial take on Crawl Errors, Search Analytics and Sitemaps.
  5. Where possible, review any errors or issues flagged, pay special attention to any unexpected 301 Redirects, 404 Not Found Errors, or URLs Blocked by Robots.txt.
  6. Check how many URLs are in the XML Sitemap (“Submitted”) versus how many are “indexed”. Ideally, you’d like 100% to be indexed, but this may not be the case.
  7. Also, review any message in the property’s inbox. Usually these are generic messages, but occasionally there is something of critical importance here. Google will also email the account owners, another reason to use a sensible email when signing up….
  8. When comfortable with the Console, look round some of the information presented, noting issues or errors raised by Google. Some will be very important (crawl errors), others no so important.

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Last modified: October 19, 2018