About Search Console
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site\’s presence in Google Search results. You don\’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:
- Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
- Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
- View Google Search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your site, how often searchers click through for those queries, and more.
- Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
- Show you which sites link to your website.
- Troubleshoot issues for AMP, mobile usability, and other Search features.
How to use Search Console
Here’s the skinny on how to start using Google Search Console.
You need to have a Google account to use Search Console.
Log into the Google Search Console website, click Start now and log into your account.
2- Add a property
After logging in, add your domain or a URL prefix.
3- Ownership verification
Google then asks you to choose one of the available methods to verify that you are indeed the page owner. The options are divided into two tabs: Recommended verification method and Other verification methods.
When you choose the recommended method, you need to upload an HTML file to your website. Just click generate by clicking on HTML File and uploading it to your page’s root.
Then, access the link that will be provided, check that everything is correct, and click on the Verify button.
If you already use Google Analytics, there’s another simple method to check your page ownership in Search Console. Go to the Other verification methods tab, select the Google Analytics option, and follow the instructions.
We emphasize that for Google to be able to synchronize the accounts, you need to use the same email for both tools.
After verifying, go to the tool’s homepage. Note that you can browse its properties at the top left, delete one, or add new ones.
In the left side menu are all Search Console features that will help you understand your page’s indexing, traffic, link quality, and problems encountered by Google.
Google Search Console tools and reports
To optimize your page, it’s essential that, besides installing and configuring Search Console, you get to know its features well.
Knowing the details of each menu option helps you read your page and allows you to identify what needs to be changed to increase its ranking and improve the quality of your site.
Below, we present all the content you’ll find in the tool’s dashboard and help you understand the information that each offers you.
The Performance Report presents data specific to the search traffic, your website’s overall position in Google’s results, which searches have displayed your website as a result, and other options.
This tool also provides the details of pages, the location of users, impressions, trends in these metrics, etc. This is also relevant for other Google platforms such as Google Discovery and Google News.
Below, we detail some of the main features contained in the performance tab:
In this tool, you can select the following for analysis:
- a keyword (Query)
- a page
- a country
- a device
- and even an aspect
And check out a chart with data about clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and your search position.
For example, this is quite interesting for identifying improvements on a content page. You can query a page’s performance and analyze whether its positioning has dropped and which words related to it receive more impressions and clicks.
On the other hand, Discover is great for obtaining an overview of the performance of the pages you own. This way, you can identify which page to focus on to get better results.
You can also check the Google News performance results!
The news.google.com and the Google News app provide the most relevant information regarding digital media. If you work with news publishing, Google Search Console shows which of your stories Google News has featured.
Some of the metrics provided are clicks to the page, link impressions in the search, and the average CTR (click-through rate) for the publication.
In the index, you find the pages indexed by Google, and those that haven’t been indexed (removed or blocked).
A well-optimized website is one that Google’s crawler can access and analyze without major problems. Then it can index the pages and make them available in the search results.
The pages aren’t always fully accessible to these robots, and the index tool helps identify what’s causing page crawling errors.
You could have the page temporarily not appear on Google by blocking the URL that you don’t want to display in the search results.
Here, you can see how well you are doing in Google indexing, i.e., which pages and how many of them are being listed to appear to users in searches.
You can also view details about the types of errors, such as server errors, page not found (404) errors, blocked pages, or whether there are any improper redirects.
In sitemaps, you can create, organize and analyze your website’s map and improve it where necessary. This will speed up your pages’ indexing.
The removal report allows you to remove a page of your domain from Google searches for a period of time. You can temporarily hide URLs until you decide to put them back on the search engine’s radar.
An important note is that requests only take effect for about 6 months and no matter how long it’s not in the search results, Google can still crawl the page.
To further complement the SEO and user experience facilities, the experience report emerges as the newest Google Search Console feature.
This tool presents data on how people access your website and their impressions compared to other websites.
On-page experience gathers information to understand whether your page is enjoyable and accessible. The indicators show what’s good and what requires improvement, making it easy for the website owner to make adjustments.
Key web metrics
Core Web Vitals also relate to user experience and provide necessary information for a better experience. This report shows how well the website is performing and helps correct things that may be negative for the audience.
This feature’s metrics include website-loading speed, the time between the user’s first interaction with the page, and the time between interaction and rapid website response.
Ease of use on mobile devices
With the increase of mobile devices, such as cellphones, you’ll have additional tips to make your website even more accessible and responsive on various devices, especially phones and tablets.
In improvements, the relevant information is presented to have a more complete and functional page! This report helps identify errors and shows how to fix them.
Current Location Indicators
These indicators help identify the structure of the viewers’ journey on your website and how it can be improved or corrected. In other words, it shows the access path, which pages were clicked on, and whether these visits went through the expected links.
This observation regarding user behavior also shows what’s working and what needs to be optimized.
Search box for website links
Quite simply, this is a search box inside a result already displayed in Google searches!
The benefit of including the box in these results is that it’s easy for users to search directly from your website or app. You can improve and implement this tool with a few instructions in Google Search Console.
Who should use Search Console?
- Business owners: Even if you won\’t be using Search Console yourself, you should be aware of it, become familiar with the basics of optimizing your site for search engines, and know what features are available in Google Search.
- SEO specialists or marketers: As someone focused on online marketing, Search Console will help you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking, and make informed decisions about the appearance of your site\’s search results. You can use the information in Search Console to influence technical decisions for the website and do sophisticated marketing analysis in conjunction with other Google tools like Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Ads.
- Site administrators: As a site admin, you care about the healthy operation of your site. Search Console lets you easily monitor and in some cases resolve server errors, site load issues, and security issues like hacking and malware. You can also use it to ensure any site maintenance or adjustments you make happen smoothly with respect to search performance.
- Web developers: If you are creating the actual markup and/or code for your site, Search Console helps you monitor and resolve common issues with markup, such as errors in structured data.