Search Console is the new name of the Google Webmaster tool which is recently rebranded by Google.
Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool for anyone, it allows you to review the Indexing status of your website, you can analyze the crawl errors and also get notified about your website hacked or manual penalty related issues.
Google search console Importance-
Search console helps you evaluate your site performance it helps you figure out how google sees your pages and alerts you, whenever your site is on risk.
Why do you need to set up for your website?
1) To keep track on website internal errors
2) Check the indexing status of the web pages
3) Check the security issues if there are any with the website
4) Receive notifications from Google for manual penalties
5) See what keywords searches on google help landing visitors on your website in search engine results pages (SERP)
So for this, you must need to set up the Google Search Console for your website.
Let’s Start Now –
#1) Go to google search console.
Now Login or click on Start Now.
#2) After the logins Click on add property under the search dropdown.
Now you have two types of property options to verify your site.
- URL prefix
Domain-Level – If you choose domain level property it means all the version under this domain (subdomain, www or without www, Http or https) would be verified automatically.
You don’t need to set up separate properties as we did in this old search console.
But domain verification would be done only on the DNS level.
URL Prefix – In the URL Prefix property search console only consider the URL under this entered address.
But on URL prefix property you have multiple verification methods.
It’s up to you which way you want convenient to use, use that method to verify your property in search console.
#3) Now select the property type to add the domain name.
I have selected the URL Prefix property Click on continue and a window will appear like this.
#4) By default, the search console will show you the HTML file verification method.
But you can use other verification methods in URL prefix property as well.
As I choose the HTML tag verification method. Copy the Code now.
How to Verify a WordPress Site in Google Search Console?
So if your website is on wordpress follows the steps below –
- Log into wordpress admin, Installed the Yoast SEO if you don’t.
- After installing the Yoast Activate it.
- Now you see it on the left side, click on SEO.
- Now click on ‘General’.
- Click on Webmaster Tool Tab.
- Paste the code here and click on save changes.
#5) Go back to Google Search Console and click ‘Verify’.
Now you have connected your website to google search console.
But wait…. Google will take the time to process your site data in the search console. Wait for at least 24 hours.
Now I will elaborate on each section of Search Console So, that you can easily track or understand your website Search Console Data.
To make it easier to understand google search console, this post is divided into five parts.
1) Overview- This is the default part in search console under this you will find two segments.
Performance and URL Inspection.
2) Index – Under this segment, you will find coverage and sitemap reports.
3) Enhancements – Under this segment, you will find mobile usability issue related reports.
4) Security and Manual Action – Under this segments, you will find manual actions and website security issues related reports or messages.
5) Links- In this segment, you will find internal, external top linking sites related reports.
1. Overview –
In the overview section, you will find three types of reports.
1. Overview > Performance
What is performance in Google Search Console?
Performance reports in search console help you identify for which queries, your webpages getting the most impression and clicks in SERP. You can analyze clicks and impressions performance reports pages, countries & device wise.
In the performance report section, you can segment the data in the five types of reports.
Queries – You can check what queries are generating traffic to your website.
Total Clicks- How many times a user clicked through to your site.
Total Impression – How many times a user saw a link to your site search results.
Average CTR – Percentage of an impression that resulted in a click. Click/Impression*100
Average Positions – Average positions of your site in search results.
Pages Report- List of urls from your site that is displayed in search results. You can see how each URL performed in terms of search (Impressions, CTR, etc.)
Countries Report – In this report you can see which countries are generating more search traffic and click on your website.
Devices – In this report you can see on which devices your website is performing better in regards to user engagement.
Search Appearance – In this report, you can see pages which google shows faster, lighter pages to people searching on slow mobile clients.
If a user is searching on slow mobile clients and your webpages are showing in SERP and user click on your listing then google will convert the web pages on the fly into a version optimized for slow clients, so that these pages load faster while saving data.
Overview > URL Inspection
What is URL inspection in the Google search console?
URL inspection tools show you page crawl status, mobile usability, and site links search box report and even you can resubmit for indexing through url inspection tool as well can view a rendered version of the page.
You can check the index status of that particular page. If your website URL is not indexed or if there are any issues with the webpage.
You can check the status of the webpage in this URL inspection section.
And you can also request for indexing for this page as also can Test Live URL as well here.
2. Index > Coverage
What is coverage in Google Search Console?
Index coverage report shows you the current status of your indexed pages in google. Any error or problems related to your webpages will be displayed in this index coverage section in search console.
In this section, you can check four types of errors with detailed issues.
1) Error – These are pages that couldn’t be indexed for some reason.
2) Valid with Warnings – These are pages that have been indexed but there are some issues in those pages.
3) Valid – These pages have been indexed.
4) Excluded – These pages are excluded from the search engine and have not indexed.
Index > Sitemap
How to update sitemap in Google console?
Head over to Sitemap section in search console behind of the main domain add your sitemap URL and click on submit.
As your sitemap read by google you can start seeing total discovered URLs with last read date.
Any errors in the pages, warnings, numbers of valid URLs or excluded urls you can see in the Index coverage section.
Index > Removals
This url removal tool in the search console helps you to remove unnecessary urls from your website in search engine result pages.
Only you can block those urls which are related to your property.
URL will not be removed permanently it will only be disappeared for at least six months of the period from search results, later they can appear in search results as well.
3. Enhancement > Mobile Usability
What is mobile usability in search console?
Mobile usability reports in search console lets you know if your webpages have mobile usability problems when viewed on mobile devices.
If your website pages have any errors or issues on the mobile devices you can see here.
Enhancement > Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs use to display the current page position in the site hierarchy. Breadcrumbs mostly use on the website where the site has a lot of pages.
Breadcrumbs make it easy for the user to find their way around on the site. To visit a higher-level page through the breadcrumbs, the user can navigate easily without clicking many times.
Check in the breadcrumbs section in search console for breadcrumbs structured data errors. If you found any errors fix those errors to remove the errors and warning related to breadcrumbs in search console.
Enhancement > FAQ
If you have implemented the FAQ Schema on your website for faq questions. Now in search console, it will show you faq structured data errors.
If faq schema is not executed correctly on your website now in the faq section of the search console, it will notify you about your website faq schema errors.
And you don’t need to get confused that why your faq is not working or your faq are not showing the SERP.
Enhancement > Sitelinks Searchbox
What is a Sitelink search box?
A site link search box is a search box that appears under the searched brand name.
When visitors search from this site link search box they directly redirect from the Google search to your webpage.
To make your site eligible for site link search box at first you need to add the schema markup code into your webpage.
Make sure to add the site link search box schema markup into your webpage and start tracking errors and issues in the google search console enhancement section.
4. Security & Manual Actions –
Under this section, you can see two types of reports.
1. Manual Action –
When a human reviewer at Google found that your website is not following google quality guidelines a manual action is raised against your website.
If your website is affected by a manual action, you can see the notification in this manual action section.
What pages are affected?
In the manual action section, you can see a list of patterns of affected pages.
It could be the entire site or maybe some pages of the site.
How do I fix the problem?
A detailed description will show you the affected pages and will also show you the ways to fix the problem.
How long will my reconsideration review take?
Once you fix the problem you can send the reconsideration request to google.
Reconsideration reviews take several days or a week you will be informed of progress by email.
You can read more here about the manual action report.
2. Security Issues
In this section, you can see your website security-related issues.
If your website is hacked or any malware issue is detected on your website google will notify you in this section.
A detailed report about the problem and how to fix this issue you can find a detailed report under this section.
Read more about the security errors here.
5. Legacy Tools & Reports –
International Targeting –
International Targeting report will show the language and target country related errors.
#1. Language – In the language tab, it will show hrelf-lang tag errors. This report and section are only beneficial for you if you have a multilingual website.
#2. Target Country – Set your website target country in search console if you are providing services or products to any particular country.
For example, if you have a blog then setting a country target is a useless idea. But if you have an eCommerce site in India and selling products in India, then it’s probably not of interest, to folks in the USA.
So make sure if your product or service is globally select unlisted.
Crawl Stats –
This report in the search console will show you how many pages are crawled by GoogleBot per day. This crawl stats report shows you up to 90 days of data. You can keep track of the number of your pages crawled and also analyze the sudden drop of crawling of pages.
Even you can check & see how much Googlebot downloaded kilobytes per day & Time spent by Googlebot to downloading a page.
Google will send the message automatically
If Google finds any error on a hacking-related issue or manual penalty on your website, then Google will send you a message.
URL parameter –
You will use url parameters only to block Block crawling of parameterized duplicate content.
URL parameter mainly uses on e-commerce sites to prevent duplicate content issues. For insignificant page variations, you can use the url parameter in the search console.
For example – if you have an eCommerce site and there are multiple filters for color, brands, price, etc.
In this way, many url will be autogenerated, which creates a duplicate content issue in search engines.
So to avoid these issues, you can use the url parameter. Make sure to use it carefully, if it will be implemented wrongly your site could be de-index from the search results completely.
6. Links –
In this link report section, you will see the following links report.
#1. External Links – Links from outside your property to your property.
#2. Internal Links – Links from your property to your property.
#3. Top linking sites – In these reports you can see which domains are linking to your domain most of the time. In this report, you can see only the root domain not where the actual link is made to your site.
#4. Top Linking Text – In this report, you can see the actual text where the link is placed in this text.
How to link Google Search Console to Google Analytics?
You need to configure google search console to analytics to get the search console data into analytics.
Benefits to link Google Analytics to Google Search Console
- Identify landing pages on your site that have good click-through rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see but have trouble finding.
- Identify search queries (keywords) for which your site has good average positions, but poor click-through rates. These are queries for which your pages get attention and improved content could lead to more visitors.
Logins to your analytics account Click on Acquisition Tab, now when you click on Search Console a window will appear like this.
Now click on Set up Search Console data sharing and you will be redirected to the Property Setting section in analytics.
Scroll down below the page Click on Adjust Search Console.
Click on Add button –
Now it will show you all the property linked with this search console account.
Select the property which data you would like to see in the Google Analytics and click on save.
And now it will redirect you to the search console.
Wait for 24 hours it will take time to show the google search console data in the analytics.
I have covered all the things in this Google Search Console Guide and I hope it will clear your all doubts that how to use this tool to improve your SEO.
This is such a powerful tool so take advantage of this tool and make your website better for search but as well for your user.
Let me know if you any questions or if found any difficulty using this tool in the comments.
Want to learn more
How do I find my Google console code?
On your webpage Press (CTRL+U) it will open the source code of the webpage and again press (CTRL+F) and search for (google-site-verification). If you found this code on the webpage, then your website is connected with the search console through the search console verification code.
How do I use Google Search Console?
First, sign in to your search console account add your site as property and verify it. And start monitoring your website data in the search console.
Use the search console to identify your highest-traffic pages & highest CTR queries. Find out the total number of indexed pages and indexing errors. Discover mobile usability related issues and how many total backlinks your site has.
What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?
Google Analytics is used to track the details about the visitors on your website. Through google analytics, you can easily monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign, user experience, and device functionality, etc. Whereas google search console helps you identify technical issues of your website, manual action, sitemap report, indexation issue and mobile usability related things.
Does Google Search Console help SEO?
Google Search Console helps you to identify the technical seo (crawling & indexing) issues of your website.
And it also provides you organic seo metrics to help you identify how your website is performing for seo in search engine result pages. Take into account these metrics and fix them to get more from your seo efforts.