Google webmaster tools: an overview

Google Webmaster Tools is the primary mechanism for Google to communicate with webmasters & helps alert you about issues with your site. This guide will walk you through the various GWT features, và what actionable data can be found within.


Please note: there is now a more up-to-date version of this guide – Google Search Console: a Complete Overview – published in May năm nhâm thìn.

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Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is the primary mechanism for Google khổng lồ communicate with webmasters. Google Webmaster Tools helps you to identify issues with your site & can even let you know if it has been infected with malware (not something you ever want to lớn see, but if you haven’t spotted it yourself, or had one of your users tweet at you lớn let you know, it’s invaluable).

And the best part? It’s absolutely free. If you don’t have sầu a GWT trương mục, then you need khổng lồ go get one now.


This guide khổng lồ Google Webmaster Tools will walk you through the various features of this tool, and give you insight inlớn what actionable data can be found within. (For more in-depth help, go to Google’s Webmaster Help.)

Verification

Before you can access any data on your site, you have sầu lớn prove that you’re an authorized representative of the site. This is done through a process of verification.

There are five sầu main methods of verification currently in place for GWT. There’s no real preference as lớn which method you use, although the first two tkết thúc to lớn be the most commonly used as they’ve been around for longer.

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Here you can see a danh mục of all authorized users on the account, and their cấp độ of authorization. A new user can be added here if needs be.

Owners have permission to access every thành tích on the site.

Users with “Full” permission can bởi everything except add users, liên kết a GA tài khoản, and insize Google of a change of address.

Users with “Restricted” permission have sầu 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, & only have the capability lớn view crawl errors và malware notifications (they can’t mark any of them as fixed).

Verification Details

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Here is where GWT will inform you of issues with your title & mô tả tìm kiếm tags. As titles & descriptions should be chất lượng for each page và should be within certain character length ranges, this section points out where you have sầu issues that can và should be corrected.

For example, if all of your tag pages have the same mô tả tìm kiếm, then you aren’t telling the search engines much about what is on those pages.

Clicking through on any of these errors will give sầu you a more descriptive overview of the error and will also give you a các mục of pages where the error was detected.

Sitelinks

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Whenever Google determines that your site is an authority for a particular từ khoá they’ll show a collection of liên kết below the main liên kết, pointing khổng lồ what they believe sầu lớn be the most important links on that page. From time khổng lồ time they’ll show a liên kết that you don’t particularly want to lớn be surfaced, & this is where you’ll correct that issue.

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While you can’t specify the actual pages that you want to display in the sitelinks (that would be far too open to abuse), you can specify which pages you want removed. Simply enter the URL of the page with the siteliên kết (not always just the homepage), and then type in the URL of the sitelink that you want to be removed.

lưu ý that the erroneous URL may then precluded from displaying in the siteliên kết for a certain period of time, but may return at some point in the future (any time after 90 days from your last visit to the sitelinks page) if it still appears to lớn be an important link on that page, so you may want khổng lồ periodically nhận xét your sitelink. Also note that Google has now placed a limit of 100 on the number of demotions you can have active for a particular site.

Search Traffic

Search Queries

Here you can get an overview of the top từ khóa that returned a page from your site in the search results. lưu ý the data shown here is collected in a slightly different way from your analytics platkhung, including GA, so don’t expect the number khổng lồ exactly tally.

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What this does is give you an idea of the top traffic-driving từ khoá for your site, the number of impressions and clicks, & therefore the click-through rate (CTR), và the average position that your page was ranking for that particular query.

You can also view the same data by page rather than by keyword. This shows you the top traffic-generating pages on your site, & perhaps helps you identify those that you should concentrate on optimizing, as a high traffic generator in 11th position would be a much higher traffic generator in eighth.

Links lớn Your Site

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This section identifies the domains that liên kết to lớn you the most, along with your most-linked-lớn nội dung. While you most likely won’t see every link that Google’s found for your site, you will see more than if you went khổng lồ google.com và performed a tìm kiếm for “link:yoursite.com.”

Internal Links

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Here you can see the top 1,000 pages on your site sorted by the number of internal link khổng lồ those pages. If you have sầu a small number of pages on your site, you can reverse the sort order by clicking on the Links header.

Any pages that show zero internal liên kết have been orphaned và should either be linked khổng lồ from somewhere on your site, or redirected lớn an appropriate page if they’re old legacy pages.

Manual Actions

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Here’s where Google will inkhung you of any site-wide or section/page specific manual penalties that they’ve applied khổng lồ your site.

Google Index

Index Status

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

Content Keywords

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This section displays the most comtháng keywords found by the Google crawler as it navigated your site. One thing to lớn keep an eye on here is if you see unexpected, unrelated keyword showing up, that’s usually an indication that your site may have sầu been hacked & hidden từ khoá have sầu been injected into your pages.

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Remove sầu URLs

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If you receive sầu a cease và desist letter from an attorney demanding that you remove a page from your site, if you accidentally break a news embargo, or release an obituary while the person is still breathing, you’ll most likely want khổng lồ get that page out of Google as soon as possible.

The first step is to lớn either remove the page itself or 301 it elsewhere so that it can’t be crawled and indexed. This prevents users và crawlers from getting to it, but the URL will still be in the index, & the page can still be found in the cabịt. That’s where this tool comes in.

Enter the URL that you want to lớn remove sầu, click continue, then select whether you want it removed from the search results và the cađậy, just from the cabịt or if you want an entire directory removed. Clicking Submit Request adds it to lớn the removal queue. Typically this request will be processed in two khổng lồ 12 hours.

Crawl

Site Errors

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Here’s where you find out about the errors that Google has detected when crawling your site over the past 90 days. This is an invaluable tool as it can absolutely help you identify a variety of issues on your site, from server errors khổng lồ missing pages, and errors in between.

GWT shows you the number of errors, lists the pages, & 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 (perhaps a code push caused unforeseen errors with a section of the site that no one noticed).

This section should be a frequent port of call, as you keep an eye out for any new issues that could be impacting the crawling of your site. If your site has either a thiết bị di động presence or is in Google News, you will see tabs dedicated khổng lồ any crawl errors specific khổng lồ those products.

Crawl Stats

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The crawl stats section gives you an idea of how fast the crawlers are able lớn read pages on your site. Spikes are lớn be expected here, but if 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 và see what’s changed on your site – perhaps you added a new partner module that’s created a bigger than expected addition to lớn the footprint on your site.

Fetch as Google

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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, including the first 100kb of visible text on the page.

This is a great way of verifying that the Google crawler sees the page as you expect it to (rethành viên the crawler is supposed khổng lồ see the same page as the user would see), and that there are no externally injected hidden liên kết on the page.

If the page looks how you expect it to, then you can submit it to lớn the index. You are allowed 500 fetches/submissions a week, và 10 linked page submissions per week (submitting a page and all pages linked from it at the same time).

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Blocked URLs

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

Sitemaps

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Here’s where you can access all of the information about the sitemaps that GWT has been informed of. To kiểm tra a sitebản đồ, cliông xã the add/test sitemaps button, & GWT will inkhung you if the sitemap appears khổng lồ be valid. If it is, then simply add the sitebản đồ using the same procedure, except clicking the add sitebản đồ button.

cảnh báo that the mặc định view here is to lớn only show the sitemaps that you have sầu added. To view those that have been added by other authorized users on the tài khoản clichồng the “all” tab.

The page shows you the sitemaps that you’ve submitted, the number of pages they found in each, and the number of those pages that they’ve sầu indexed. You can also see quite clearly if there are any issues that they’ve sầu detected within your sitemaps. Simply cliông chồng on the warnings hyperlink lớn view them all.

URL Parameters

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With the introduction và use of canonical tags, this feature isn’t used as much as it used to be. What it does is that it allows you lớn specify URL query string parameters that shouldn’t be considered when examining URLs on the site to lớn determine unique URLs.

For example, if you had a tracking parameter that you use for a particular chiến dịch, 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.

Security Issues

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If Google has detected any malware or other security issues 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 lớn get it fixed as soon as possible & click on the “Request a Review” button that will be displayed here.

Other Resources

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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 khổng lồ kiểm tra their schema implementations, the Structured Data Markup Helper, and others.

Labs

The labs section contains functionality that’s in testing mode. When it’s deemed to lớn be “ready for prime time” it will be promoted to the regular sections of GWT, or it may just vanish if it’s determined lớn not be useful.

Author Stats

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With the big push khổng lồ tie up bylines lớn Google+ accounts, this tool allows you khổng lồ see data for pages which you are the author for, so you’d need to lớn be logged inlớn an tài khoản in GWT that you’ve sầu previously mix up as an author.

Instant Previews

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This tool allows you to lớn see how your site looks using Google’s Instant Pnhận xét feature (the view of your site that can be seen in the tìm kiếm results when you mouse over the double arrows that show up next to a result).

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Bing Webmaster Tools

Now that you’re up to lớn tốc độ on Google Webmaster Tools, don’t forget about another search engine offering a không lấy phí toolphối to webmasters that you should also be using: Bing. See Bing Webmaster Tools: An Overview for a complete guide.


Chuyên mục: SEO