Difficulty Beginner

A beginners guide to Google Search Console

So you have made it too the point of adding your website into Google console because you want some data on your website to improve it even further?

Kudos.

Enough congratulations, it’s time to get you familiar with what in SEO my life is going on in Google Search Console (GSC).

What is it?

Google console is a free service that allows you to monitor and maintain your site in Google search. This is obviously important and is a fantastic way to help you with your own SEO efforts.

I want you to think of Google Console as the dashboard of your car, and your website as the engine of your car. A car’s dashboard allows you to see the health and functionality of your engine, without popping the hood of the car and looking at the engine itself.

The same can be said for GSC. GSC allows you to view and test a variety of aspects about your website, in relation to how Google examines it and ranks it in search. The best part of GSC, is that the examiner of your website (Google) also providing the answers to problems through data and examination, for you to go away and fix or improve. It’s like sitting an exam and the examiner telling you what you’ve done wrong whilst the test is still going, and allowing you to fix it and check again.

Sections break-down

Dashboard

Shows the basic overview or a summary of your website’s data.

Search Appearance

This tab is effectively what your website appears like to Google and how it then appears in the search results.

  • Structured Data: shows the structured data information that google was able to detect on your site. In english this means a standardised format for providing Google with your pages information and the page’s content.
  • Rich Cards: is a way for sites to show a preview of their content on the search results page. Rich cards provide data to Google Search about events, products and opportunites your site or business might be having.
  • Data Highlighter: Like the name says, it highlights sections of data for Google, again, to make it easier for Google to present your data.
  • HTML Improvements: shows potential issues that Google may have had when examining or ‘crawling’ and indexing your website.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages: is a standard for checking how fast your website loads on mobile devices and the quality of the appearance of that website.

Search Traffic

The search traffic holds all of the data that determines where your website appears in the Google search results.

  • Search Analytics: the search analytics may be the most informative tab for a beginner to GSC. It will show you an overview of your performance in Google search. This includes the amounts of clicks, impressions, CTR and your position, based on search queries related to your website.
  • Links to Your Site: Shows the the majority of the links that Google discovered when examining or ‘crawling’ your website,as well as the most common links sources and the pages on your site with the most link. Some links are missed by Google which is completely normal.
  • Internal Links: The amount of links pointing to each page on your website, which Google uses as a recognition of importance, relevance and quality. This is also a very important tab for SEO, and we have more beginner info on this.
  • Manual Actions: this tab will notify you if a human reviewer, instead of a Google crawler, has deemed pages on your website not compliant with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines. We will talk about crawlers later don’t panic.
  • International Targeting: Shows data from your international targeting, if this is something that you have implemented into your website.
  • Mobile Usability: alerts you to any issues that users using your website, on a mobile device, may be experiencing.

Google Index

This is Google’s index lists, of all of the web pages that Google knows about.

  • Index Status: provides data about the URLs that Google tried to index in your website.
  • Blocked Resources: is a report of the resources blocked to Google when they crawled your website.
  • Remove URLs: this tab is a tool for you to use, if you would like to hide a URL or webpage link from Google. If a webpage from your website is on this temporary hide list, Google won’t scan that URL.

Crawl

This section is all in relation to Google scanning or ‘crawling’ your website.

  • Crawl Errors: this tab will identify any errors (site or URL) that may have occurred, when Google was crawling your website.
  • Crawl Stats: this tab shows the statistics on Google’s scanning activity of your website over the past 90 days.
  • Fetch as Google: this is a tool that enables you to test how well google crawls or renders a URL on your website.
  • robots.txt Tester: This shows you whether the robots.txt file, (a standard file in all websites, yours included), blocks Google web crawlers from specific URLs or pages in your website.
  • Sitemaps: First, a sitemap is a file for web crawlers, like Googlebot, that gives them a list of web pages to crawl on your website. So the sitemap tab shows all the sitemaps that have been crawled by Google and indexed.
  • URL Parameters: a tool that can be used to indicate the purpose of any parameters that you have made for your website, that Google will adhere by. These parameters could be to show specific pages for people, in specific countries for example.

Security Issues

Like the name suggests, this tab will provide a report on any security issues identified. These could be malware issues, deceptive pages or several other website concerns.

Web Tools

This tab links you to a multitude of tools from Google, that you can use to improve your website. This tab will have to be another blog entirely.

If you need further information on any of these sections or just think it’s all too much and want an expert to handle it for you, get in contact with us, for the best service in all things Google Search Console and SEO.

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