Google Search Console: The Perfect Guide for Beginners

Google Search Console Guide – Update July 2020

This guide contains everything that you need to know about the Google Search Console.

Google search console screen
Search Console is used to instruct a website how to perform on Google search results

If you are a newbie to SEO, then this blog will help you to get started with the Google Search Console (GSC).
First of all, you need to understand what is Google Search Console?

 

Google Search Console is formerly known as Google Webmasters Tools (GWT). In May 2015, it got rebranded to “Google Search Console”.

This is a tool that is used to instruct a website on how to perform on Google search results..

Now, you need to learn how to add your site to this tool

There are various steps which you need to follow carefully,

  • First login to webmasters https://www.google.com/webmasters/ and click on “Add A Property”.
  • Then, copy and paste your homepage’s exact URL into the field.
  • Now, it is the final step which is taken to verify your site.

There are total 7 ways to verify your site. Here are the 3 ways to get your site verified easily:

  • HTML File: you need to upload a unique HTML file to your site.
  • CNAME or TXT Record: here’s where you add a special CNAME or TXT record to your domain settings.
  • HTML Code Snippet: you need to simply upload a small HTML tag to the <head> section of your homepage’s code.

Make sure to verify the http and https versions of your website as separate properties.

After verifying your website, you need to select a preferred domain. This tells Google to use “www” or “non www” version of your website.

You can also choose the “don’t select the preferred domain” option.

After selecting your preferred domain, you need to choose your target country. To select your targeted country in Google Webmasters Tool, you need to go to “international targeting” section under “Search Traffic”.

There you can select your targeting country from drop-down box.

Now, this time is to add a sitemap. You can read about the sitemap here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitemaps

sitemap
For bigger web sites a sitemap is the KEY.

If you have a small-sized website, you probably don’t NEED to submit any sitemap to Google.

 

But for bigger sites (websites with thousands of pages) a sitemap is the KEY.

To submit the sitemap, you just need to head over to “Sitemaps” under “Crawl” section.

You also get the facility to test your sitemap. If you see no error, then you can submit your sitemap successfully.

You can also test your robots.txt file. To test the robots.txt file, you just need to head over to “robots.txt Tester” under the “Crawl” section. There you can load your robots.txt file and check the “allowed/blocked” status for a particular URL.

Upon compilation of these steps, you need to submit your website to the Google index.
You can submit your website URL in “Fetch as Google”. Google will crawl your site. If they find it worthy, they will index your site. You will get some ranking in Google’s search results.

Other features of Google Search Console

  • You can check the list of internal and external link to the site.
  • You can also check the crawl errors which are generated when Google-bot finds any difficulty to crawl your webpage.
  • You can temporarily remove any unwanted URL of your website. A removal is only active for 90 days. After that Googlebot will attempt to recache the page.
  • This tool also shows the impressions, CTR, search queries and their position in SERP.
  • If your website gets hit by a manual penalty then you will get notified in “manual action” section of the tool. Read here about Google penalties: https://www.seoliquido.com/what-are-algorithmic-and-manual-penalties-of-google/
  • Check the security issues with the website. (Hacked Site or Malware Attacks).
  • You can also inform Google about new page of your site, and can apply to index that page.

TWO WAYS TO USE GSC FOR SEO

1. Keywords

With their features, GSC would assist you in strengthening keyword optimization. You will be able to spot underperforming keywords, learn why these don’t yield much of the traffic, and how to improve it. Moreover, you will be shown where is it that you can find more room for optimization on your site.

2. Learn: Which topic ties more backlinks

Analytics from Google Search Console assure you can check on the performance of your content. There, you can try out what topic works for your audience.

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