I have neglected Google Webmasters Tools for a long time and as I have recently set it up for 3 of my blogs, I finally see the benefits of using it. Setting a website in Google Webmaster Tools will enable you to see what’s going on with your site in relation to the Google search engine.
Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. To get started, simply add and verify your site and you’ll start to see information right away.
Google Webmasters Tools is different from Google Analytics, which is purely an analytic platform. GWT will first tell you if there is any issue with your site being crawled by Google bots. I discovered this way that one of my blogs had a few pages that were not crawled by bots due to restrictions in the robots.txt file. This was fixed in a couple of minutes.
Have you been wondering what yourContent Keywords are?
It has been discussed in SEO circles that content keywords have become very important in Google’s algorithm to determine what the page is about and rank it on the search engine.
The keywords HTML tag have not been used by Google for some years now and optimizing a page on one keyword seems not to be enough.
You can see on the image that some Keywords have variants. For #8 “blog”, the variants are: blog, blogging, blogger, blogs, bloggers, blog’s, blogged, bloggen.
You have to determine what your site’s content keywords are in Google Webmasters Tools and see if that’s really the one you want. If they are not, you’d better add more content that target the content keyword you’d prefer to have.
Another very important feature of Google Webmasters Tools is that you can submit a Sitemap file for your site in order to tell Google about all the pages that are on your site. When crawling your site, Google may not find all your pages and submitting a sitemap.xml file will insure all your pages are indexed. You need special software or a WordPress plugin in order to build and update regularly your Sitemap.
I also discovered in another blog that some links were leading to a 404 error page. They were links republished in websites using my RSS feed. After investigating, I found out that the WordPress theme was causing the problem showing an URL instead of a thumb image in the RSS feed. The URL was attached to the first word of the description making it a wrong URL… This was a really tricky one and this was fixed too, thanks to Google Webmasters Tools showing me these warnings.
Some WordPress theme or plugins, free or paid, have bad programming in them creating issues. Without Google Webmasters Tools this would have been difficult to find. That’s the first time I had a RSS feed screwed like this!
I have also discovered that one of my most recent blog, which has 200 posts and 30 pages on it, had a huge amount of links pointing to it from many different domains. This is an excellent thing and I was shocked to see that it is 10 times more links than my ten years old blog, which has around 280 posts…
This proves that I was right to start this viral blog, the one you are reading this post on. If you are serious about Internet Marketing, get yourself a blog like this as a tool to promote anything you want.
The last very useful tools I’d like to mention in Google Webmasters Tools are the “data highlighter” and the “structure data” tools. These two tools will enable you to show your results in Google in a better way. See the screenshot example below.
“Structured data” helps Google understand the content on your site, which can be used to display rich snippets in search results.
I already implemented the “data highlighter” for my 3 blogs, this was very simple and fast to do with Google’s tool. This is an example of the data that can be shown in Google’s results for “Articles”.
I haven’t implemented “Structured data” yet, but I will soon. This will be an opportunity to show you how in detail in a future blog post.
In conclusion, if you are not using Google Webmasters Tools, your are missing out big time.