Guide to Google Webmaster Tools

CEO and Founder en Supernova Media
26 de Jul de 2012

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Guide to Google Webmaster Tools

  1. Supernova Media Presents: Webmaster Tools
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  4. New Interface Google Webmaster Tools is a no charge service offered by Google for webmasters. It allows you to check indexing status and provides 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.
  5. Add to Your Site If you have a Google Account, you can sign in to Webmaster Tools straight away. If not, you can get a free Google Account now. Once you have your account, sign in to Webmaster Tools and click Add a site. It’s recommended that you add every version of your site (for example, add both and
  6. Verify Your Site Because privacy is important to Google, they need to know you own a site before they'll show you certain information about it or enable you to use the tools, so they will ask you to make a change that only a site owner can do. Here are the options: • Adding a meta tag to your site’s HTML. This is a good method if you can edit your home page’s code. • Uploading a file we specify to the server. Choose this if you have access to your server. • Using your Google Analytics tracking code. • Verifying via your site’s domain registrar. Once your site has been successfully verified, it may take a few days for data to appear in Webmaster Tools.
  7. Add Other Users If multiple people will need access to your site data, you can easily add and remove users and specify permissions for each user. • Owner- Full control over the site. • Full users- view all data, and take most actions, such as changing site settings or demoting sitelinks. • Restricted- view most data, and can take some actions (such as using Fetch As Google and configuring message forwarding).
  8. Message Center Google uses the Webmaster Tools Message Center to communicate with verified site owners. They may periodically send you messages about your site for the following reasons: •Critical site health issues—for example, they’ll let you know if your site is down or inaccessible, or if it’s infected with malware. •Problems they’re having crawling or indexing pages on your site. •Information about changes to your Webmaster Tools account. It’s a good idea to have messages forwarded to your email account. This way, you won't miss critical notifications if you don't regularly visit Webmaster Tools. To enable message forwarding, sign in to Webmaster Tools and on the home page, click Preferences. Then select the email address and language you want. No email address listed? Make sure you've added one to your Google Account.
  9. Specify a Preferred Domain Technically, and are completely different sites and can display completely different content. To avoid potential problems and get a better view of your data, we recommend adding both versions of your site to Webmaster Tools, and then specifying the version you prefer (Google refers to this as a "preferred domain"). To specify your preferred domain: 1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want. 2. Under Configuration, click Settings. 3. In the Preferred domain section, select the option you want.
  10. Specify a Geographical Target If your business is focused on a country specific target audience, you can make the appropriate setting on the Google Webmaster Tools, so that, you are able to target your country of choice. (For example, if your site covers restaurants in Halifax, you can target your site at users in Nova Scotia, rather than Europe.) This will help us in determining the relevancy of your content to users' searches. To specify the region: 1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want. 2. Under Configuration, click Settings. 3. In the Geographic target section, select the option you want.
  11. The Crawling Process Crawling is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index. It’s a network of powerful computers that work together like a gigantic, super- speedy web browser. It visits web servers, requests thousands of pages at a time, then downloads those pages and delivers them to the Google indexers. Googlebot uses an algorithmic process: computer programs determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site. Google's crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with Sitemap data provided by webmasters. As Googlebot visits each of these websites it detects links on each page and adds them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the Google index.
  12. Crawl Errors To determine if Google is having any problem accessing or understanding your site's content, check the Crawl Errors page in Webmaster Tools. This page lists problems Google encountered when attempting to crawl your site. There are two types of errors you may come across:  Site errors: Problems that prevent Google from accessing your site at all. These often mean that your site is down, and you should address these issues as quickly as possible. Often these occur because your server is down or overloaded, or because your site or web hoster is blocking Googlebot.  URL errors: Problems Googlebot encountered when trying to crawl specific pages. Your site or webhoster may be blocking access to these pages, or a visitor may have clicked a broken link or a link to a deleted page.
  13. Crawl Errors To view Crawl Errors: 1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want. 2. Click Health, and then click Crawl Errors. One of the most common crawling errors are 404 errors, which occur when somebody tries to access a page that does not exist (usually because the page has been deleted or the user clicked on a broken or incorrect link).
  14. 404 Errors To find your 404 urls, simply click the “more” link in the “Crawl errors” section of your Webmaster Tools dashboard and go to the “not found” tab. Now some of the 404s are temporary crawl errors and don’t represent any inconvenience to your users or wastage of link juice, but many 404s will be problematic. Click on the URL to see the sites linking if you suspect the 404 may be a problem. Resolve problem 404s by either 301 redirecting to the appropriate page or by changing the destination URL of the inbound link (when applicable).
  15. Monitor & Manage Once you've added your site to Webmaster Tools and verified ownership, you'll be able to access detailed information about it. With Webmaster Tools, you can diagnose potential problems that may impact your site's ranking in search results. Check your site health for problems such as malware, crawl errors, or blocked URLs. Understand your site's traffic. We'll show the queries returning your site in search results, the sites that link to you, and internal links on your own pages.
  16. Monitor & Manage Get suggestions for improving your site's HTML. Create and submit a Sitemap. Sitemaps are optional, but they are a great way to make sure that Google knows about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. Remove a page or site from Google's search results.
  17. Diagnostics & Malware Websites are made by humans, so don’t expect them to be perfect. Your code maybe a bit messed up, and even worse, your website may contain malware. Through the diagnostics section, you can figure out what’s wrong with your site and how you can fix it. If you have malware on your server, you should see a message here. If you don’t, GWT won’t show you much. The reason it is important to not have malware on your server is that Google tries not to rank infected sites high because if someone goes to an infected site, their computer may get infected. If you do happen to have malware, make sure you clean it up.
  18. HTML Suggestions When Googlebot crawls your site, it may find some issues with your content. These issues won’t prevent your site from appearing in Google search results, but addressing them may help boost your traffic. The most common problems with content is related to title tags and meta descriptions. If every page on your site has unique and detailed title tags and meta descriptions, you should be fine. At the same time, you also have to make sure your title tags aren’t too short or too long. And if that isn’t the case, then you can go through the URLs that GWT tells you they have an issue with, and fix it.
  19. Site Performance Your website’s load time is one of the most important things you should be monitoring. Every month you should be making sure you improve this number because if your website is too slow your Google traffic may drop. Page load time is the total time from the moment the user clicks on a link to your page until the time the entire page is loaded and displayed in a browser. Numerous website owners have seen a positive increase in their traffic by improving their website load time. If you aren’t sure how fast your website should load, don’t worry. Google will tell you if your website is too slow or quick enough.
  20. Conclusion Google Webmaster Tools is a useful tool that’s free. If you aren’t making use of it, you should start doing so now. The reason it’s worth using is because it will help guide you and tell you what to do if you want to improve your Google traffic.
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  22. About Nancy Bain Nancy is a business owner, educator, and business strategist with more than 20 years experience. When she is not advising and teaching people about social media, Nancy spends a lot of her own time using social media. Find Nancy online: Google+ : Nancy Bain Like Supernova Media on Follow Nancy on Twitter Facebook Visit her Website Find her on LinkedIn Follow her Blog And visit her YouTube Channel