What Is Google Search Console?
Updated: Jul 10
What Is Google Search Console?
In the world of digital marketing and SEO, data is king. To maintain a competitive edge, it's critical to understand how your website is performing, where your traffic is coming from, and how users are interacting with your site. One invaluable tool that provides a wealth of data to help you achieve this understanding is Google Search Console.
What does Google Search Console do?
Google Search Console (GSC), formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free service offered by Google that helps monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. It allows you to understand and improve how Google sees your site, offering a variety of tools and reports to help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.
Key Features of Google Search Console
Google Search Console offers a wide array of features designed to help you optimize your website. Here's a look at some of the most important ones:
This report provides valuable data about how your website performs in Google Search results: which queries caused your site to appear, which pages were most often shown, which countries your users come from, and what devices they use. It also shows how your search data changes over time, allowing you to track improvements or identify issues.
URL Inspection Tool
The URL Inspection tool provides detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your pages, directly from the Google index. This tool allows you to check the current index status of a URL and see if Google is having any problems accessing it.
The Coverage report shows which pages on your site were successfully indexed, and which pages have issues that prevented them from being indexed. If Google encounters any errors while trying to index your pages, the report will provide guidance on how to fix them.
Sitemaps help Google understand your site structure and find new and updated pages on your site. Google Search Console allows you to submit your sitemap directly, enabling Google's bots to crawl your site more intelligently. Once you have completed your website, submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and it will speed up the time is takes for Google to find your site and index it.
Mobile Usability Report
In today's mobile-first world, it's crucial to ensure your site provides a seamless experience for users on all devices. The Mobile Usability report shows any issues affecting mobile users and offers guidance on how to resolve them. (Please note, this feature is being retired by Google in December 2023).
How to Get Started with Google Search Console
To start using Google Search Console, you need to verify your website. This process confirms that you're the rightful owner and have the necessary administrative power over the site.
Sign in to your Google account. Ensure you use an account you don't mind sharing with your team.
Visit Google Search Console and click on 'Start Now'.
In the property selector, drop in your website URL. You can use a domain-level property (all URLs across all subdomains and protocols), or a URL-prefix property (all URLs with a specified prefix).
Click 'Continue', then follow the verification steps.
Once your site is verified, Google will start collecting and displaying data in your Search Console dashboard.
Google Search Console is a powerful tool that offers vital insights for any website owner or administrator. Whether you're interested in improving your SEO, resolving website errors, or understanding your website's traffic and performance, GSC is an indispensable tool in your arsenal. By utilizing Google Search Console, you can ensure that your site not only meets Google's standards for indexing but also provides a user-friendly experience to your audience, contributing to higher engagement and better search rankings.
Hausman Graphics is a certified Wix Partner and creates stunning websites for businesses in the UK, USA and beyond. If you are looking for a new website, a fresh look for your current website, or are seeking to improve your performance on Google, contact us today and let's get started. Or if you'd like to learn a little more first, read our recent feature in The Drum.