Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that allows website owners, administrators, and developers to monitor and maintain the performance of their sites in Google search results. With this tool, you can understand and improve how Google crawls, indexes, and displays pages on your website.
Google Search Console features and tools
Google Search Console offers a variety of features and tools for website administrators. Some of these functions are:
- URL Inspection: This feature allows you to see how Google interprets a specific URL on a website. Through it you can obtain valuable data such as the last crawl date, the status of the index, the references of the site map, among others.
- Performance Report: Provides valuable data on how a website is performing on Google Search. This data can include the total number of clicks, impressions, CTR (Click Through Rate) and the average position of a website in search results.
- Coverage and indexing reports: These reports provide details about the pages of a website that Google has attempted to crawl and index. It offers information about crawling or indexing errors, pages blocked by the robots.txt file, among other problems.
Google Search Console and SEO
Google Search Console plays a vital role in search engine optimization (SEO). It allows website administrators to understand how Google views their site and optimize its visibility in search results. Some of the ways it can be used to improve SEO are:
- Identification of SEO issues: Through coverage and indexing reports, issues that may be affecting a website's visibility in search results can be identified and fixed.
- Keyword optimization: The performance report can provide valuable insights into the keywords for which a website is getting traffic. This data can be used to optimize content and improve positioning in the SERPs.
- User Experience Optimization: Google Search Console provides data on a website's usability on mobile devices and page speed issues, both of which are important for user experience and SEO.
Benefits of using Google Search Console
Using Google Search Console has a number of significant benefits for website administrators:
- Identify SEO issues: Google Search Console provides detailed reports of issues that may affect your site's performance in Google search, allowing you to identify and fix any SEO issues.
- Monitor site performance: The tool provides valuable data about your site's performance in Google search results, including the keywords that generate traffic, the most popular pages, and more.
- Optimize content: With data from Google Search Console, you can see which search queries lead users to your site, which can help you optimize your content for those keywords.
- Get alerts: Google Search Console will send you alerts about critical issues that may affect your site's visibility in search results.
Disadvantages of Google Search Console
Despite its many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to using Google Search Console:
- Learning curve: The tool can be a bit tricky to use for beginners. It requires some knowledge of SEO and web terminology to understand and effectively use all of its features.
- Data lag: Data in Google Search Console may have a lag of a few days, which means you can't always see your site's performance in real time.
- Data limitations: Google Search Console only provides data from the last 16 months, limiting the ability to perform long-term analysis.
History of Google Search Console
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, was released by Google in 2006. The tool was created to help webmasters optimize the visibility of their websites in Google search results.
In May 2015, Google changed the name of Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console, aiming to reflect that the tool is not only useful for webmasters, but for all professionals who work with websites, including SEO specialists, developers, website owners and others.
Over the years, Google has continued to improve and expand the functionalities of Google Search Console, making it an indispensable tool for everyone working on website optimization for Google search.
Set up Google Search Console
To start using Google Search Console, you must follow some basic steps:
- Create a Google Account: Google Search Console requires you to have a Google Account to use its service. If you don't have one, you must create one.
- Sign in to Google Search Console: Once you have a Google Account, you can sign in to Google Search Console.
- Add a property: A property in Google Search Console can be a website or an Android app. To add a property, you must click on the "Add a property" button and then enter the website URL or the package name of the Android application.
- Verify ownership: Google needs to verify that you own the property you want to add. For this, several verification methods are offered, such as uploading an HTML file to the website, adding an HTML tag in the code of the main page, among others.
- Explore features: Once ownership is verified, you can start exploring the features offered by Google Search Console.