Google Webmaster Tools

What is Google Search Console? GWT & GSC

If the name “Google Webmaster Tools” rings a bell for you, then you might already have an idea of what Google Search Console is. Since Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) has become a valuable resource for so many different types of people besides webmasters—marketing professionals, SEOs, designers, business owners, and app developers, to name a few—Google decided to change its name in May of 2015 to be more inclusive of its diverse group of users.

If you aren’t familiar with GWT or Google Search Console, let’s head back to square one. Google Search Console is a free service that lets you learn a great deal of information about your website and the people who visit it. You can use it to find out things like how many people are visiting your site and how they are finding it, whether more people are visiting your site on a mobile device or desktop computer, and which pages on your site are the most popular. It can also help you find and fix website errors, submit a sitemap, and create and check a robots.txt file.

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google’s search results, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results.

Why use Search Console?

Monitor your site’s performance in Google Search results:

  • Make sure that Google can access your content
  • Submit new content for crawling and remove content you don’t want shown in search results
  • Create and monitor content that delivers visually engaging search results
  • Maintain your site with minimal disruption to search performance
  • Monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean

Discover how Google Search—and the world—sees your site:

  • Which queries caused your site to appear in search results?
  • Did some queries result in more traffic to your site than others?
  • Are your product prices, company contact info, or events highlighted in rich search results?
  • Which sites are linking to your website?
  • Is your mobile site performing well for visitors searching on mobile?

Who should use Search Console?

Anyone with a website! From generalist to specialist, from newbie to advanced, Search Console can help you.

  • Business owner who delegates.  Even if you don’t think you know how to use Search Console, you should be aware of it and become familiar with the basics. You might hire your webmaster or a marketing specialist to help you set up your website with Search Console. In that case, you can work with that person to ensure you have access and control to all of the reports for your website. In addition, it’s a good idea to learn all you can about how your site is performing in search results so you can make important business decisions about your site.
  • SEO specialist or marketer. As someone focused on online marketing, Search Console will help you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking, and make informed decisions about the appearance of your site’s search results. You can use the information in Search Console to influence technical decisions for the website and do sophisticated marketing analysis in conjunction with other Google tools like Analytics, Google Trends, and AdWords.
  • Site Administrator. As a site admin, you care about the healthy operation of your site. Search Console lets you easily monitor and in some cases resolve server errors, site load issues, and security issues like hacking and malware. You can also use it to ensure any site maintenance or adjustments you make happen smoothly with respect to search performance.
  • Web Developer. If you are creating the actual markup and/or code for your site, Search Console helps you monitor and resolve common issues with markup, such as errors in structured data.
  • App Developer. If you own an app, you want to see how mobile users find your app using Google Search. Search Console can help you integrate your app seamlessly with with the website world.
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