Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) is a collection of tools that ensure that your website is healthy and Google-friendly. But it does so much more than that.
Not only can it help you diagnose technical SEO problems, but it can also help you understand your most popular pages, indexed pages, see where you stand, and help you increase your organic traffic.
Google Search Console (or GSC) is completely free and any website, regardless of the platform on which it is built, can use it. To get the most out of it, you must set it correctly, understand what the statistics mean, and know how to access its functions.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is a collection of tools and reports that allow webmasters (and anyone who really manages a website) to monitor, manage, and improve their websites. It is a free web service from Google that gives you information about your website and the people who visit it.
The use of GSC (and the data that is provided) can make optimizing your website a lot easier.
Get started with Google Search Console
In this section you will learn:
- How do you set up Google Search Console for your site
- How do you verify your site?
- The differences between the old and new GSC
- How do you link GSC to Google Analytics?
- How do you add a sitemap?
- What are the different types of permissions?
- How do you add users and how do you delete them
- How does that sound? good? Let’s start.
How to Set up Google Search Console
Step 1 – Log in to your Google account
First of all: make sure you are logged into your Google account. If you have separate business and personal accounts, make sure you use the Google account that you want to link to the website.
Step 2 – Open the Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console and click on ” Start Now “
Step 3 – Add a new website to Google Search Console
If this is the first website you set up on GSC then you should see this welcome message (Just click on “Start”)
Or alternatively, click on “+ Add Site” in the dropdown menu
Step 4 – Add your Domain
Choose Domain as the domain type and then enter the URL of your site. Make sure you use the exact URL (check how this is displayed in the bar of your browser). Once you’ve done that, click Continue.
Step 5 – Verify your Account (+ Alternative methods)
Now you have to verify your website Copy the GSC token DNS TXT record and add it to your domain name provider to confirm ownership.
>>>>> Read Also: 7 Top Ways to Increase Your Google Ranking Significantly
If you don’t (or cannot) do this to verify your domain, don’t worry. Go back to the screen where you can select domain type and choose URL prefix :
Now it is possible to confirm ownership in a number of different ways :
- HTML file: upload an HTML file to your website
- HTML tag: add a meta tag to the home page of your site
- Google Analytics: Use your Google Analytics account
- Google Tag Manager: Use your Google Tag Manager account
Features of Google Search Console
Now that you’ve set up Google Search Console, what’s the next step? Investigate your data to improve SEO.
Here the reports are available in the new Google Search Console:
- Index report: How well does Google index your site.
- Overview report: The overall performance of your site.
- URL inspection: How specific pages perform technically.
- Performance report: How your pages perform.
- Link report: Your external and internal links.
How to check Indexed Pages On Google Search Console
You have successfully set up and verified your property, what now? Well, now you can use Google Search Console to improve your website (and the SEO) and check your google indexed pages.
You can do many things with the Search Console to improve your site.
>>>>> Read Also: How to Submit URL to Google without Signing In
Let’s take a look at how to use google search console to check Indexed pages on google.
How to Check your Website Indexed Pages on Google Search Console
You need to understand how Google crawls the site and whether there are problems that prevent your pages from being indexed?
>>>>> Go to the indexing overview report.
This report tells you if Google is having trouble indexing the content of your website.
When you look at the report, you’ll see a colorful graph that shows how the number of indexed pages has changed in the last 90 days.
Note: As with the performance report, all these statistics can be switched on and off with one click.
Each bar graph (which represents the status of each day that it is tracked) is colored in the following way:
- Error message (in red)
- Valid with warnings (in yellow)
- Valid (in green)
- Excluded (in gray)
Further details about each status are given below. It is recommended to first address the errors (in red). These are usually the biggest problems that prevent your pages from being indexed.
Causes of Error Messages
When it comes to errors in the Google Search Console, these are the most common:
- Redirect Error: This is when a redirect to a page is not working properly. Check your .htaccess file and redirect rules to resolve these errors.
- URL not found (404): When a page is not accessible. If you try to open this page, you will see a 404 error.
- URL submitted appears to be a Soft 404: This is when the web page could not be found. Sometimes it is worth checking if a temporary bug is to blame.
>>>>> Read Also: 13 Tips every WordPress Beginners Need to know
- Submitted URL has a crawling problem: Sometimes a page can be blocked for crawlers in the Robot.txt. Although this is not always the reason. Sometimes it can be something completely different, so go to the page and examine this.
- Server errors (5XX): Google’s crawlers could not reach your web server, usually during server maintenance. Keep this in mind to ensure that you are not experiencing any problems with your hosting provider.
How to resolve 404 error messages
So a number of 404 errors are displayed in Google Search Console. 404 error messages usually appear when a URL is no longer accessible. Often this happens when a page no longer exists or the URL has been changed. It happens to everyone sometimes.
Here you can read how to find 404 errors in GSC and how to resolve them:
Go to ” Index ” and then ” Coverage ” and you will see a list of problems found on your site. If you click on a problem, you will see the relevant URLs.
Google Search Console reports all 404 pages on your website in the past and present. So make sure that all 404 pages still exist, because they can just be old pages that you already know have been deleted.
Due to the way Google crawls sites, 404 corrected errors that have already been resolved can still be displayed here in this report.
The easiest way to solve a 404 is simply to resolve the problem that causes it to break down, or redirect the page. When redirecting, make sure you refer to content on your website that looks like the page that was deleted. This is the best solution because your users will send to an alternative page that still meets their needs (hopefully).
How to know which pages have been indexed
You can see how many of the pages are indexed and how many of them contain errors:
- Go to ” Overview ” in the left sidebar
- Scroll down to the Index summary, called: ” Coverage “
- Look at the number of ” Valid Pages “
How to Check indexation error messages
You can also click on “ Open report ” to see more information about the coverage:
You should ensure that “Error”, “Valid with Warnings”, “Valid” and “Excluded” are all selected so that you can see them.
The total number of indexed pages for your site should gradually increase as you publish new blog posts, create new pages, and correct any indexing errors.
What you want to keep in mind is a large and sudden increase in indexing errors. This may be due to changes in site templates or perhaps a sitemap error that prevents Google from crawling certain URLs.
Try to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible by looking at the excluded pages in these reports.
That’s all, now you can see how many of your site URL that has been index and for those once that has not been index.
Conclusion on Google Search Console
Google search console has been a useful tool for webmasters, so if you are new to the blogging world I did employ you to create a search console account for your website or blog.
Now that you have read how to get started with Google search console and you have followed the step written in this post,
what are your challenges or what you don’t understand, let help you provide solutions to them, all you have to do is drop your comment in the comment box and we will be glad to help you out.