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Using Google Search Console with your website

Last updated: Sunday March 05th 2017
Reading time: 4 minutes

Managing your website with Search Console

Search Console provides reporting, webmaster tools, and useful suggestions and resources to help get your content on Google Search. You can use Search Console for both websites and for apps.

Sign up for Google Search Console if you haven’t already: it’s easy and it’s free.

Daily Search Console reviews

Google Search Console will notify you if when unusual events occur on your website or app. These events include alerts that your website has been hacked or problems that Google had when crawling and indexing your website. If Google spot that your website violates any of Google’s search quality guidelines they will also email you.

Please note: It can take some time after verifying your site to start seeing data in Search Console reports, so add your website and verify it soon. Google will let you know when your data becomes available.

Monthly Search Console reviews

Take a look at the Google Search Console dashboard every month or so.

The dashboard is the simplest way to get a quick health check on your site:

  • Make sure you aren’t experiencing lots of new errors on your website.
  • Check that you don’t have any strange dips in your click counts and traffic.

When your content changes

Check Search Console whenever you make important site changes to monitor your site’s behaviour in Google Search.

Adding new content to your site:

  • Test that Google can access your pages using the Fetch as Google tool.
  • Tell Google which pages to crawl by updating your sitemap.
  • Tell Google which pages not to crawl using robots.txt or noindex tags.
  • A few weeks after you post content, confirm that the number of indexed pages in your site is rising and that you don’t have any blocked resources that might impair Google’s crawling of your pages.

Adding new properties:

  • A new mobile site: Google recommend using a single site that adapts to users on any device, but if you decide to have a separate site for mobile users, be sure to add it to Search Console, and add <link rel=”alternate”> tags to connect it to your existing site.
  • A new app: Get your app on search.
  • New international content: Be sure to target the correct country with your site and add hreflang link tags to your pages.

If you change your site’s domain name:

  • Use the change of address tool to point Google search to your new location.

Removing a page from search results:

  • Use the URL removal tool and take other appropriate steps to block crawling and/or indexing.

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About the author

I am a 28-year-old WordPress web designer and SEO consultant based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. I have designed and maintained sites with over 20,000 pages on large corporate websites, smaller small business sites, and tiny personal websites and blogs. I provide freelance WordPress web design services in my evenings and weekends and also work full time for a local design agency in Banbury. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and on Google+.