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October 2, 2009

Google Webmaster Tools

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Some people in the office have called me a bit of a Google fan boy and you know what, I am a bit. If you look at how much help and assistance Google offers website owners and anyone involved in the web, it’s hard not to be a little bit of a fan. One of the Google products I use every day is their webmaster tools.


Google Tools

Photo by SEO Toronto via Creative Commons

Google webmaster tools are super easy to set up. It is as easy as signing up for a Google account and uploading a html file to the root directory of your site to validate that the site is in fact yours. Then the fun begins. Google webmaster tools provides a wealth of information for your site on the web and a lot of the intelligence can be used to further tweak and optimise your site to improve the ROI gained from your website.

You may be able to extract a lot of the information that is contained in Google webmaster tools from other sources, but it can be time consuming and the intel might not always be that accurate. Here are some of my favourite parts of Google webmaster tools.

Top search queries -This section returns information about your best pages on your site in terms of driving traffic and converting people who view your site in the SERPS into people who actually visit your site. One page converting better than others? Have a look at its title tag; see how you can modify title tags on other pages throughout your site to be more like the better converting pages. You can also find out what keywords your site ranks for, cool!

Links to your site -Links are the life blood of SEO, generally speaking the more links to your site, the better it is going to rank. In Google webmaster tools you can download every link pointing to your site, and you can even find out what pages have more links than others. You can find out which pages garner more links and create similar content for other pages in order to get natural back links.

HTML suggestions- Google webmaster tools even helps you find out potential HTML problems with your site. When the GoogleBot spiders your site it makes note of duplicate meta descriptions, short meta descriptions and meta descriptions that are too long. You can do the same thing with title tags. This allows you to fix any HTML errors that might have a negative effect on your rankings within Google.

Crawler Access- We recently had a client who couldn’t understand why their traffic had suddenly dropped about 90% in the space of about a week. A quick visit to Google webmaster tools illuminated the fact that they had disallowed access for the GoogleBot to their entire site, probably not the smartest move but by using Google webmaster it was quickly rectified.

Settings- You can even use Google webmaster tools to target a specific county for your site. You also have the ability to make your site appear with the www preceding it or not.

But don’t take my word for it, setup Google webmaster tools on your site today and find out what a useful and productivity enhancement tool Google webmaster tools can be.

Have a Good long weekend everyone.

P.S Happy birthday for a certain Mr Clay who celebrated his special day during the week.

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