Five Things to Know About Google Webmaster Tools

- January 10, 2011

For website owners, webmasters and “SEOers”, Google Webmaster Tools is an invaluable source of information about how Google views certain aspects of your website. Here are some areas of note that I find particularly useful:

1. Google will sometimes send you little messages within Webmaster Tools associated with your site, like “The preferred domain for your site has changed” or “New verified owner for” or “We love you!” (Kidding with the last one).
2. The newly implemented “Top Pages” under “Search Queries” lets you see your top pages associated with their best performing keywords:

Google Webmaster Tools
Figure 1: New Option in Google Webmaster Tools to Identify Top Pages and Their Respective Keywords

3. Identify “crawl errors” to see areas of your site the Googlebot couldn’t access.
4. Look at your submitted XML Sitemaps and identify which pages from them Google has managed to index. You can also tell if Google had trouble accessing the Sitemap, too.
5. Inbound Links: Get a good (although not fully comprehensive) look at your backlinks and where they are coming from.
Have you used Google’s Webmaster Tools lately? You may not have even verified your site with Google:  

Google Webmaster Tools
Figure 2: Verifying Your Website’s Ownership in Webmaster Tools

To verify your site in Webmaster Tools, you need a Google Account. Do you even have a Google account?

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