Google Webmaster Central

While most of us are primarily familiar with Google as a search engine, there are several products and services offered by the company that can help webmasters gain visibility into their websites. While Google Analytics is one of the better known of this suite of tools (we have an in-house Web Intelligence team as well as a web analytics blog which features articles on it), there is another very useful tool webmasters can use. Conveniently enough, it’s called Google Webmaster Central.

Just like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Central is offered as freeware. All you need to gain access to these services is a Google account. But, once you are in, what can you do? Well, more than you might realize. Once you verify that you are the website owner (by the addition of a slim-line authentication code in your site metadata or via upload of a validation HTML file), Google Webmaster Central offers a fairly robust selection of services, among which are:

As Google has the lion’s share of Internet search traffic (with an active reach for 59.41%*), understanding how Google views your site, and diagnosing potential problems, is crucial to increasing your site’s visibility. Learning how Google’s robots crawl and index your website, learning what drives traffic to your site so you can refine your SEO efforts, and actually telling Google about your site by using Google Webmaster Central can help to improve your crawl-ability.

*Figure 1: Nielson Online — Top Online Web Brands in the U.S.

By using the Google Webmaster Central service and its various tools, you can obtain information on how Google, and, by extension Yahoo, MSN, and the other search engines, sees your website. Google Webmaster Central is an excellent way to obtain direct, expert support, diagnose any site errors, and improve your site’s search visibility.

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