Introduction to Google Webmaster ToolsWritten by Tim Sisson
Google Webmaster tools is a free tool Google provides to make your website more Google-friendly. Since currently Google carries 60% of the search engine traffic on the internet, this can be a huge benefit to getting your site noticed by Google.
Webmaster tools provides some insight into how Google views your website. You can view which pages are included in Google’s index as well as any errors the GoogleBot encountered while crawling your website. You can find out which search queries in Google search list your website and what other websites link to yours. All of these are important factors in how Google determines their rankings in their search results.
Please keep in mind InMotion Hosting is in no way associated with Google Webmaster tools or any other Google Product. We do not provide support outside of this article for Google Webmaster tools. You can refer to Google’s forums here for assistance using webmaster tools:
Creating s Google Webmaster Tools Account
- Visit the Google Webmaster Tools website: www.Google.com/webmasters/tools
- If you already have an exisiting email account linked to Google, then log in with it here. If not use the link to "create an account now"
- When you first login to Webmaster tools your website will not be listed. You will need to add it. We will add a site in the next few steps.
- Click "Add a site..."
- Now type in the site URL and click "continue"
- Now you will have to verify that you own or can access your website. There are many ways to do so. If you have already setup and confirmed your account with Google Analytics you can use it to confirm Webmaster Tools as well.
- If you have not, then you can use another method. Google gives three other methods to verify your website.
- Upload a HTML file to your server. In this case, Google will provide you with a simple HTML file to upload to the server. If you choose this method, make sure you upload it to the document root of the website. If this is your primary domain you can upload it to the public_html folder
- Add a meta tag to your website's home page. If you can edit your website's HTML code, Google will provide you with a meta tag to add to the code.
- Add a DNS record to your domain's configuration. For this you will need to add a text record that Google will provide to your DNS records. Once you get the text file, you can contact us and we can assist you with modifying your DNS.
- Once you have verified the website with Google, congratulations! You have now added your website to Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard
Google Webmaster Tools has a dashboard that you will use to review the information they have gathered on your website. Below is a screenshot of the dashboard you will be presented with once you log into Webmaster Tools.
Notice, since we just set up the account there is no data in the dashboard to show. As time progresses this will change and you will see data populate the different areas of the dashboard.
The lefthand side is your menu pane. This will give you access the specific areas of the dashboard. The image on the left, below is a screenshot of the default view of the menu. The image on the right shows you the expanded view.