You might know Google Search Console, or GSC, by its former name Google Webmaster Tools. Essentially GSC is a combination of Google SEO tools and reporting services, offering data control and a range of configuration options for websites in addition to providing a wide array of visitor metrics. Google Search Console affords you the capability of seeing how Google as a search engine views your site. In practical terms this enables you access to any errors found, broken pages identified and gives you the power to manage site indexing.
In short GSC provides a superb tool to aid the identification of problems that could be capable of damaging your site’s SEO and even more importantly the quality of user experience. There are so many great things that can be done with GSC that many a page could be written about it, however let’s take a closer look at some of its great functions and how they can help your site.
Check if there is any malware on your site
Users also privy to messages sent by Google with regards to any attacks against their websites. This could take the form of a hack attempt, malware infestation or Google penalties for bad SEO practice. It is a vital tool that can save many headaches if any of these problems were to spiral out of control.
View any Manual Actions taken against your site
Touched upon in the previous category, GSC will also inform you of any Google-imposed penalties. You could face such ‘manual action’ if you have violated webspam guidelines. This can result in severe penalties or in worst case scenarios site removals. Because GSC enables you to check this swiftly you can take action if necessary before too much time has passed.
Check up on your Average Google Ranking
With GSC you will receive a search analytics report which will give you information on any clicks, impressions, CTR and an overall ranking for your website. You will also be able to filter this data in various manners. Perhaps most usefully you can show data for specific pages at a time, analysing traffic to that page only so that you can see if any changes are needed or which pages are performing or underperforming. You can also separate mobile users to see if your site performs better or worse for them. A great tip is to keep checking this as often as possible because the data is only kept for the last 90 days (on any given day).
View and Add Structured Data
The structured data on your site is used by Google and all search engines to gain a clear understanding of what the data on your site means. This data is then used to help ensure that your site is displayed in relevant searches. Google have often been rumoured to be increasing the amount of structured data used directly in their much vaunted and misunderstood algorithms. The Data Highlighter function in GSC allows you to shine a spotlight on specific elements of your pages and tag them as certain types of data to assist in the process of ensuring your site has maximum visibility.