Google Search Console is a free service for webmasters (website administrators), very focused on the positioning of the site in Google search results and possible problems (404 errors, pages not indexed, etc.).
Google searches are the biggest source of visits to a website that there can be. Therefore, except in very exceptional cases, for every webmaster, the presence of their website in Google results is an absolute priority.
But it is not necessary to sign up for Search Console for the site to be included in Google search results, using this tool is essential to optimize the positioning of your site in these results.
In addition, as with information from Google Analytics, this tool offers a lot of useful information that allows you to better understand what is happening on your site and thus make much more accurate decisions.
Although we defined the basic utility of Google Search Console above, this is a bit abstract if we don't delve a little deeper. So, let's look at some vital features of the tool.
The main issue here is indexing: if you want to appear in Google's search results, you have to be in their index. So this is the first point we are going to address.
Google is supposed to keep track of all the websites in the world and when it finds yours, it will index it. In this case, there may be problems that prevent you from realizing it, without any clues, in addition to not appearing anywhere in the results.
Therefore, the first thing is to make sure, by sending a sitemap (sitemap) to Search Console, its presence in the Google index.
Once this is done, you will see which pages on your site are indexed, which ones have problems and why.
In practice, the most important utility of this feature is being able to “force” indexing by inspecting URLs.
Bear in mind that between visits, Google can update the content of a page in its index in days, sometimes weeks. However, it is often critical that changes to a page's title are reflected in search results as soon as possible, or that new content is indexed as soon as possible.
There is one Google Search Console (GSC) tool that has stood out far above all others, and that is its performance in search results.
With this tool, you can carry out a very complete analysis of the behavior of a website in the search results (search where it appears, in which positions, etc.), as well as the behavior and profile of users (country of origin, click-through rate). on your pages, etc.).
It is possible to see, for example, an analysis of a certain page and some of the most important searches, which during the last 28 days have driven traffic to this page.
The information is very complete: we can see how many times this page has appeared in search results (impressions), how many times it has received a click (clicks) and therefore its CTR (click-through rate) and the average position it has occupied (position).
This information yields a lot, it is possible to work on them and improve the results of a website. This allows, for example:
- Check if our pages are positioned in the searches that really interest us (the audience we are interested in attracting);
- Find opportunities to better take advantage of some potential searches (by volume), for which the content can be worked on so that it is better positioned or that are ideas for creating specific content;
- Detect content cannibalization issues. This happens when more than one page competes for the same search on Google, which can greatly harm the Google position of the pages involved.
Links to a page are one of the most important factors in determining positioning in Google results.
Google Search Console allows you to see these links, both external (from other sites to yours) and internal (between pages on the same site). You can see which pages are linked from which other pages and also have a domain view, with a ranking by number of links to the site.
On a website it is inevitable that problems will arise. Many of these problems are detected in the GSC itself.
In addition, you can be proactively notified, with alerts, when Google detects indexing problems on the website, for “spam” or for other reasons.