The Best Of Google Webmaster Tools

In this post we'll take a look at the best features Google Webmaster Tools has to offer.

The Webmaster Tools are free of charge and it's easy to sign up for an account. You're allowed to add multiple websites, which gives you a good overview of your online activities.

Now, one of the first things you should do after having signed in to your account, is to prepare a sitemap.xml or sitemap.txt. A sitemap is simply a list of all the urls on your blog. The benefit of having one is that all the search engines will quickly find out about your latest posts.

Another powerful feature Google Webmaster Tools offers is that you can resubmit your sitemap whenever you have added or changed urls. When you press the resubmit button, the system automatically downloads your updated sitemap.

There are plenty of resources in your Google Webmaster Tools account that takes you through all the steps of preparing a sitemap.

Also follow the provided instructions on how to post a robot text file, so the crawlers from the search engines know what pages on your blog they are allowed to access.

Set Your Preferred Domain

Google Webmaster Tools gives you the option to set a preferred domain. The benefits are that you get the most out of your internal and external links. In short, it helps you get higher pagerank and more search engine traffic.

Most seo experts recommend that you use this url format:

As opposed to:

If your blog makes use of both url formats, also called duplicate urls, the pagerank will be split between the two. This is a widespread problem in the blogosphere that should be dealt with.

Among other things, the popular Thesis Wordpress theme is renown for protecting your blog against duplicate urls.

Again, Google has made it really easy to set the preferred domain and there are also plenty of helpful resources in your account. Give it 2-3 months, and you should notice an increase in search engine traffic!

Google Search Queries

This is in my opinion the very heart of Google Webmaster Tools, once you have a sitemap, robot text file and have set your preferred domain.

Here, you can explore how your blog posts perform in Google Search. The statistics list all the search queries and you get detailed information about impressions, average positions and click through rates.

Remember that it takes a number of days for newly opened accounts to collect data, so be patient...

Grab the opportunity to improve your click through rates in Google Search, by experimenting with different titles and descriptive meta tags. After having made your changes, leave it for a month and evaluate the results. Repeat the process until you're satisfied with the click through rates.

Requesting Site Reconsideration

If you follow Google's webmaster guidelines, you shouldn't have any problems. But some webmasters try dirty trick to get more traffic and make more money...

Site reconsideration is for those who have breached the guidelines and as a result receive little or no traffic from Google Search.

Other Useful Features

Google Webmaster Tools also provides information about crawl errors and possible malware on your blog, which is handy.

There is a section in your account called Html Suggestions where you get notified if any of your descriptive meta tags are too long or too short. I've noted that Google opts for a minimum of about 50 characters.

The webmaster tools offer in-depth info about links and keywords, as well.

All in all, Google Webmaster Tools can help your blog perform better. For the serious blogger, the data is invaluable.

Best of luck!

Related:   10 Writing Skills   Online Productivity   Search Engine Traffic

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