The Ultimate Guide to Using Google Search Console as a Powerful SEO Tool

google search console

Every SEO, webmaster, and digital marketer has a powerful tool at their disposal.

I would go so far as to say that this tool is a must-have. You can’t do SEO without it.

What is this powerful tool?

It’s Google Search Console, or GSC for short (former Google Webmaster Tools, or GWT).

GSC is a free service provided by Google to manage your website’s search functionality. The search console is a collection of reports and tools that help you rectify errors as well as strategize and optimize your search engine rankings.

I want to show you exactly how you can use this powerful tool to improve your SEO.

Putting it bluntly, GSC is to SEO what oxygen is to humans. You need it. Your site can’t live without it.

Download this quick guide to learn how to leverage Google search console to improve your website SEO.

The article you’re about to read will put you in a graduate-level intensive study of GSC. Once you understand the information shared here, you’ll become a GSC ninja.

And it’s going to make a huge difference in your SEO.

First, let me give you a quick overview. The article is pretty long, so you’ll want to set aside a good half an hour to read it.

The article is divided into sections and subsections, based on the the GSC menu:

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I’ll give most of my attention to the first four sections: Parts A through D. Parts E and F are important but mostly self-explanatory. 

Part A: Search Appearance

The Search Appearance section helps you visualize what your website would look like in the search results.

Please be aware that there are many code snippets such as rich cards, rich snippets, and different types of framework such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as well as the usual HTML corrections that can help your website stand out and look ultra informative in search results.

Here is what each element in this section represents and how you should use it to your search advantage.

(a) Structured Data

Structured data (in the form of rich snippets), when programmed into the HTML code, marks up your content so that Google can categorize and index it better. Google uses it to serve up “rich” results.

SERP results that look like this are using structured data:

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I searched for “blackberry sauce” on Google.

The image above contains the first four results.

Look at the results carefully. Two results, 3 and 4, look “richer” because they contain ratings, votes, and reviews. The fourth result even displays the calorie information.

Which result would you be tempted to click on? It depends on what you’re looking for, of course, but I headed straight for results 3 and 4.

Why? Because the rich results told me that the site would not only help me learn how to make blackberry sauce but also provide reviews from people who have made it before.

Plus, I know how long it will take me to make it. I can also have the confidence that other people did it and liked it. And I can even find out how many calories I’ll be consuming when I eat it.  

See the power?

Visually, rich results will help you bring in the traffic.

Currently, Google supports rich snippets for the following:

  • Articles (AMP-only, I’ll get to this later)
  • Local Businesses
  • Music
  • Recipes
  • Reviews
  • TV & Movies and Videos.

That may not seem like a huge list, but you’d be surprised to see how much rich information you can add to your site.

It makes a huge difference!

How to leverage Structured Data for SEO: Ask your developer to build rich snippets into all of the mentioned features available on your website. Ask them to refer to Schema.org for code snippets and help.

How does the GSC > Search Appearance >  Structured Data section help?

It tells you where you have gone wrong with your rich snippets coding and provides you with a tool that helps you test live data (see the blue button in the image below).

image03

(b) Rich Cards

Rich Cards are a new invention by Google. They work like Structured Data (see (a) above in case you haven’t been paying attention) but are visually more appealing. Check this image out to learn the difference between rich snippets and rich cards:

image08

Image from: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/05/introducing-rich-cards.html

When your content is visually appealing, it may translate to heavy user engagement, thereby increasing your traffic and sales. Google currently allows users to deploy rich cards for Recipes and Movies.

How to leverage Rich Cards for SEO: As in the case with rich snippets, ask your developer to build rich snippets into either recipes or movie information, if you host such information. Refer this page for sample code snippets.

How does the GSC > Search Appearance >  Rich Cards section help?

It tells you where you have gone wrong with your rich cards coding and informs you how many cards you can enhance. Like in the rich snippets section, Google equips you with a tool that helps you test live data.

image04

Image from: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/05/introducing-rich-cards.html

(c) Data Highlighter

The Data Highlighter is an excellent substitute for Structured Data, and you don’t need a developer to write the code snippets in your HTML.

It marks up the same content that Structured Data does.

That being said, this tool has limitations. You have to write the tags individually per URL. Basically, if you have thousands of pages on your website, it can be a pain.

How to leverage Rich Cards for SEO

  • Click on “Start Highlighting.” A pop-up will appear.
  • Enter your URL, and choose the data you want to highlight (articles, events, reviews, local business, movies, products, restaurants, TV shows, etc.).
  • Once you’ve made your selection, Google will render the page in GSC and allow you to highlight the relevant data.
  • You now have to select the text or images per page that you want to highlight. You can highlight titles, images, category, and ratings.
  • Google will then prompt you to highlight data in other pages as well and help create page sets.

Here’s a helpful video for a tutorial on this feature:

(d) HTML Improvements

HTML improvements is a report that reveals any problem areas that Google has discovered while crawling/indexing your site.

Here is a list of issues that may surface in this report:

  • Duplicate/long/short meta descriptions
  • Missing/duplicate/long/short title tags
  • Content non-indexable by Google

How to leverage HTML Improvements Report for SEO:

It’s simple. Just fix the problem areas that Google has reported.

Here are some basic SEO rules that you may already be aware of:

  • Ensure titles are up to 70 characters long (or up to 612 pixels in width).
  • Ensure descriptions are about 160-165 characters.
  • Each page must be supported by a unique title and description.
  • Google should be able to crawl all pages you want to rank in SERPs. Ensure that critical content is not blocked by robots.txt or .htaccess files.

(e) Sitelinks

Sitelinks are automatically generated by Google. You can’t necessarily change these because Google uses its algorithm to decide when and how to display them.

Here’s how sitelinks appear on SERPs:

image09

Even though you can’t set your sitelinks, you can do some things that will potentially add and improve them.

To encourage Google to add sitelinks below your URL in the SERPs, keep adding relevant, helpful, and meaningful content to your website.

When your content reaches critical mass, Google will automatically display your categories as sitelinks.

(f) Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a relatively new addition to GSC.

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a technique that allows developers to build fast-loading HTML and JS pages. It is based on open source specifications.

The idea behind AMP HTML is to make web pages render quickly on mobile devices. The number of people using their mobile devices to browse the Internet is growing exponentially. Google introduced AMP HTML to help website owners remove any pages loading sluggishly for mobile devices.

How to leverage AMP for SEO:

Embrace the technology. Ask your developer to get up to speed on AMP, and then convert your regular HTML into AMP HTML.

The AMP subsection in GSC informs the webmaster about coding errors. Read the Google Webmasters Blog for details.

This section digs deeper into your rankings and reports on links to your site, how your keywords are ranking, penalties imposed by Google, mobile-friendliness, etc.

There’s a lot in this section. I consider it to be the most valuable section of GSC for SEO actionable data.

(a) Search Analytics Report

The report digs deep into your site and shows you how often the site showed up in search results.

The report even displays clicks per keyword, how each keyword ranked geographically, its click-through ratio, and more. Here’s an image with each category broken down into parts and how you should leverage each feature or filter to improve your SEO:

image12

  1. The number of clicks per keyword. This helps you learn how each keyword ranks in the search results and how many clicks it received. You can build backlinks, add/optimize content, or create specific landing pages to increase the number of clicks per keyword.
  2. The total number of impressions per keyword. This helps you understand how users interacted with a keyword. For example, a high number of impressions and a low number of clicks implies that your page title or description is not well written or that you have not built in rich snippets.
  3. CTR (click-through ratio) is reported as a percentage. It is basically the CTR:Impressions ratio expressed as a percentage.
  4. Checking the Position box tells you the search position per keyword. For example, position # 120 implies that ? particular keyword landed on Google SERP #12. You can then optimize keywords and pages based on the keywords you want to rank higher.
  5. The Queries filter helps you search specific keywords from within the results, check how one keyword compares with another, and sort the keywords. The filter tool gives you a deeper insight into each keyword. Use this filter to drill down into the keywords and improve the performance of those that already rank high.
  6. The Pages filter helps you filter URLs, compare one page with another (excellent for A/B split testing), and sort out pages in terms of clicks. Use this feature to figure out your top, middle, and worst performing pages, and then deploy SEO to improve their rankings.
  7. The Countries filter comes into play if you are targeting a global audience. I’ve experimented with this, translating the Quick Sprout blog into 82 languages, and have seen some amazing results. This filter helps you filter your site performance by country and compare site rankings between two countries.
  8. The Devices filter shows you the devices, including desktop, tablet, and mobile, used to access your site. You can compare search figures between the devices to get advanced insights. Use this filter to optimize your site for devices often used to access your website. For example, if mobile devices make up most of your searches, you can focus on improving your mobile user experience and creating faster loading pages.
  9. The Search Type filter reports the volume of searches for web, images, and videos. Let’s say you own an art gallery but are ranking low for image searches. You can then optimize your alt tags and image titles to help improve your image search rankings.
  10. The Dates filter helps you set up a date range. You can compare site performance between two date ranges, just as you would do in Google Analytics.

(b) Links to your Site

This section reports the websites that link to your URLs and the keywords used by most backlinks.

You can gain a lot of valuable insights from this report.

Here are the two biggest takeaways:

  • You’ll know whether you should be disavowing backlinks that look suspicious (pharma or drug enhancement sites, adult themed websites, foreign language sites, PBNs, thin content sites, link farms, unrelated spammy sites, and other sites that practice black-hat SEO).
  • You’ll get a good perspective on who is linking to you and what they’re linking to. This information can help you increase the number and quality of backlinks by targeting similar sites or by increasing engagement/advertising on the sites that already link to you the most.

(c) Internal Links

This section reports on the number of internal links pointing to a page.

Here’s how you can use this report in SEO:

  1. Many internal links to a web page inform Google that this is an important page. As a result, that page should rank higher than other pages for keywords present on that page.
  2. You should focus on building internal links to important pages that do not have any or many internal links pointing to them. Avoid sending all your links to the “about” or “contact us” page. Instead, use internal links to strengthen your deep internal pages, such as content-rich articles or information pages.
  3. Pages that have internal links pointing to them, but have been deleted or renamed, should be identified and redirected (using 301 redirects).

(d) Manual Actions

This report informs you when Google penalizes your site for any spam or black-hat techniques.

Keep in mind that a “manual action” is different from an algorithmic penalty. Algorithm penalties are automatic and will not be reflected in this section. Manual penalties, on the other hand, are more severe and require you to take extensive action.

After fixing the reported issues and ensuring your site contains meaningful content, you must file a reconsideration request to get your site ranking back in the SERPs.

Read Google’s Quality Guidelines to learn what Google considers to be webspam.

(e) International Targeting

This section is applicable only if your website serves translated/modified-for-a-country or regional content for users in different geographies beyond your main location.

For example, if your website attracts viewers from the UK, you may want to present a UK-English version to visitors from that area.

Or if you sell to customers from France and Germany, you should translate your website into those languages for better targeting.

In such cases, your web developer will employ the hreflang tag to inform Google to serve the appropriate page according to geography.

This GSC section reports on the accuracy of your hreflang tags. This information can help you fix and optimize your coding.

(f) Mobile Usability

This report lists problems that might be keeping your website from delivering a positive web experience on mobile devices.

Google reports on elements that are too close together, content that is wider than the screen, content for which the viewport is not set, and other places where the text is too small to read.

Everything in this report matters. Mobile optimization is a significant ranking factor, and your website needs to be totally up to par.

For SEO purposes, fix all the issues reported, and make sure that your website delivers a great experience on every device.

Part C: Google Index

This section reports on how Google is crawling and indexing your website and keywords.

(a) Index Status

The indexation status displays the URLs indexed by Google, blocked URLs (by your robots.txt) and any URLs that have been removed.

image13

If you come across pages that are not indexed or blocked, you can find out what’s happening on your end and correct the errors.

If there are any indexation issues, you may want to examine your robots.txt file or look into the accuracy of your sitemap.

(b) Content Keywords

This section reports on the keywords in your content and their significance in search results.

Drilling down into each keyword will help you understand the top pages where that particular keyword or its variants are situated.

The report helps you understand the keywords and pages that are not ranking well. Such reports help you optimize your content by introducing keywords and variants in the title, headers, alt tags, on page SEO, tags, and content.

(c) Blocked Resources

Google needs complete access to your javascript, CSS, JQuery, image files, etc., in order to index and render your pages correctly.

If you block Google from accessing any of these resources either by disallowing access in your robots.txt file or by any other means, you will stop Google from indexing and rendering your pages to viewers.

This section informs you where the blocked resources are hosted.

Unblock whatever is necessary to enhance your search engine rankings.

(d) Remove URLs

Some areas of your website must be kept private and away from the prowling eyes of the search engines.

For example, you may want to prevent search engines from crawling your members’ private data, third-party content, or content that is of no value to your viewers.

The tool in this section informs Google that its bot must not index such URLs. After filling in the “Temporarily Hide” field, you can specify whether you want to remove the URL from the cache or search results or both. You can even temporarily hide URLs and make them indexable later.

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Removing URLs containing thin, valueless, and third party content can really improve your SEO, and blocking search engines from accessing your members’ private data will help protect your brand.

Part D: Crawl

This section reports on Googlebot’s website crawl rate, the errors it picked up, sitemap, robots, URL parameters, and the indispensable Fetch as Google tool.

(a) Crawl Errors

Here’s what you’ll see in this section:

  • the last date Google crawled your site
  • server errors (Request Timed Out or instances of your site blocking Google)
  • Soft 404 errors (the URL does not exist, but the server does NOT return a 404 page)
  • URL pointing to a nonexistent page
  • URLs that redirect to an irrelevant page
  • URLs that are blocked for Googlebot mobile

Fixing any errors will help improve your SEO.

(b) Crawl Stats

Crawl stats report on Googlebot’s daily crawl on your website, pages crawled, kilobytes downloaded, and the time it took to download a page.

Not all of this information is actionable, but there are some things that you want to pay attention to.

As a whole, this report shows how active Googlebot is on your website and how heavy or light your pages are.

I’m assuming you have already used Page Speed Insights for tweaking your loading speed and are adding fresh and helpful content on a regular basis. If not, run your website through this test, and make any improvements that it recommends.

(c) Fetch as Google

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The Fetch as Google tool allows you to test the way Google fetches your URL and renders it.

Here’s how to use the Fetch as Google Tool:

  • Enter the URL you want Google to fetch.
  • The Fetch Button checks whether the URL connects and whether the tool encountered errors, redirects, or any security loopholes. It checks the code but does not render the page.
  • The Fetch and Render button fetches the page (and checks for all the issues mentioned above)  and renders it.
  • You can fetch the page for Desktop, Smartphones/Handhelds and even check the Mobile XHTML/WML (older hypertextual computer languages for mobile). cHTML for mobile is mostly used on Japanese mobile phones, so you may not have to use this feature.
  • After you Fetch and Render a page, you should, if required, submit it to Google for indexation.

image06

Google can return any of the following statuses:

  • Complete: Google successfully crawled your page.
  • Partial: Implies that you have blocked Google from accessing some of your coding resources such as Javascript or JQuery, etc. These should be unblocked; otherwise, Google cannot render your page correctly.
  • Redirected: You set up a redirect to another page (maybe because you may have deleted the page or some other reason).
  • Not Found: Google could not find the URL on the server.
  • Not Authorized: Google (and other viewers) have been blocked from accessing the URL.
  • Blocked: Your robots.txt blocks Google from accessing your URL.
  • Unreachable or Temporarily Unreachable: Google’s request got timed out.
  • Error: Some error prevented Google from accessing the URL.

When should you use the Fetch as Google tool and resubmit pages for reindexation?

  • After fixing any of the statuses described above
  • After optimizing a page with copy, images, or videos
  • After adding a new category/sub-category to your site
  • Whenever you optimize your site for mobile (select the Fetch for Smartphones option)
  • When you change your sitemap.xml or your robots.txt files
  • When you set up 301 redirects
  • When you buy an SSL encryption, which changes your http into https

(d) Robots.txt Tester

The robots.txt file (domain.com/robots.txt) informs search engines about the pages they should crawl (and those they shouldn’t).

When a crawl bot looks at this page, it will crawl anything that’s not disallowed.

For example, you don’t want search engines to view your CGI-BIN, admin login, Forgot Password, members’ private data, and some other areas of your website.

To prevent search engines from accessing such areas, you have to write a robots.txt file.

The robots.txt Tester section tests your robots.txt file and reports errors and warnings. It also allows you to test pages to check for any blocking.

(e) Sitemaps

A sitemap.xml is a critical part of SEO. It informs search engines about the URLs on your site along with the date they were changed. It helps search engines crawl and index your URLs efficiently.

This section in GSC allows you to submit Sitemaps. It also informs you about the number of URLs that were submitted and indexed.

Essentially, the tool helps you fine-tune your sitemaps.xml file to ensure all your URLs are indexed.

(f) URL Parameters

Quick warning:  Work on this section only if you know how to code. Otherwise, you should ask your web developer to handle it for you.

URL parameters are values that are dynamically entered per URL. For example, if you own a product website that sells globally, you may set a Country parameter that differentiates pages that should be served in different geographies.

This GSC section allows you to tell Google how to handle your URLs.

Like I said earlier, this is a technical area, so don’t go near it without your web developer. Setting the wrong parameters can ruin your SEO.

Part E: Security Issues

Security issues are a big concern with nearly any website today.

Google takes the issue very seriously. You may have seen warning screens like this one:

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Google also displays these warnings in the SERPs.

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Sometimes, websites are flagged for phishing.

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If your site has been compromised, hacked, or is simply vulnerable to hackers, you’ll find out about it in this section.

If, on the other hand, you see this message, you’re clean.

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What if your site is hacked?

Check out this video.

Hacked sites can be costly to fix, both in time and money. Thankfully, Google has a helpful tutorial on the process, which you can explore here.

Here is the process summarized:

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Part F:  Other Resources

“Other Resources” is a collection of Google’s tools, helpers, and testers.

Here is a list of all these pages as summarized in GSC:

Structured Data Testing Tool Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to check that Google can correctly parse your structured data markup and display it in search results.
Structured Data Markup Helper Not sure how to start with adding structured data markup to your HTML? Try this point-and-click tool.
Email Markup Tester Validate the structured data contents of an HTML email using Email Markup Tester.
Google My Business Make sure your business looks great on Google Search, Maps and Google+ for free.
Google Merchant Center The place to upload your product data to Google and make it available to Google Product Search and other Google services.
PageSpeed Insights Use PageSpeed Insights to find out how to make your web pages fast on all devices.
Custom Search Harness the power of Google to create a customized search experience for your own website.
Google Domains Find a domain name and build a website with Google Domains.
Webmaster Academy Learn to create a great website with valuable content and have it findable in Google Search.

 

I consider all of these resources helpful but not essential.

Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time on each of them. For example, if you’re not selling any products on your website, then you have no need to check out “Google Merchant Center.”

Choose the ones that are most important to your business and SEO, and focus on those.

Here are my four main suggestions, in order of importance:

  1. Pagespeed Insights: Use this tool to improve your site loading time, and make an instant improvement in SEO.
  2. Google My Business: If you run a local brick-and-mortar shop, check this out. It’s essential.
  3. Structured Data Testing Tool and Structured Data Markup Helper: Once you’ve mastered the basics of SEO, move on to structured data to further enhance your website.
  4. Webmaster Academy: You can never learn too much about SEO, right?

Conclusion

If you’ve read through this guide, you know more about GSC than most people on the planet. Even better, you can use this information to improve your SEO, your website, and your business.

GSC is a powerful tool, and the more you learn how to use it, the better an SEO you become. So what do you think, are you going to start using it to improve your rankings?

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Comments

  1. A very nice blog post for SEO, Neil Sir !

    Can you write one about how to use Longtail Pro to research “Infomative Keywords” or any keyword tools that help to solve this problem ?

    I’ve trouble with find out Infomative Keys for my authority site, Sir!

    Love to read your post day by day :-*

  2. akshay rohida :

    Google webmaster is free and beneficial, fetching a URl and adding a sitemap is must at beginning, your above guide consists A to Z about google webmaster. Thanks for writing such a HQ content

  3. For me it’s ultimate tool and it’s free
    Features like keywords we ranking for particular page is awesome so we no needs any others tools
    + It’s CTR information also good one that provides which page is getting better click though rate and many more like like you share

    Thanks Neil

  4. Hi

    In the Data Highlighter section the subheading has been left as How to leverage rich cards. Great piece, thank you

  5. Saurabh Shukla :

    GSC is a super powerful tool, and this the powerful article which fully explained for a better SEO. Now I am going to start using it to improve my rankings. 🙂

  6. Amith Prahalath :

    Currently using. Neil, which app is producing the data below each Google listing?
    It even shows the age of the domain!

  7. Hi Neil,

    Awesome post as usual. Can I ask you one question? Everyone knows about your success, what about your failures? Can you explain some of your failures?

  8. Thanks Neil for publishing this complete Google search guide.
    Now I found more the power of this free webmaster tool.

  9. John Williams :

    Thanks Neil, it’s really valuable content.

  10. Hello Neil ,

    very good post and yes i am agree with you that start blog before starting company.

    thanks for such a nice post.

  11. Neil, my website was recently recoded in WordPress. I have put redirects of my old urls to new ones but Google webmaster still shows a lot of 404s.
    Does putting too many redirects harm my site rankings?
    How do I tell Google to permanently stop indexing certain links of my old website?

  12. Himmat Chahal :

    Thank you for another actionable and in-depth article. This is one Google tool I have not yet used myself, beyond checking something related to a robots.txt implementation, if I’m remembering correctly.

  13. Anil Agrawal :

    This absolutely awesome! I really need to print this out and then go through all the steps – step-by-step! 🙂 NOTE: A PDF as “content upgrade” would be nice 😉

  14. Kuldeep Sharma :

    Hey neil,

    Thank you so much for great post. But you forget to add important and current part, which is creating Property Sets. and Search console replaces search engine optimization tab in GA.

    Thanks Again for Detailed Post

  15. Google Search Console is Best Tool.After Read post learn new thing about Search ConsoleThanks Neil for publishing this complete Google search guide.

  16. david gillaspie :

    Hi Neil,

    My latest Yoast update came with Google Search Console button so I won’t “miss my crawl errors.”

    Looks like a good button to hit that goes along with your Google Search Console post. Good timing on all accounts.

    Thanks

  17. Hamza Sheikh :

    Neil, this is more than an ordinary post. You just nailed Google Search Console with your article. I always valued the GWT, and I knew my way to get most of the data through it. Although, some marketers and SEO always avoided to involve it with their some off-ground websites, but I always prefered it.

    After this, I can finally show them a proof of GSC power.

  18. Chris Scott :

    Fantastic post Neil

    I have recently learnt the value of a WMT fetch as google. I now use it to tell Google that i have improved my on page SEO and have seen ranking increases in literally minutes after doing it!

  19. Bilal Ahmed :

    I really love this article which helped me a lot to understand in very easy way… Thanks for sharing such a nice article.

  20. Thank you, Neil. I had few doubts about webmaster tool, Now I all my doubts are cleared.
    I have another question too. What are the coding languages you learned? Is learning programmes necessary for SEO people to design the web?

  21. Great Blog! really very useful article for SEO. I loved it, you explained very well about all Google search parameters. Thank you for sharing. Please keep updating new updates.

  22. Great Post,

    No need of Pro SEO tools to analyze websites

    Thank you.

  23. Aarif Habeeb :

    Outstanding explanation about Search console. Love to read.

    Waiting for Google analytics Guide Like this that explain each and every factor of google analytics.

    If already there please sir let me know the url. I will read and share with my fiends as well.

    Thank you

    Best
    Aarif

  24. Norman Brodeur :

    Awesome Post Neil.

    I am following your blogs every day. I have one question. Recently, I have stared Online Reputation Management.

    As a Google Guideline I am trying to push down my bad Link from Google searches but there is not going from Google first page. It is still visible on Google.

    Can You Please Guide me for Repair my Reputation.

  25. bemoneyaware :

    OMG..Wealth of information Neil.
    Thanks a lot.
    Will have to read and reread to understand it fully.

    Basic question:
    How to see a search engine results page (SERP) with page rank etc as shown in the article?

  26. Neil, I know this may sound unusual..what I am going to say. But I count you as one of my role models in present date..and I am sure you have an advice or two for such an unusual venture too. I am an aspiring actor in Bollywood..(more precisely the word is ‘struggler’). Few years back, I had quit my well-set software job in IBM in Bangalore (India) to come to Mumbai (India) and try my luck on back of charged up ambitions and unfailing energy. But coming here I found it’s excruciatingly painful for a struggling actor. Everything is up in the air and there is simply no way to gatecrash without a Godfather.When nothing seemed to work out, I suddenly got an idea running on the treadmill in the gym: why not market my failures!This has not been done anywhere in the world..there is no such blog on this theme. My blog will talk about how each day I struggle through the lanes of Mumbai..getting rejected by production houses..and how mostly casting persons say ‘sorry..you are not fit!’ And there: the name of the blog will be “Not Fit – the Inside story of a Bombay Struggler” or something like this..Why the word “Not Fit” because it’s a very common catchword here in casting circles..and then since it’s non-keyword domain, I could also stretch the concepts to mean how since childhood I was always Not Fit in the regular scheme of things. Believe me, this Not Fit will create a revolution if properly optimized & marketed. Now the challenge is, when I am talking about Mumbai auditions and life of bollywood aspirant, I fear missing a large chunk of world population, isn’t it?Will they like to read about Indian film actor? Or should I make some adjustments in the content?Look, I am very ambitious and want to rule the world. I want this blog to become Viral so that each and every renowned director/producer here reads about me,and one day eventually call me!One more thing,I also work as a content marketing professional in a company here in Mumbai to support my monthly rent,so that is where I picked up tricks of Content marketing.And you Neil are a hero for all like us!Just like you, I want to be rich,famous and swag all around..Plz help a bit with any suggestions.God keep blessing you.

    • I think that’s a very creative idea, you should go for it. In reality, you don’t need to go to bollywood, get bollywood to come to you. Create your own show on youtube and facebook and build a fan base

      • Wow..I feel motivated like never before!I never thought about this possibility. Instead of all the humiliations that we go through daily, why not force them to give us an attention! I have got what I have to do now..Because in any case a Neil Patel is far more famous in the world than any of these so-called bollywood actors.I am gonna plan for the next 5 years accordingly and..God willing, will be able to share my success story with you in 2022 🙂

  27. Wicker Paradise :

    Hey Neil,

    Thank you for posting a Great & Awesome Post,

    I was knowledge about only fetching a URl and adding a sitemap, Checking some errors,index status, after review you post I got too many knowledge.

    Thank you

  28. Robert Seawick :

    Hello Nail,

    Thanks for sharing useful information. This article easy to understand and fully clarified for a healthier SEO.

  29. Pushpendra Singh :

    Awesome Post Neil Sir again.

    Can You please refer a guide for Seo of a Site in “Bing”. I am at top in google for that site at the desired location but heavily suffering at Bing.

    Thank You,
    Pushpendra Singh

  30. Dinesh Kumar :

    Thank you Neil, it’s a great article about webmaster tools. I didn’t know, webmaster tool can provide such a lot of information. I thought it is only for adding sitemaps, and geo-targeting. I never dig deeper into it. Now, I will analyze the data. Thank you again.

  31. Hi, Neil.
    That’s just awesome post and very helpful. It’s called the expert’s way of explanation. Very nice.
    Best regards.

  32. Its true that Sitelinks cannot be changed or added, but i guess they can be removed if you don’t want a link (which is set automatically by Google) to be in sitelinks for some reason…

  33. As usual another great article neil.

    My blog ( http://www.techidle.com ) is with less DA and PR

    Can u suggest some ways to get better DA and PR

  34. Neil, This is Awesome Guide. Structure Data Part is good. very informative.
    Neil Please tell me this is enough to a new website ???

  35. Saket Panicker :

    I found this article pretty good. Excellent research and coverage.
    Neil, this is a kind request, can you post something on content promotion and content marketing?

    Thanks
    You rock!!

  36. Bhuboy Villanueva :

    Hi Neil,

    That was really a lot of useful information, I have never look into it before. I have only use it before so Google can index my site, as I read in one of your old posts. Not I can use it effectively for my sites seo. thanks a lot

  37. hey Neil,

    Thank you for sharing this article.

  38. Its really awesome article, every SEO analyst do their activity baesd on GSC results. The article looks Bible for SEO.
    Thnx

  39. Joshua Myers :

    Great insights! Actually just got my site on to Bing Webmaster and started digging in to that also, just to cover all the main search engines.

  40. The best and simplest tool for SEO. Thank you for tips.

  41. Thanks Neil

    Great insight. How to I fix Crawl error with response code 404.

    I am not sure how these were even created in WordPress specially the blog articles.

  42. Hussein Chahine :

    Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools can be so very confusing. This is an amazing, comprehensive guide to understand what all the tabs mean. Thank you so very much for providing this resource. It is something we will reference many times moving forward.

    • There’s a lot of information you need to understand, but it will help you get a better picture and idea for what to do

  43. Neil one big doubt, I have some bad back links when I disavow with google disavow tool it is successfully disavowed but After disavowing too the disavowed links still showing on links to your site how to overcome this,

  44. That’s 30 minutes well spent. I have always wondered how to use GSC properly. I used to just go through to see if my pages have been indexed. Thank you so much for this detailed post. I think I might be able to put this tool to some good use now. 🙂

  45. Great article Neil…as always. I noticed a small problem and wanted to point it out. You have “How to leverage Rich Cards for SEO” in there twice, once under rich cards, but again under data highlighter. The latter one was probably intended to be “How to leverage Data Highligher for SEO”.

    Thanks for continuing to share your expertise with us.

  46. Leonardo "List Legend" LaVito :

    Great post, Neil on using Google Search Console as a powerful SEO Tool. 🙂

    I left a comment previously, but it got blocked and lost somehow.

    But let me try and see if I can finally leave comments on here now…

  47. Deborah Arconti :

    My son has helped me launch my website and teach me some of the SEO basics. This article was excellent for learning even more of the technical side of SEO. Thanks, Neil!

    • Sounds like you have a pretty awesome son Deborah. I never use to like helping my parents learn the computer lol

  48. Really helpful tips. Definitely helpful for all SEO companies. Can you also please write a blog on the topic of untraditional ways to get backlinks from various sources?

  49. Hi Neil,

    You have covered almost everything on GWT in this post. A very detailed post. In fact, I was not noticing some of the tools you discovered here. A great help for me. Neil, I would like to learn Google Analytics too (in detail like this GWT) So, please come up with this topic as well in your next articles. Thanks a lot.

  50. Debadeep Biswas :

    Like alwayd you have shared a great guide, loved this. Thank you so much neil.

  51. uthman saheed :

    This is the most comprehensive post I’ve ever read on google console…..Tell me what you’ve not cover here? Virtually nothing more as far as am concern.

    I noticed that my total indexed posts is more than my total posts from blogger dashboard and also, why are those blocked contents there? Could it be that google could not access it while crawling? I don’t even understand.

    Thanks.

  52. Klaus Hanemann :

    Hi Neil;

    I’m using it since more than a decade as my primary tool. Great idea to give such an overview to all your readers. Keep the good work going.

  53. Ashwini Kumar :

    What a nice advance techniques to rank better in search engine. Thanks!

  54. Dinesh Dhiman :

    Whoa!! Truck loads of information, yet again.

    It is a completely hidden gem.. I am exploring it for quite some time now and still there is lots and lots of it to explore…

    Trying to make as much sense from it as possible.. excellent read..

    Dinesh

  55. Hi Neil,

    Wow, this post breaks down everything a marketing beginner needs to know about Google Search Console.

    I like the Google Search Console’s search analytics feature that lets me see every long tail keyword my website is ranking for, including their click-through-rates and ranking positions.

    I run a driving education business in Brooklyn. I know this is a local business. What marketing tactics would you recommend for a local business like mine?

  56. Shiv Jaiswal :

    Hello Neil

    I have been using Google webmaster tool since 7 years. I love it but there are some drawbacks.
    (a) Search data in “search console ” generally not instant and may delayed upto 48 hours
    (b) Search terms or queries are not always correct. It is unable to show may “search terms” even they are ranking in search results.
    (c) The new look of “search console” unable to show change in queries % as earlier “webmaster tools”.

    I love international targeting, nice to ranking local keywords

    Thanks

  57. Vidian Media :

    Great guide Neil!

  58. Steve Williams :

    Neil, I’m glad I found your GSC guide. Now I have all explanations in one place.

    Is it a good practice to “Fetch as Google” a new blog post, so it becomes indexed immediately?

  59. I have been looking for this type of article. I am glad that I found your article. thanks for sharing such a useful article.

  60. This is really helpful article..

  61. Ira Pasternack :

    I think you have something set up wrong – the box that reads “Download this quick guide to learn how to leverage Google search console to improve your website SEO.” leads to a webinar signup instead of the promised guide.

  62. Great post, Neil. Google Webmaster Tools is highly underutilized. It’s great your bringing this to the attention of many SEO.

  63. This is something for unique content marketers to think about because SEO and good SEO is the life and blood of any online business. If people would pay close attention more to creating unique content as if they’re having a fluent conversation face to face with another human being, their long-tail SEO goals would be achieved in a shorter timespan.

  64. Claiming a website in GSC and installing good analytics are the two first things I do when launching a website. I won’t let them go out the door without it.

    I didn’t see mentioned anywhere the importance of claiming http://www.domain as well as http://domain and then of course your https://www.domain if it applies to your situation.

  65. Scott @ St. Louis SEO :

    Eye opening article. Really! I was ignorant to the rich cards. It took me a long time to read this article because I found myself going to Search Console to start messing around Lol! This is going to take some getting used to but I think that it will be well worth it. Great article!

    • They’ve updated Search Console quite a bit, so if you’re not learning about it, you’re missing out on opportunities for growth

  66. viki debbarma :

    Hi, Bro it really took me long to read down all the above article…..it seems confusing to me.. pls update with short and brief, thanx

  67. I started a blog about 8 months ago and I keep hearing about all the thousands of things I need to do to increase blog traffic etc etc. Today in my WordPress dashboard I saw the notice, “dont miss crawl errors” – connect with Google Search Console.

    So I needed to know exactly what this was and why I needed it. Ok – so now I have read this article and it is great and informative so I will set this up too. It is a lot to take in but for growth and learning I will try. Hope it is all worth it as I really do love writing and I am excited about my blog and this chapter in my life, and if it will help get my stuff out there then why not. Thank You Neil.

  68. Google Search Console has improved significantly over the past 4 years. I use it everyday. The Search Analytics report is probably where I spend the majority of my time though. The Search Analytics report enables me to identify strengths and weaknesses on a page-level basis, and develop strategies to increase organic traffic. For example, I can filter by page to see what keywords are driving traffic to certain pages, and if a page is ranking on the second page of Google for a high-volume query I can review the on-page content for that page and make additional optimizations to help get the page ranking higher.

    This is probably the best guide I’ve come across that explains how to use Google Search Console to assist with SEO efforts.

    Great stuff as always, Neil!

    • It’s like being able to look under the hood of your high performance vehicle. The more familiar you are with it, the more fined tuned and better it will run.

      Glad this helped!

  69. Thanks for sharing. The best feature i personally like and it also helps to improve the link building is the choice of anchor text. Sometimes we think that a particular keyword have high search volume and we keep on creating backlinks with that same keyword. However, Google Search Console helps us to show the actual search query that a user is searching along with the number of impressions. One can work on the same to improve the ranking, CTR and search traffic to the website

    • There’s a lot you can learn from being in the search console, so I’d recommend getting as familiar with it as you can

  70. Many users do not know exactly how these tools work. However, this article describes a pretty nice way to use that case. Thank you.

  71. Jai Prakash :

    This is a most interesting and knowledgeable topic cover in this article . I am not understand some parts of webmaster. After reading this article my doubt all clear, thanks sir for sharing this topic. I need a complete guide of Google Analytics also.

  72. Phoolchand Yadav :

    All the user guidelines of Google search console are very informative, thanks, Neil you are the superhero for all SEO community.

  73. Nice article sir, now i know what GSC tool can do.
    Very goos information for us. Thank you so.much neil for such informative article. I am big fan of you.

  74. Scott @ St. Louis SEO :

    Phenomenal post! I actually learned A LOT! And I thought I knew webmaster tools Lol!

  75. Very Detailed Article!

    I have a Doubt, Can we look our Competitor website .htaccess? Any possible way to see other website .htaccess?

    Note: no offence, Only for knowing how they using their strategies?

  76. Rodrigo Macias :

    The info is a bit overwhelming for a small blogger like me but still very helpful. I’m glad Google is making it a bit easier for us non-developers to add those structured data to our posts (with that new-ish selection tool). Thank you Neil for simplifying the use of these tools for us 🙂

  77. I’ve only discovered you recently and your blog posts and nuggets of information are perfect for a newbie to the SEO ‘scene’ like me. Keep up the good work! Thanks!

  78. Thanks for this post. This post really a gatecrashing factor for my SEO campaign. I found out some aspects I need to learn about and focus on further.

  79. Comprehensive article. Thank you for your time and expertise. I’m seeing how the best of the web are very interlinked and it’s important to do things 100% from the beginning.

    Especially significant that you reply to every comment people leave. Thank you Neil, I appreciate your gift of expertise on the interwebs.

    With regards,

    Bernard

  80. Hai Neil ,

    This is very useful blog for me , i am the beginner for SEO so can you let me know “How to check last 1 year Top Pages and Search Query data”?

  81. Neil

    Again you are providing great article about Google Search Console. This is amazing information to everyone those who wants to learn or to know in-depth about how Google Search Console is working. We are all expecting another great article from you on How to tackle Google Penalties as this is an ongoing issue for every webmaster.

    Thanks
    Manu

  82. this article is really helpfull, thanks for your google search console tips !!!

  83. I had no idea about rich cards and structured data. Going to start work on both. Thanks for sharing Neil. I always learn something new when I read your post. Good work.

  84. This is probably the best article I’ve seen on this topic. It’s even better than the Help section on Google itself. Thanks!

    Steve

  85. Hey guys!

    Quick Question: Do I have to add all my domains (https://www. ; http://www ; www. ; . ) etc? Because the main one (with automatic redirection to that domain) is https://www.drawbotics.com, so do I have to add other ones aswell? If so, how do i manage them? Do I also have to create a sitempa, rich cards and so forth?

    • I would find a post that explains the process as hopefully it will explain in more depth than a comment 🙂

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