Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check the indexing status of your website and gives you advice on how to optimize your site for better visibility. GWT is the standard tool to monitor your website’s performance. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, we really recommend this tool for every webmaster who wants to stay on top of things.
By using GWT, you can improve your site’s performance by:
• Making sure that Google can access your content.
• Submitting new content for crawling and removing content you don’t want shown in search results.
• Optimizing how your results are shown so that it is more visually appealing to searchers.
• Monitoring your site for malware or spam issues so your website is clean.
Type in the URL of your website and click continue.
Verify that you own the site by downloading the HTML verification file and uploading it to your root folder. Once you have uploaded the file, click on Verify.
The site dashboard gives you the current status of crawl errors, search queries and sitemaps (if you’ve added any). It will also show you the new messages and critical issues of your website at the top of the page.
Pay attention to the site errors such as DNS, Server connectivity and Robots.txt. Also have a look at the URL Errors you might have under the Crawl Errors section.
Viewing the site messages lets you stay up to date with how your website is performing. Site messages will let you know if Googlebot can’t access your site or other critical issues. It is good to stay on top of things by viewing the site messages of your website
If you click on the Search Traffic tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for Manual Actions.
The Manual Actions page is probably one of the most important pages to check on GWT. Manual Actions will let you know whether you have a manual action to take to fix your website for Google. Usually this means that your site has been de-indexed or penalized due to spam, hacked site, hidden text or keyword stuffing, thin content with little or no added value, image mismatch or unnatural links. This could happen if you hired someone to do SEO work for you and they used blackhat SEO methods or maybe your site was breached by a hacker.
After taking the necessary manual actions to fix the problem, such as disavowing links, you can request a review from Google.
If you click on the Search Traffic tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for International Targeting.
If you manage a website that has pages that are designed for users in a specific country speaking a specific language, you may want to display the relevant language and country version of your pages to those users using international targeting.
There are two general mechanisms you can use to ensure your content reaches the right users:
1. URL-level targeting
1. Page-level markup – use tag in the section of your pages.
3. HTTP headers
4. Site-wide targeting
The International Targeting page will show whether you have any hreflang tags on your website. You can also click the Country tab to set your entire website to target users in a specific country.
If you click on the Search Traffic tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for Mobile Usability.
The Mobile Usability page lets you know how many pages on your website have errors related to mobile usability. Some of the common errors related to mobile are: viewport not being configured, touch elements too close, small font size, flash usage and content not sized to viewport.
A simple way to fix viewport not being configured errors is to add this meta tag to all of your pages in the
If you click on the Google Index tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for Index Status.
The Index Status provides stats of the URLs that were indexed for the site in the past year. Here you will find the total indexed, blocked by robots and removed. There is also a line graph below. A steady rise for total indexed is good. If you see that there is a sudden drop in indexed pages, it might mean that Google is having trouble accessing your site.
If you click on the Google Index tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for Content Keywords.
The Content Keywords page lists the top keywords that are most significant to your site. This page shows you how Google interprets your website. You can click the “show more…” button to extend the list. If you find keywords on top of your list that is irrelevant to your site such as “Viagra”, it could mean that your site may have been hijacked by spammers or hacked. If this is the case, you can implement countermeasures for spammers.
If you click on the Google Index tab on the side bar of GWT, you’ll see a link for Remove URLs.
The Remove URLs page lets you add URLs from your site that you wish to not be crawled by Google and removed from the search results. This is great tool to remove links on your site that may contain sensitive data from showing up in Google search results.