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Insights: Google Webmaster Tools

by  David Dwyer on  13/02/2012    1972 Reads

What they are, and what they can do to help manage your site.

If you think Google Analytics is great to quantify your website’s performance then Google Webmaster Tools will impress you even more.

Webmaster Tools will tell you how Google sees your site. You will be able to:

  • Analyze search data;
  • See how many people found your site in search results, and how many people clicked on it;
  • Receive alerts in your inbox;
  • Tell you if Google detects that your site has malware or generates errors;
  • Show who links to you. Google tracks links from all over the web, and shows you who has added a link to your site;
  • Submit your XML Sitemap whenever you have made a website change so Google will know to index your site sooner than planned.

You can even tell Google about your site if you’ve made any changes through submitting a particular kind of Sitemap, called an XML Sitemap. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. If you browse an XML Sitemap in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome or any browser they will show you a page of code, this is correct as they are not intended to be of use to anyone else other than the Search Engines.

XML Sitemaps essentially provide Search Engines with more information about your site including:

  • How frequency your site’s pages are changed;
  • The priority of one page over another;
  • The Last Date Changed for each page.

XML Sitemaps are now standard on all our Small Business and Custom Build Website packages. We thought them so much of a must-have that we installed them retrospectively to our older clients for free so they could benefit from this tool.

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