Getting Started with Google Search Console

Search engines can provide Internet marketers and webmasters with a wealth of information about their digital properties (websites and mobile applications).

Since the majority of organic/natural traffic will come from Google, let's look at Search Console, the company's resource for providing search performance data (formerly known as Webmaster Tools).  

Search Console is a free resource that helps search engine optimization professionals (or anyone concerned with or interested in ranking on Google's search engine) monitor and maintain their website (or app's) presence in the Google Search results.

While there is no guarantee whatsoever that using the system will improve ranking and position on the search results, it can provide valuable information that can make it possible tounderstand how Google perceives a website, even going as far as offering guidance so that performance in the search results can be optimized. There are many reasons to use Search Console, and all Web professionals should become familiar with its use and capabilities (as well as its limitations).

Let's take a closer look at what it can be used for and how to use it with a website or mobile application.

Search Console makes it possible to monitor a site's performance in the Google search results. Ultimately, Google can provide some indication that the content that is made available is actually accessible, provides an opportunity to submit new content for crawling content (as well as removing content), access information that may disrupt the Web experience and even monitor and resolve malware and spam issues, to ensure an optimized experience for users. Remember that a great deal of search engine optimization works relates to removing the barriers that keep search engines and their users from accessing the content. But that's not all that SEO's need to be concerned with, and for them, Search Console provides a range of useful information as well.

Search Console also provides information that will enable SEO's to understand how Google and consumers see their websites on the search results pages. For example, Search Console displays the queries used when a website appeared in the search results, and how much traffic those queries resulted in for the website. Search Console even shows how content is shown on the search results (see the section on rich snippets and microdata), as well as (and perhaps most importantly) which sites are linking - as well as, of course, lots of other helpful data.

The beauty of Search Console is that it can be (and should be) used by a variety of personnel with an enterprise in order to track performance. Business owners, for example, might need to authorize different individuals with administrative access, while search marketers can use the platform to keep tabs on the volume of traffic resulting from a particular keyword or phrase. There are still other roles in an organization that would benefit from access to Search Console. Developers, for example, will benefit from the information provided about the use of structured data and issues with markup.

Obviously, this is but the briefest of introductions to Google's Search Console but will prove to be an important first step for those with a new or renewed interest in obtaining more traffic from the Web's most popular search engine.