What is the Google Search Console (GSC)?
Webmaster tool are free Webmaster management services of search engines Google Search Engine, Bing, Yandex or Baidu …
Webmaster Tools allows you to check the status of the index (indexing), optimize the display of search results and monitor keyword rankings of the Website.
Bing has Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex also has Yandex Webmaster Tools, while Google has the Google Search Console.
In this article, we will learn how to register and use the world’s No. 1 Website administration service!
So, What is Google Search Console?
In addition, Google Search Console also allows monitoring of security errors, instructions for handling and assistance in resolving SEO requirements when the website goes down.
Google Search Console is an indispensable webmaster tool in SEO Website, so every webmaster needs to understand how it works and best owns this service.
With professional SEOer, Google Search Console is one of the best free SEO tools, besides famous expensive SEO tools like Kwfinder, Ahref, Semrush.
Google also has another free service for Webmasters, Google Analytics (GA), for users just starting to learn SEO, need to understand the features of these two tools.
Distinguish Google Search Console vs Google Analytics
What is Google Analytics?
It is a product used by Internet marketers to compete with webmasters and technical circles while the web analytics industry is growing.
You also need to avoid confusing Google Analytics with Google Adsense – both abbreviated as GA. Google Adsense is Google’s advertising service and not the Web administration tool.
At first, it is difficult for us to know clearly about the features and methods of operation of Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
They seem to have similar reports on Organic Traffic data – that is, organic traffic from the Google search engine, rather than from links from other websites.
However, the mode of operation of Google Search Console and Google Analytics is completely different, the way they collect data is also different.
And really, these two tools have great interactivity for users to get the most complete & realistic data about SEO of Websites on Google Search!
About the method of data collection
The Google Search Console gathers data from the Google Search Engine data.
In other words, Google Search Console (Google Webmaster tool) shows what Search Engine interacts with the Website, such as traffic to the Website from Google Search, the number of pages indexed (Google Index), the number of keywords ranked, and rankings. of each keyword over time….
You do not need to insert the tracking code into the Website to use Google Search Console – because it does not, in essence, pull data from the Website – but from Search Engine data.
Of course, to use Google Search Console – you must go through the authentication step that you own the Website – we will talk about this in the GSC registration!
Google Analytics (GA) collects data right from your browser to the Website.
It (GA) shows statistics about how users interact when visiting the Website. For example, from which source, by which browser, stay on the page for how long, the bounce rate….
To use Google Analytics we have to insert the tracking code provided by Google into the Website – because this code will help collect user interaction data – send it to Google for analysis and return the best reports for us to have. Accurate view of user interaction on the Website!
Google Analytics is also the main data source for campaigns running Google Adwords ads!
According to reputable reports, more than 50% of the 10,000 websites in the world’s 10,000 largest websites use GA data!
Different data usage for GSC and GA
We use the data of Google Search Console to optimize the Website so that the Search Engine Bot can most easily access the content we want. As well as using it to track errors that interfere with the Index process and experience users such as 404 errors, display errors, mobile device compatibility errors, etc.
Google Search Console with basic users – is to help you track the number of keywords – the volume (volume) and rankings (position) of the keyword. These data are very useful for promoting SEO for a certain keyword group!
Google Analytics is much more complex, it involves user interaction so we use it to improve User Experience – as well as analyze how we interact – analyze user objects to improve internal quality content of the Website – optimizing the effectiveness of SEO & Advertising campaigns – Sales!
Note that the Google Analytics data is large & much more complex than the Google Search Console data – and it also does not represent the most accurate Organic Traffic (search engine traffic such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).
Sign up for Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools)
To use Google Search Console, we must have a previous Google account (specifically register for a Gmail account).
Go to Google Search Console:
If you haven’t already – sign in to your Google account:
On the first page – enter the domain name & default path of the site. Note, in 2019 onwards, the use of SSL is almost mandatory – so if you already have an SSL security certificate installed, the path must be https: //
When you’ve added a website, you need to verify that you’re the owner. There are several options to verify your ownership.
It is necessary to distinguish this .html file only for Google Search Console to confirm that you own the Website (proving you have access to the directory containing the code). This .html file is not a program that records (tracking) data about user interaction behavior like when signing up for Google Analytics!
For WordPress users who use Yoast SEO we recommend using the ‘HTML tag’ method
Recommend this article: Yoast SEO: Everything you need to know about it | 2020 updated
You can easily copy this code and paste it into the ‘Webmaster tools’ tab within the Yoast SEO plugin:
After saving this, you can return to Google Search Console and click on the ‘Verify’ button to confirm. If everything is ok, you’ll get a success message and GSC will start collecting data for your website.
After clicking the VERIFY button – we can go to the interface of Google Console and start monitoring – use it!
How to use Google Search Console?
With Google Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console – GSC), in addition, to monitoring Search Engine update data, we can also configure many properties to help Search Engine Index the content of the Website in the best way!
In addition, Google Search Console also provides features for us to ask Google Index quickly a page or no index pages of the Website….
On a more complex level, we can create a request for Google to consider solving issues related to penalized ‘penalties’ when the Website is infected with viruses or has spam problems….
If you don’t see the menu on the left, click the menu bar icon in the top left corner.
Each item has its own description and instructions, if you need to use this, click the icon (?) In the top right corner to display detailed information about each item.
Introducing Items in the new Google Search Console
Overview: a summary of the data status of all Performance, Coverage and Enhancement items, this is a section we take a quick look at the overall data of the Website, thereby quickly detecting any problems that arise.
Performance: keyword rankings data as well as related metrics (CTR, Impressions, Clicks). This is the most important tab for Keyword Research
URL Inspection: used to check the index status of any page, or to request Google Index immediately on any page instead of waiting for the bot to detect and index automatically.
Section Index has 2 parts:
- Coverage: this item is very important, allows you to check crawler data and related errors (404 …) so that a timely fix can avoid affecting SEO.
- Sitemaps: information about the sitemap, if not updated, you can enter the name of the sitemap file for Google to update, this is very important for the bot to detect and index the best site (the sitemap file can be easily created by Yoast SEO). , we will talk about how to create in Yoast SEO tutorial topic).
- Mobile Usability: inform about the availability of Website on mobile devices.
Item Security & Manual Actions:
- Security: for reporting site (or viruses) security issues.
- Manual Actions: will be used to ask Google to handle the problem manually if Google reports the site has problems with spam, hacking or SEO-related issues.
The Manual Actions tab is also used to ask Google to remove some pages from your site from search results:
Links: link status (inbound and outbound)
Settings: used to verify website ownership (including the way mentioned in the GSC registration above, as well as adding users to GSC
Submit Feedback: send feedback to GSC so that Google can improve GSC better (but honestly, you may not send it if they read)
About the new version: This tab is only temporary because the new GSC provides new interface and features, which need to be introduced to old users to make changes clear.
Go to the old version: This tab is also temporary so that ‘nostalgic’ users will return to using the old version, maybe the old version of 2019 will no longer support it.
Overview of Google Search Console (Overview)
This is the tab that appears immediately upon logging into GSC.
In the Overview tab, GSC will summarize the data status notice of all other tabs – the default statistics time is the last 3 months!
This is the part that helps us have a comprehensive view on the SEO of the Website, as well as quickly detect problems if any. You can’t go to GSC every day to see the section details, so the Overview section is very helpful!
Performance: Track data & Keyword rankings
The Google Webmaster Tools interface (or the old Google Search Console), the list of ranked keywords – rankings and related parameters is in the Tab Search Appearances, and in the new interface – the Performance tab!
Here we can track the most important parameters about Organic Traffic.
The chart metrics include Organic Traffics: Clicks, impressions, CTR, and Positions on search results. We will understand these terms shortly below.
Below the chart is statistics for all keywords that have been Google Rank (ranked)
You can select the parameters by week, month (3-6 – 12 or 16 months). You can also optionally choose an arbitrary time, or click on a point to keep track of statistics each day:
Number of Ranked keywords and SEO data of each keyword
Right below the chart is the entire list of keywords being indexed and ranked by Google.
The number of keywords can be extremely large if your website has a lot of content!
For example, you have an article about How to make money online with Affiliate Marketing 2019, which includes the prestigious affiliate marketing program of AccessTrade, and the keyword you want to rank for is AccessTrade or How to register for AccessTrade.
But, when users search for the keyword “AccessTrade phishing”, Google still shows your article in the list of search results – That is, you have ranked the keyword “AccessTrade phishing” even though it was not intended!
To view the specific data for any keyword, click on that keyword, the specific data will be shown in the chart as shown below:
Terms to know in GSC Performance
To understand, you need to know some terms:
What is the traffic in GSC?
Traffic is traffic to the Website from all sources outside the Website. In Google Analytics, Traffic includes the main sources: Direct Traffic, Referral Trafic, Social Traffic and Organic Traffic and Paid Traffic.
- Direct Traffic: access by typing the domain name directly into the browser
- Referral Traffic: access from links located on other websites
- Social Traffic: access from shared links on social networks
- Paid Traffic: traffic from running ads on search engines (Google Adwords, Bing Ads ..)
- Organic Traffic: Natural traffic, see below for clarity, this is the information shown on Google Search Console.
What is organic traffic?
Organic Traffic or Organic Search is natural Website traffic – directly from search engines!
For example, you need to find information about “Wix vs wordpress”, so you type in this keyword browser, the results on Google will be as follows:
If you visit the article link of “websitebuilderexpert” then that is counted as Organic Traffic.
And you go to the link of “webcreate.io” is Paid Traffic, they are running ads for similar keywords with “wix vs wordpress”.
The Google Search Console shows how Search Engine interacts with the Website – so its metric is Organic Traffic. We will see some terms that Google Search Console shows below:
(Click on each tab to view the data chart of each parameter)
Learn these terms offline:
Clicks: the number of times users click on links to enter the Website from the search results page (Google Search) – this is the parameter representing the number of organic traffic.
Impressions: The number of times the search results are displayed – note, the number of impressions is always higher than the number of clicks because users can click on another page or not click when looking at the search results.
Positions: the position of the keyword on the search results page, Positions decides big to Impressions and Clicks because if the position of a keyword is 30 or more, it is difficult for the user to see (impression) or clicks. Users can often stop at the first or second results page because Google is getting smarter to display the information that users want to find in the first place!
CTR: Click-Through Rate is the clickthrough rate, see details below!
As the picture of the keyword “wix vs wordpress” illustrated above, if a user clicks on the article of websitebuilderexpert , websitebuilderexpert has been counted as 1 click + 1 impression.
CTR – What is Click Through Rate?
CTR is the click-through rate – people often call it click-through rate but it is now incorrect because if you click on the link on the touch screen of a phone, tablet … because you don’t use a mouse!
CTR is a measure of the ‘attractiveness’ of the content displayed on search results pages. It is a parameter that marks the effectiveness of marketing campaigns: both from SEO and Advertising.
Method to increase CTR click rate
- Attractive SEO title – easy to understand: SEO title is the title displayed on the search results page, it may be similar or different from the actual title on the Website – We can use SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to rewrite SEO titles for any Page or Post.
- Descriptive content – Meta Description must be short – concise and informative to attract users.
- Optimize Schema Markup: as shown below, you will see 2 articles with reviews (reviews) bring a sense of prestige, as well as the article displays sub-items – showing more information.
- Optimize dates: users tend to prefer clicking on the latest updated content, adjusting the date can be easily done in WordPress.
URL Inspection checks Page Index and requests Index quickly
The URL inspection section is very simple, you can click the menu or use the Search box right on top of the Google Search Console interface.
URL Inspection has the following features:
- Check the Index status of a Page.
- Request a Page Index if it is not yet Indexed.
- Requesting the Index to an indexed Page after it has changed.
- Test URL Drive – to see Index status and compatibility with mobile devices.
Regarding these features, we have a separate article: How to fats Submit URL to Google for Indexing?
Index – Coverage: Overall Crawler check – and 404 error
Information about the status of Index (Crawler) and 404 errors (Page not
Found or have other problems that cannot be indexed) can be viewed in Overview – Overview.
But to see the full details as well as the error page specific to which page we need to go to Tab Coverage.
Coverage has two important parts: Error and Warning, but the really serious is Error because it informs the details of 404 errors.
Click the Error in the Details section, we will know which page has an error:
To fix 404 error, we use the redirect feature of the simple 301 redirect plugin or Yoast SEO Premium, redirect the broken link to the link of the corresponding article.
(We will do it in the topic Scan Broken Links & Redirect fix)
After fixing, instead of waiting for the Google bot to update the information to remove the error message, we can choose Validate Fix so that Google will no longer notify about this error:
Google will send you an email notifying you of Validate Fix – just so you know they will remove this error message!
Index – Sitemaps: Ensure the Google Crawl Bot is correct
What is a sitemap?
Sitemap – Or a site map is a .XML file containing all the websites of the Website (exactly contains the link of the website).
Sitemap plays the exact role of “Website Map” for Search Engine Bot, which can detect and index, update Website content most accurately!
The sitemap can be created manually, created by the free plugin, the easiest is to install and activate Yoast SEO (free or premium), it will immediately create a sitemaps file for you.
In WordPress, SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, SEOPress, All-in-one SEO Pack … will help create a very quick sitemap, as well as configure the Search Engine Bot to be crawled and indexed. on the Website, by default and allows the option to block certain parts we do not want to appear in search results.
Enhancements – Mobile Usability
This is an informational section about Website compatibility with mobile devices.
Note, the notice here is only an ‘availability’, not a review of the ‘mobile optimization of the Website on mobile devices.
Regarding optimization for mobile devices – Google always advises people to play “AMP” – But AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages is a very tough game, it currently does not have a perfect solution because optimizing Pages in accordance with AMP standards will result in sacrifices of many “vivid” features that attract users of the Website.
So if you see the Mobil Usability section without any errors, it might be a bit fun. Remember that many famous WordPress websites said no to AMP after ‘white mouse’ and received a lot of negative results.
Security & Manual Actions
This is the section for times when the website has a problem that causes Google to penalize ‘penalized’ (or SEO people call it flagging).
When Google Penalize, the Website cannot rank anymore – either in whole or in part.
The website is often infected with malware, hacked or has many links pointing to spam sites, scams, black websites …
If you encounter these problems, there will be an error message in the Security and Manual Actions sections (which can be detailed or general).
Google will also send you (Messages) notifications:
Now you need to handle the problem that Google has reported thoroughly.
Then, create a Request – Manual Actions report for Google to update and penalize:
It’s also important to note that Google is just as bureaucratic as some of our civil servants, so your problem can be dealt with and punished quickly or slowly depending on ‘luck’ because nobody knows Google does it. how was that – when.
Even the big websites can’t push Google, the black people like most of us have to accept if the doctors on them have handled the delay (usually 1 week or more).
Links: Overview of Inbound and Outbound links on the Website
The Links section is a metric of incoming links (outbound) – outbound links and internal links.
Here you will know the exact number of links throughout the site or a certain page, as well as the links of other pages pointing to your site – specifically, which page.
The statistics in the Links section is only in the form of ‘quantity’, not to mention links quality.
The most helpful item for you to refer to is Top linking sites – that is, a list of sites pointing to your Web, as well as specific pages it points to:
As said – the limitation is that it does not evaluate those links as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as well as the degree of good or bad ….
Another parameter that may be useful is Top linking text – statistics of the Link Text that other sites use to point to your Website!
Regarding the Links section of Google Search Console, it can be said that it is only general and sufficient for reference. If you want a comprehensive review of links and quality backlinks … must use specialized SEO tools like Ahref or Semrush.
Settings: Verify ownership & Add GSC users
This is the last item we talk about. Consists of 2 parts:
Verify ownership of the Website with GSC
As mentioned in the registration of Google Webmaster Tools, we have many methods to verify the ownership of the Website, we can only do 1 (mandatory when signing up for GSC) but should have one more authentication to avoid the field. in case of code transfer, domain transfer … losing authentication data makes GSC not update data for Website anymore.
In addition to authentication when registering for GSC, we can do other authentication methods at any time in Ownership verification section:
User Permission: Add User and GSC authorization
This is the section for the ‘Team’ who jointly manage the Website or need it when you ‘ask / hire’ others to help with SEO Website or check SEO issues.
By default, when you register Google Webmaster Tools with any email, it is the highest administrative email of GSC – Owner, with the right to create more Users and assign permissions to the User.
Click Add Users and enter email, select FULL permission if you allow users to access all GSC data:
If you only allow a partial access to the Google Console – select Permission as Restrict.
We end the guide to using Google Webmaster Tools – Google Search Console here!
Webmaster Tools – are tools that help webmasters of search services, such as Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex – Baidu Webmaster Tools.
With Google, after changing the name of Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console in 2015, until early 2020, this famous SEO – web administration tool continues to change the interface and features that help users use effectively. than!
Regularly monitoring the Google Search console, understanding the data it reports will help Webmasters understand the SEO status of the Website, as well as troubleshooting – optimizing the content so that the Website is always friendly with the latest algorithms of Google Search Engine!