The Search Console is a service from Google that is free of charge and which allows you to monitor, analyse and configure the website of your company. For search engine optimisation, the Search Console offers numerous advantages, as it also provides access to various optimisation tools.
Google profits personally from the Search Console
Google’s free service is also in the best of the company’s own interests. After all, Google sets great store by including the most valuable websites in its search results list. Only if the user is satisfied with the search results will they use Google often. The most important prerequisite for this is that the search engine operator is able to generate sales via paid Google Ads.
The most significant functions of the Search Console at a glance
The Search Console offers an entire spectrum of useful functions: websites can be edited, backlinks can be deemed invalid and structured data can be monitored in a targeted way. At the same time, the tool offers numerous statistical functions with which the website operator can assess search requests and incoming links, amongst others.
Here is a list of the most exciting functions of the Search Console:
- Which keywords are most important for enabling searchers to find a certain website? These main questions can be answered by the Search Console’s actionable reports. Organisational access to a page can be analysed according to various dimensions such as query, page, country and device. What’s more, special metrics like clicks, views and click rates can be selected. Using a special filter, the data can be limited or it can be compared to one another.
- Another important question can also be answered thanks to the Search Console: can the website be accessed without error? Using the URL inspection tool, you can determine, for instance, if a website is being indexed or is not available. The Search Console also offers the option to send new or the latest content to the Google Index.
- Links are extremely important for search engine optimisation. The Links function of the Search Console summarises both internal and external links and shows, in addition to the most linked pages, the most frequent link provider.
How to set up the Google Search Console
The requirement for setting up the Search Console is a Google account, as mentioned above. In addition to this, you have to upload a key and prove that you are the owner of the respective site. Google offers different options for proving your ownership. This is how you set up the Search Console:
1. Log into your Google account.
2. Call up the Search Console in your browser.
3. Enter the URL for which you would like to use the Search Console. Choose between the full domain or individual indices (“URL prefix”). The detailed difference between the two variants can be found in Google Support.
4. Confirm that you are the owner of the website. For domain property, this only works via so-called DNS verification. Copy the record provided by the Search Console in the TXT format and paste it into the DNS settings of your web hosting account, such as under the tab “DNS System” or “DNS Administration”.
5. Click on “Confirm”.
6. If you would like to confirm the ownership for a URL prefix property, the Search Console offers a host of further options in addition to that mentioned above. The method recommended by Google is to upload an HTML file. Google provides such a file.
7. Download the file provided.
8. Place the file, with the help of an FTP client or the WebFTP feature provided by many web hosting systems, into the domain’s root or standard index. Google can then read the file from there and verify you as the owner.
9. Additional options for confirming your ownership:
- Add a meta tag to the home page
A meta tag created by Google is added to the home page of the website in a code form.
- Use the Google Analytics Code
If you already use a Google Analytics account, you can use the existing Analytics code as verification.
- Install a Tag Manager container
If you already have a Google Tag Manager account, the so-called Container ID can be used as confirmation.
10. The Search Console is activated once you have confirmed your ownership.
Who gets the most from the Search Console?
The Search Console is helpful for every operator of a website – from private persons to system administrators employed by large corporations.
- SEO experts and advertisers are able to monitor access to their website and thus take solid decisions regarding SEO measures, which could improve the ranking of their website in the results list.
- Administrators use the Search Console to, for instance, have an eye on server and loading errors, as well as security risks such as hacking and malware attacks, in order to brace themselves against these. Another advantage: maintenance work and changes to the website can be performed without negatively affecting the website’s ranking in the results list.
- Web developers use the Search Console to create mark-ups or codes for their websites, amongst others, to identify frequent problems like errors in structured data and to rectify these.
With the Google Search Console, website operators have a range of various analysis features at their disposal which enables them to view their website from various angles. Especially the actionable reports deliver lots of helpful information on the website and its potential for optimisation.