GSC (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a free platform to monitor how Google views its sites and optimizes by organic presence. You can use GSC to view referring domains, mobile site performance, rich search results, and highest-traffic queries and pages.
As you can see on the GSC landing page, this platform is used for:
- Improve website performance on Google Search
- Optimize content through Search Analytics
- Get content on Google
- Get alerted on issues and fix the site
- Understand how Google Search sees pages
- Optimize and enhance site through AMP, Mobile Usability, Rich Results.
Unfortunately, the features of the GSC cannot be understood by some people. When open the GSC for the first time, you will see tons of labels like index coverage, hidden filters, and confusing graphs.
According to, I made this article.
Before starting, make sure you have signed up for GSC. If you haven't registered yet, go to Search Console and log in with your Google account.
The features find and add domains into GSC. Select a domain that has been added to see the GSC audit results.
Here is how to add a new website:
Click Add Property
Choose the property type (Domain or URL Prefix)
Insert the domain. In this example, I wrote in the domain field to get the results of general website analysis. My website is new so I don't yet need a comprehensive per page analysis.
Domain: Monitoring all URLs across all subdomains (m., Www. ...), all URLs across https or https, but requires DNS verification. Select this to monitor websites in 1 dashboard.
URL Prefix: Monitor only URLs under entered addresses, only URLs under the specified protocol, and allow multiple verification methods. Suitable to be used to analyze 1 page comprehensively.
If was done, click Continue.
Open your domain registrar dashboard. Open Edit Zone.
Add the TXT parameter and put the TXT code from the GSC. Click Save.
Return to the GSC dashboard. Click Verify. If it fails, wait a few minutes. Click Verify again. If "Ownership auto verified" appears, the process is complete. Done.
It is the conclusion of website analysis. There are 3 measurements:
Performance: The number of clicks during a certain period of time.
Coverage: Contains a comparison between error and valid pages according to Google for a certain period of time.
Enhancements: The features validating the quality of content and structure. You can view the results of content validity analysis according to Google. If there is an error page, the error notification will appear.
This feature is very closely related to Google Structured Data. Read more deeply about the Google Structure Data here.
Every website has different indicators. On my website, there are 3 types of indicators: Mobile usability, products, and searchbox sitelinks.
Features for understanding website performance. The performance consists of 3 elements:
Part 1: Performance filter.
Performance filter is a navigation menu to view website analysis results based on several types of filters:
- Search type. The results of the analysis are in Google's search types, such as Web, Image, and Video.
- Date range. The results of the analysis are in the timed. Available from 7 days to 16 months, and a custom date range.
- Query. The analysis results are about the keyword targets.
- Page. Display the analysis results by the optimized page. Input formats are URLs.
- A country. Analysis results by country.
- Device. Display the analysis results by the type of device used by visitors, such as a mobile, desktop, tablet.
- Search appearance. The results of the analysis are in Web Light technology from Google. Web Light is a faster and lighter web page technology that is shown to people searching on slow mobile connections.
We can compare options within each filter. The GSC also allows us to apply all filters simultaneously.
Part 2: Display graphics
The display graph appears the results of the analysis by 4 indicators:
- Total clicks. How many clicks to go to your website by visitors.
- Total impressions. The number of users seeing your website link in the search engine results.
- Average CTR. Percentage of impressions and clicks.
- Average Position. The average position of your website is on search engines. The graph only displays the best position in each search by visitors.
Whatever filter you set, it will display in the "Graphic Display".
Part 3: Table filter
Earlier, you saw the filter feature. The section will display all filters and options.
You can view all reports in various aspects, such as queries, pages, countries, devices, and search appearance.
You are allowed to download reports in this table via the "Down arrow" button.
The difference between the Performance filter and Table filter are in the data report, especially in the "Queries" filter. In this section, several additional indicators (Volume, CPC, and Competition) will appear, except Clicks and Impressions.
The feature makes the analyze on each page by URLs.
How to doing it?
- Click the Inspection URL menu
- Enter the URL in the field provided
- Press Enter on the keyboard
- You will see a page with several sections.
Part 1. Result preview
This section contains notifications about the status of a error page.
Click View Crawled page to see more specific information on pages already crawled by Google. There are 3 menus:
- HTML. HTML script code that is read by Google
- Screenshot. Display the pages that have been crawled by Google in realtime.
If you update the content on the page, click Request Indexing.
Part 2. Coverage
Coverage will display the information obtained by Google from a page in detail. You can see the information such as sitemaps, times crawl, and indexing status.
Section 3. Enhancements
Contains the type of markup schema mounted on the page. You need to know, Google makes several Schema markup categories by the content substance, such as:
Article \ Book \ Breadcrumb \ Carousel \ Corporate Contact \ Course \ Critic review \ Dataset \ Employer Aggregate \ Event \ Fact Check \ FAQ \ How-to \ Job Posting \ Livestream \ Local Business Listing \ Logo \ Media actions (Limited Access) \ Occupation \ Product \ Q&A \ Recipe \ Snippet Review \ Sitelinks Searchbox \ Software App (Beta) \ Speakable \ Subscription and paywalled content \ Top Places List \ Video
Click the link above to find more the respective markup schemes. The GSC will display the type of Schema markup installed on the page.
In the example above, the type of markup schema installed is mobile usability and products. Click one of the lists in the summary to see the reason and issue details.
On this page, you can fix the problem in Detected items.
Coverage is used to find out what pages you have indexed and any problems encountered when indexing a site.
Coverage report shows how Google Search works. The report appears all URLs. Google has visited or tried to visit the URLs before, in your property.
Part 1. Result preview
You can see the results for all URLs in the website property grouped by various status such as error, valid with a warning, valid, and exclude.
If you need the Impression data, checkbox the Impressions option under the Property status.
Part 2. Details
This section will appear the specific reason for status in section 1. Click a table row in the summary to see the reason and issue details.
A sitemap is a list of pages that need to be searched by Google Bot.
According to Google:
A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them.
A sitemap is a way to tell Google Bot about the important files is in your Web Sitemap. Every website usually has a sitemap URL address at yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
For the WordPress website, you can create a Sitemap by installing the Google Sitemap Generator plugin.
In GSC, you can submit a Sitemap.
Part 1. Add a new sitemap.
Type your sitemap in the field. This method will make easier when Google crawls your website. For new websites, this method will speed up Google to index pages.
Part 2. Submitted sitemaps.
Contains a list of sitemaps that have been added to the GSC. You can get more detailed information.
If successful, you will see this:
If the sitemap has a problem, a notification like this:
You can fix your sitemap by following the instructions on the page.
Mobile usability is one of the requirements becoming the top ranking in Google search.
It means, Google's mobile usability and search ranking are illustrated by the following illustration:
If your website is mobile usability, take the test here.
In the GSC, mobile usability is an additional arrangement. Even so, you better implement it on the website. GSC will display the mobile usability report in several sections:
Part 1. Result preview
It's display the error and valid page conclusions. The conclusion has a different colour. At the bottom of the validity status, you can see the Impressions option. Checkon to see website impression statistics on the mobile version of usability.
Part 2. Details.
That contains details of each conclusion on the results of page analysis section 1. Click on the list to get more detailed information.
Products are part of the Schema markup. When you set the page as "Products", Google will analyze the validity of the page according to Google's algorithm.
Google crawls the page using Schema markup. According to Google, they made two categories of pages identified as product pages such as:
- A product page describes one product
- Shopping aggregator page contains the list of a single product, along with information about other sellers offering the product
Although displaying the same product, the two categories have different markup schemes.
In GSC, the product section will display the validity by Google.
Part 1. Result preview
Displays the conclusions of the page such as error, valid with the warning, and valid. Each conclusion has a different colour.
Part 2. Details
Contains the conclusion details on the results of page analysis section 1. To get more detail, click on the list in it.
Searchbox Sitelinks is an implementation of Schema.
Schema markup is a data structure that makes it easy for Google to read a website. Schema is like a way for search engines to easily browse through every page of the website.
Sitelinks searchbox is a feature to display a search box on your website's search results. The search results appear your website pages.
In GSC, the searchbox sitelinks section display the validity of your website pages by Google.
Part 1. Result preview
Displays the page conclusion such as error, valid with the warning, and valid. Each conclusion shows in a different colour.
Part 2. Details
Contains the results of page analysis section 1. Click on the list in it to get more detail.
According to Google Penalties:
Manual actions are Google's way of demoting or removing web pages or websites as a whole. They aren't related to Google algorithm changes like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, or the others. They are simply Google manually punishing websites for spammy behaviour.
If there are issues reports in this section, Google will appear the instructs to solve it in several stages.
Monitoring security issues on the website. If there is a security threat, the GSC will display it in this section.
If the website does not get a threat, the GSC will appear the notification.
It is a link structure on the website. You can see the grouping of links by several categories:
- External link
- Internal link
Here's the details:
Top linked pages (external & internal links)
Top linking sites:
Top linking text:
This feature makes it easy for us to monitor and optimize link building strategies.
Set the property in the GSC such as:
- Ownership verification. Display website ownership verification status.
- Users and permissions. Take control who can see website reports on GSC. Each website property has its user permissions settings.
Change the latest GSC service on Google Webmaster. Click and the page will be directed to the Google Webmaster.
This change will not impact on the GSC. You will often see a notification to switch back to GSC when accessing Google Webmaster pages.
It's your turn!