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Thread: Getting Started With Google Webmaster Central

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    Email problem derekjay's Avatar
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    Post Getting Started With Google Webmaster Central

    If you’ve dabbled in the often confusing field of SEO, you should have heard of something called “Google Webmasters”, otherwise known as “Google Webmaster Tools” or even “Google Webmaster Central”. Whatever you decide to call it, this online application is an essential tool for every webmaster and search engine optimizer alike. Here’s what you absolutely need to know about the application.

    First off, if you haven’t yet registered on Google Webmaster Tools, do so immediately by visiting and signing up. If you already have a Gmail or other Google account, you just need to sign in (Google just loves making it easy for us...).

    The next step is to add your website (or websites) to the dashboard. Any website that you add will need to be authenticated (in order to prevent identity theft, etc). There are two ways to do this, either by inserting an HTML code into your home page, or by uploading a unique file onto your website via FTP. Either way is quick and easy.

    Following this, it’s a good idea to upload an XML sitemap of your website to webmasters. This sitemap tells Google where all the pages on your website are and, to a certain degree, aids their indexation. You can get an XML sitemap, free of charge, from many websites (Just Google “XML Sitemaps). Once you’ve got one, upload it via FTP and tell Google Webmasters where to find it. While you’re at it, it would be a good idea to get an HTML sitemap as well, and link to it from your homepage. This helps the other search engines index your pages, since not all of them use the XML format.

    Once you’ve done that, it’s best to give Google two to four weeks to “crawl” your site and gather some data. Once that’s done, you’ll have a host of information at your fingertips! The following are some of the more important figures to take note of:

    Search Queries

    This area of the dashboard reveals some of your main keywords for which Google is displaying your website to searchers. Ideally, you want to ensure that the keywords that you originally chose for your website feature in this list. If not, back to the SEO grindstone...

    Crawl Errors

    SEO experts will tell you that crawl errors are no good for SEO, so make sure that this area is cleared up as soon as possible. If there are any crawl errors on your site, find out where they are, and place redirects on those links.

    Links to Your Site

    This area is all about how many backlinks to your site Google is aware of. And who better to get this information from than Google itself. Although it seems fairly inconsistent, Google usually updates this figure at least once a month. Keep an eye on the figure itself, as well as the source of the backlinks and try to grow this figure every month.

    If you look to the left hand side navigation bar of Google Webmasters, you will find a host of other options, including site configuration, diagnostics and crawl stats. Have a look around and get to know what each statistic means. There’s no better way to view your site than through the eyes of Google!

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quick sitemap tip

    If getting an XML sitemap going seems like a drag and you have an RSS feed, check out the Your site on the web > Subscriber stats option as an easy way to get sitemap-like functionality on Google webmasters.

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