What Everybody Ought to Know About Google Webmaster Tools

Learn how to get your site into the Google Webmaster Tools now, get your site indexed and ensure your site starts getting traffic from the search engines

Why You Should Use Google Webmaster Tools

Firstly, everyone should use Google Webmaster Tools, because it's free and the Google Webmaster Tools are very useful in lots of ways as I'm about to show you.

Secondly, Google Webmaster Tools are great addition to the website traffic and statistics you get from Google Analytics.

Thirdly, you utilize this free information provided to you after you've done the initial steps and use the data for search engine optimization and make your site even more search engine friendly.

Now - Watch this video to get a good overview and brief explanation of what you get when you add your site to the Google Webmaster Tools:

Watch the video YouTube: Google Webmaster Tools

How To Add Your WordPress Blog to Google Webmaster Tools

If you have not added your site to your Google Webmaster Tools and claimed the site with the verification code, here's how to do it.

To make things really easy, set up Google Analytics account, if you haven't yet, and add Google Analytics to your blog. Then...

  1. Go to Google Webmaster Central
  2. Sign-in with your Google Account
  3. Once inside, Click Add a Site
  4. Add the information about your site
  5. Use the "Link to your Google Analytics Account" to verify your site
  6. And you're done!

Using the Google Analytics verification makes the process super simple.

Alternatively, you can also use the file verification or add the verification meta tag into the <head> of your site. But actually, you shouldn't. Instead of adding the verification code to the theme's header.php file, use a plugin to add the code.

Several plugins have the ability to add verification code without manually editing the php-files, for example the WordPress SEO -plugin which offers verification support for Yahoo Site Explorer and MS Webmaster Portal, in addition to the highly beneficial SEO features it also has.

After your site is verified, go ahead and generate a XML sitemap and add that to the Webmaster Tools. This will help to get your site indexed in Google fast.

Do this for all your websites (if you have multiple ones), even for those 1-5 page mini-site of yours - When you submit sitemaps you ensure the pages are getting indexed, or at least see if they are not indexed and why. As you see the search engine data in one page, you can easily use the information to improve the SEO of the site(s) further.

What You Get From Google Webmaster Tool

Let's recap - the main reason to use Google Webmaster Tools is to submit sitemaps, see indexation and crawling errors, and see how users are reaching your site, see how Google sees your website and in the process, make your site more SEO friendly.

You can...

  • Get your site indexed faster
  • Add your XML sitemap(s) directly to Google
  • Get detailed information about
    • How and when your site is indexed
    • How high/low your site is ranked for keywords
    • Which keywords are bringing in the most traffic
    • Google search engine crawl reports, statistics and errors
  • See the number of links back to your site and individual pages/posts Google has found
  • Get reports if there are problems with indexing
  • See on what search terms your site turns up and how much clicks those views are getting
  • ..and much more..

The backlink data or the search engine statistics are not 100% correct, but on the other hand, it doesn't get much easier than this. In fact, it doesn't get easier than this to get that data! And all that in addition to the really important stuff like submitting your sitemap and seeing how many pages and posts from the sitemap are indexed.

Updates / Version History

  • Updated on 2010-11-04: Added video. Re-worked the post.
  • Originally published on 2009-08-10


Because there are no disadvantages, unless your some kind of anti-Google person (in which case I'd recommend forgetting Internet business and blogging right now) and you get all the info for free, using Google Webmaster Tool for all your websites is a no-brainer.

If you haven't already,

  • sign-in to Google Webmaster Tools now,
  • claim ALL your websites now by adding the verification code to the header section of your website,
  • submit the XML sitemaps, and
  • check in the data once or month or so (at the beginning you can check more often).

Then you can utilize the information to easily optimize your site by correcting indexing errors or warnings and checking if you could make you can optimize your content for search engines.

Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions in the comments!

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