Google Webmaster Tools has been available for websites for 10 years. Originally designed for traditional ‘webmasters’ as a way of helping the search engine crawl the website by providing site map submission – the Webmaster tool of today does this and so much more.
Yesterday saw the release of the latest version and in Google’s blog it becomes clear that this has been released as a way of engaging all types of “Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well”
This is a good opportunity to look at what Webmaster Tools offers us as SEO professionals and why we use it.
Creating a sitemap and then submitting it in Webmaster tools helps the search engines to better crawl and categorise the site
The preferred domain is the one that you would like most to index the websites pages (this can be referred to as the canonical domain). Links can point to the website using both the www. and the non.www versions that you want used for the site in the search results. By setting the preferred domain it means that even if Google comes across a non-www it will still show it as a www. Should the www. be the one you opted as your preferred. This is another way of helping the search engine crawl the website, as well as being more user friendly for your visitors.
Checking the manual actions link on webmaster tools is always a good idea, but if you are colouring within the lines with your SEO, then there is no worry about receiving message here. Webmaster tools provide a message service that can provide warnings if anything untoward has been notified, thus giving you a chance to sort the issue out before it becomes a real issue.
Not really a key feature any more in my eyes, but the very scant information we can get from performing keywords can only be found in Google Webmaster Tools.
There is a section to view all links and recently gained links in Webmaster Tools. This is useful to monitor against negative SEO and also to quickly see if the link building work being done is actually being picked up the search engine.
If you believe your site’s ranking is being harmed by low-quality links you do not control, you can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site and using the Disavow Tool. We advise using with caution and as a last resort, but this can help with either negative SEO issues, or to recover from really poor, black hat SEO. You should still make every effort to clean up unnatural links pointing to your site. Simply disavowing them isn’t enough.
A Webmaster Tools account for any dental website is essential for a successful proactive SEO campaign.
Contact Dental Design on 01202 677277 to discuss SEO in more detail.