In order to keep your website in optimal working order, it is important to know when a malfunction occurs and what exactly has gone wrong. Google Webmaster Tools is a great free service that can keep novice and experienced website owners alike informed and up-to-date on the current status of their website.
In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of website maintenance. Unfortunately many website owners choose to ignore minor malfunctions and issues to their websites such as broken website components or slow-loading pages. Yet minor malfunctions can often escalate into major ones and can cause visitors and customers to stop visiting your website.
Google Webmaster Tools
Fortunately, keeping a watchful eye on your website doesn’t require a full-time web professional or even an expensive contractor – Google Webmaster Tools is a powerful free tool that is extremely versatile and easy to use, even for novice and inexperienced website owners. To begin using Webmaster Tools, you will need a Google Account and at least one method of verifying that you own or manage the website in question. If you use any other Google service such as Gmail or YouTube, you already have a Google Account. If not, signing up for one is easy.
Your Current Status
Once you have signed up for Google Webmaster Tools and verified ownership of your website, you will be taken to a page that contains a small screenshot of your website’s homepage and a brief statement regarding new messages or critical issues. Clicking on the link next to the screenshot brings you to a more detailed Current Status page. Here, Google will inform you of the status of your potential crawl errors, your search queries, and your site map.
It is extremely important to fix any crawl errors that Google has discovered on your site – these errors can hinder or prevent web crawlers. from assessing and indexing your site, which can have dire consequences for your search engine ranking. You will also be given the opportunity to upload a detailed map of your website by providing a list of content that the search crawler may have missed. There are also a number of options for studying your website in-depth, including a review of your search appearance, your search traffic and any possible security issues. Reviewing all of this data can provide a comprehensive review of the status of your website.
How To Proceed
It is important to keep in mind that Google constantly makes minor changes to its services, so the layouts of their information can sometimes change dramatically without warning. Also, if Google Webmaster Tools reports a serious problem with your website, we advise you to immediately address that problem. If you plan on hiring a web professional, be sure to first collect as much information as possible, as it is important for them to thoroughly understand the problem at hand in order for it to be properly addressed.