What is Google Search Console?

GSC( formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a free stage for anyone with an internet site to monitor how Google contemplates their area and optimize its organic vicinity. That includes goal your citing arenas, portable place conduct, rich search results, and highest-traffic inquiries and pages.

At any given point in time, I have GSC open in two to 10 tabs. It’s helpful on a macro and micro height — both when I need to figure out what’s happens with a high-traffic blog upright that suddenly dipped, and see how many notions HubSpot is gaining month over month.Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.

I’m a content strategist on HubSpot’s SEO team, which signifies GSC is particularly useful to me. But anyone who’s got a website is possible and should dip their toes in these sprays. According to Google, whether you’re a business proprietor, SEO specialist, purveyor, website head, web developer, or app pioneer, Search Console will come in handy.

I recollect the first time I opened GSC — and it was overwhelming. There were tons of names I didn’t understand( index coverage ?!?), obscure filters, and baffling diagram. Of track, the more I applied it, the little confusing it became.

But if you want to hop-skip the learning bow( and why wouldn’t you ), good information: I’m going to divulge everything I’ve was informed about how to use Google Search Console like a pro.

This guide shields 😛 TAGEND

Adding your website to Google Search Console

Providing up owners, customers, and permissions

Submitting a place map

Understanding dimensions and metrics

Including filters

Expending GSC( 23 implement disputes)

First circumstances first. If you haven’t already signed up for GSC, it’s time to do so.

How to contribute your website to Google Search Console

Sign into your Google account. Make sure you’re squandering your business( not personal) note if it’s a business website.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools.

Click “Add a property.”

Choose “Website” from the drop-down menu and penetrate the URL of your place. Make sure you’re exercising the exact URL that appears in the browser barroom.

Click “Continue.”

Pick a way to verify you own your website( HTML file upload, domain name provider, HTML tag, GA moving system, or GTM receptacle snippet ).

If your area helps both http :// and https :/ /, supplement both as disconnected websites. You must also lend each subject( for example, hubspot.com, blog.hubspot.com, and www.hubspot.com ).

Google starts tracking data for your asset as soon as you lend it to GSC — even before it’s attested you’re the area owner.

Verifying your Site on GSC

Because GSC gives you access to confidential information about a website or app’s performance( plus influence over how Google crawls that website or app !), you have to verify you own that website or app first.

Verification gives a specific used ascendancy over a specific asset. You must have at least one verified owned per GSC property.

Also , had pointed out that validating your owned doesn’t affect PageRank or the effectiveness and efficiency in Google search. Of trend, the more information “youve had”, the easier it ought to grade higher — but simply lending your website to GSC won’t automatically acquire your rankings go up.

GSC verification methods

HTML file upload: Upload a proof HTML file to a specific location of your website.

Domain name provider: Sign into your subject registrar( like GoDaddy, eNom, or networksolutions.com ), and authenticate your website immediately from GSC or compute a DNS TXT or CNAME record.

HTML tag: Contribute a tag to the section of a specific page’s HTML code.

Google Analytics tracking system: Replica the GA tracking code that you use on your website.( You necessitate “edit” allow in GA for this option .)

Google Tag Manager receptacle snippet code: Imitate the GTM container snippet code links with your area.( You necessitate View, Edit, and Manage container-level allows in GTM for this option .)

Google-hosted areas, including Blogger and Sites sheets, are automatically verified.

WWW province or not?

True or inaccurate: hubspot.com and www.hubspot.com “re the same” domain.

The answer? Untrue! Each domain poses a different server; those URLs might gaze very similar, but from a technical perspective, they’re two unique domains.

However, if you type “hubspot.com” into your browser disallow, you’ll land at “www.hubspot.com”. What is this sorcery?

HubSpot has chosen “www.hubspot.com” as its promoted, or canonical, land. That means we’ve told Google we want all of our URLs displayed in search as “www.hubspot.com /……”. And when third party link to our pages, those URLs should be treated as “www.hubspot.com /……” as well.

If you don’t tell GSC which domain “youd prefer”, Google may discuss the www and non-www different versions of your orbit as separate — splitting all those page ends, backlinks, and engagement into two. Not good.

( At this time you should also set up a 301 redirect from your non-preferred arena to your preferred one, if you haven’t already .)

GSC users, owneds, and permissions

There are two GSC role-types. I know you might be aching to get to the good material( cough the data) but it’s important to do this right.

Owner: An proprietor has total dominate over their properties in GSC. They can add and remove other customers, change the settings, encounter all data, and access every implement. A verified owner has completed the asset proof process, while a delegated owner has been added by a verified one.( Delegated owners can add other delegated owneds .)

User: A user can see all data and make some actions, but can’t lend new useds. Full users can see most data and take some actions, while curbed users can only deem most data.

Think carefully about who should have which permissions. Handing everyone full possession could be dire — you don’t want someone to inadvertently change its significant locate. Try to give your unit representatives as much dominion as they need and no further.

For example, at HubSpot, our technical SEO manager Victor Pan is a attested owner. I’m an SEO content strategist, which signifies I use GSC heavily but don’t need to change any situates, so I’m a delegated owner. The member states of our blogging crew, who use GSC to analyze blog and pole conduct, are full users.

Here are detailed instructions on adding and removing owneds and users in Search Console .

There’s a third capacity: an identify. You can associate a Google Analytics quality with a Search Console chronicle — which will let you attend GSC data in GA reports. You can also access GA reports in two sections of Search Console: links to your website, and Sitelinks.

A GA property can only be associated with one GSC site, and vice versa. If you’re business owners of the GA property, follow these instructions to affiliate it with the GSC site.

Do you need a website map?

A site map isn’t necessary to show up in Google search results. As long as your area is unionized precisely( necessitating pages are logically linked to each other), Google says its web crawlers is usually find the majority of members of your pages.

But there are four places a area map will be enhanced your site’s crawlability 😛 TAGEND

It’s really big. The more pages you have, the easier it is for Googlebot to miss any changes or additives.

It has lots of “isolated” sheets. Any sheet that has few inbound associates from other sheets is harder for a web crawler to discover.

It’s new. Newer sites have few backlinks( ties from other websites) realise them less discoverable.

It expends rich media content and/ or is demonstrated by in Google News. In these cases, your sitemap sees it easier for Google to format and display your site in rummage.

Once you’ve improved your locate map, submitting their reports utilizing the GSC site planneds tool.

GSC site planneds report

After Google has processed and indexed your locate planned, it will appear in the Site maps report. You’ll be able to see when Google last-place read your place planned and how many URLs it’s indexed.

GSC aspects& metrics

There are a few periods you should understand before using GSC.

What’s a Google Search Console inquiry?

This is a search term that generated impress of your website sheet on a Google SERP. You can only find query the data used in Search Console , not Google Analytics.

What’s any suggestions?

Each time a tie-in URL appears in a pursuing ensue, it generates an impression. The customer doesn’t have to scroll down to see your search outcome for the impression to count.

What’s a clink?

When the user selects a tie-in that takes them outside of Google Search, that weighs as one click. If the subscribers clicks a relate, punches the back button, then sounds the same relation again — still one click. If then, they click a different associate — that’s two clicks.

When a used sounds a link within Google Search that runs a new inquiry, that’s not weighed as a click.

Also, this doesn’t include paid Google results

What’s average plight?

This is the aim standing of your sheet( s) for a inquiry or inquiries. Repute our usher to SEO tools is grading# 2 for “SEO software” and# 4 for “keyword tools.” The median stance for this URL would be 3( accepting we therefore grading for literally nothing else ).

What’s CTR?

CTR, or click-through rate, equates to Clicks divided by Impressions, multiplied by 100. If our upright shows up in 20 investigations, and makes 10 clinks, our CTR would be 50%.

Filtering in Google Search Console

GSC furnishes several different ways to position and parse your data. These filters are incredibly handy, but they can also be confounding when you’re instructing yourself with the tool.

Examination form

There are three search forms: entanglement, persona, and video. I normally use “web, ” since that’s where the majority of members of the HubSpot Blog traffic comes from, but if you get a lot of visits from persona and/ or video hunting, make sure you adjust this filter accordingly.

You can also compare two types of traffic. Just sounds the “Compare” tab, choose the two categories you’re very interested in, and hand-picked “Apply.”

This can lead to some interesting finds. For instance, I detected this color theory 101 post is getting more thoughts from persona research than web( although the latter is still rendering more clinks !).

Date array

GSC now offers 16 months of data( up from 90 eras ). You can choose from various categories of pre-set time periods or adjust a patronage range.

As with hunting character, you are able to equate two date straddles in the “Compare” tab.

Queries, sheet, country, invention, scour expression

Click “New” next to the Date filter to add up to five other types of filters: inquiry, page, country, maneuver, and investigation appearance.

These filters can be layered; for example, if I wanted to see data for SEO-related queries appearing on portable research, I’d compute a filter for inquiries containing “SEO” on portable devices. If I exclusively wanted to limit the results even further to uprights on the Marketing Blog, I’d be added filter for Pages containing the URL “blog.hubspot.com/ marketing”.

You can get very specific here — I recommend playing around with different combinations of filters so you ascertain what’s possible.

Index coverage report

Each page is named one of four statuses 😛 TAGEND

Error: The sheet couldn’t be indexed.

Inform: The sheet is indexed, but got a problem.


Submitted sitemaps

How to Use Google Search Console

Identify your highest-traffic sheets

Identify your highest-CTR inquiries

Find your average CTR

Monitor your CTR over meter

Monitor your notions over go

Monitor your median prestige over experience

Identify ranking mounts and lessens

Identify your highest-traffic inquiries

Compare your site’s search performance across desktop, portable, and tablet

Compare your site’s search performance across different countries

Learn how many of your pages have been indexed

Learn which pages haven’t been indexed and why

Monitor total number of indexed sheets and indexing inaccuracies

Identify portable usability matters

Learn how many total backlinks your place has

Identify which URLs have the most backlinks

Identify which sites link to you the most

Identify the most popular anchor text for external joins

Identify which sheets have the most internal associates

Learn how many total internal attaches your website has

Find and fix AMP lapses

See Google how Google examines a URL

Go to the old-fashioned version of Search Console

Can you witness why I love GSC? Let’s dig into each implementation case.

Identify your highest-traffic pages

Click Performance.

Click the “Page” tab( next to Queries ).

Change the time range to “Last 12 months”.( A full year gives you an overview of your commerce, but feel free to adjust the time period .)

Make sure “Total clicks” is selected.

Click the small downward arrow next to “Clicks” to sort from highest to lowest.

1. Identify your highest-CTR inquiries

Click Performance.

Click the “Queries” tab.

Change the year reach to “Last 12 months”.( A full time gives you a comprehensive overview of your congestion, but feel free to adjust the said period .)

Make sure “Average CTR” is selected.

Click the small downward arrow next to “CTR” to sort from highest to lowest.

Note: It’s useful to look at this in tandem with “Impressions”( check “Total impressions” to see this information side-by-side ). A page is a possibility high CTR but low marks, or vice versa — you won’t get the complete picture without both data points.

2. Look at median CTR

Click Performance.

Click the appointment to adjust the time period. Pick whatever array you’re very interested in.( Alternatively, click “Compare” to analyze two year strays at once .)

Look at “Average CTR”.

Click Performance.

Click the date to adjust the time period. Elect whatever compas you’re very interested in.( Alternatively, click “Compare” to analyze two appointment collections at once .)

Look at “Total impressions”.

Go to Status> Performance.

Click the appointment to adjust the said period. Pick whatever scope you’re very interested in.( Alternatively, click “Compare” to analyze two year strays at once .)

Look at “Average position”.

3. Monitor your CTR over period

I recommend continuing an seeing on CTR. Any substantial shift is substantial: If it’s declined, but impressions have gone up, you’re simply grading for more keywords, so average CTR has lessened. If CTR has increased, and marks have decreased, you’ve lost keywords. If both CTR and notions have gone up, congrats — you’re doing something right!

4. Monitor your impressions over time

As you generate more content and optimize your subsisting sheets, this count should increase.( As always, the committee is objections — maybe you decided to target a small number of high-pitched shift keywords rather than a great deal of median shift ones, are focusing on other paths, etc .)

5. Monitor median place over experience

Average position isn’t that useful on a macro height. Most parties are referred where reference is goes up — but that’s shortsighted. If a page or plan of pages starts ranking for added keywords, median arrange frequently increases; after all, unless you’re standing for the exact same orientation or better as your existing keywords, your “average” will get bigger.

Don’t pay too much attention to this metric.

6. Identify your highest-ranking sheets

Click Performance.

Click the “Page” tab.

Change the time straddle to “Last 28 days.”( You require an up-to-date, accurate snapshot of your pages .)

Make sure “Average position” is selected.

Click the small upward arrow next to “Position” to sort from smallest( good) to highest( bad ).

Click Performance.

Click the “Page” tab.

Change the year range to “Last 28 days.”( You crave an up-to-date, accurate snapshot of your pages .)

Make sure “Average position” is adopted.

Click the small downward arrow next to “Position” to sort from highest( bad) to lowest( good ).

Because you’re looking at median plight by URL, that number is the necessitate of all of that page’s positions. In other utterances, if it’s grading for two keywords, it might be# 1 for a high-volume inquiry and #43 for a low-volume one — but the average will still be 22.

With that in psyche, don’t adjudicate the success or downfall of a sheet by “average position” alone.

7. Identify your lowest-ranking sheets 8. Identify ranking growths and reductions

Click Performance.

Click the “Query” tab.

Click “Date range” to change the years, then pick the “Compare” tab.

Select two equivalent time periods, then click “Apply.”

At this station, you are able to look at the data presented in GSC, or export it. For an in-depth analysis, I most recommend the second largest — it’ll shape your life much easier.

To do so, click the downward arrow beneath “Search Appearance, ” then download it as a CSV file or export it to Google Sheets.

After you have this data in spreadsheet use, you can add a line for the position inconsistencies( Last-place 28 dates Position – Previous 28 daylights Position ), then kind by size.

If the difference is positive, your place has moved up for that inquiry. If it’s negative, you’ve dropped.

9. Identify your highest-traffic queries

Click Performance.

Click the “Query” tab.

Click “Date range” to choose a time period.

Originate sure “Total clicks” is adopted.

Click the small downward arrow next to “Clicks” to sort from highest to lowest.

Knowing which queries bring in “the worlds largest” exploration freight is clearly useful. Consider optimizing the higher-ranking pages for transition, occasionally modernizing them so they maintain their higher-rankings, putting paid advertisement behind them, using them to link to lower-ranked( but just as if not more important) related sheets, and so on.

10. Compare your site’s search performance across desktop, mobile, and tablet

Click Performance.

Go to the “Devices” tab.

Procreate sure “Total clinks, ” “Total notions, ” “Average CTR, ” and “Average Position” are selected.

Compare your performance across desktop, portable, and tablet.

11. Compare your site’s search performance across different countries

Click Performance.

Go to the “Countries” tab.

Meet sure “Total clinks, ” “Total impressions, ” “Average CTR, ” and “Average Position” are adopted.

Compare your performance across societies.

12. Learn how many of your sheets have been indexed

Start at “Overview.”

Scroll down to the Index coverage summing-up.

Look at the “Valid pages” count.

13. Learn which pages haven’t been indexed and why

Go to Overview> Index coverage.

Scroll down to the Details box to learn which Errors are effecting indexing issues and how frequent they are.

Double-click on any Error type to realise the affected page URLs.

14. Monitor total number of indexed pages and indexing faults

Go to Overview> Index coverage.

Make sure “Error”, “Valid with warnings”, “Valid”, and “Excluded” are all selected.

The total number of indexed pages on your website should typically go up over meter as you 😛 TAGEND

Publish brand-new blog announces, generate new arrival sheets, contribute additional locate pages, etc.

Fix indexing mistakes

If indexing mistakes go up hugely, a change to your place template might be to blame( because a large make of sheets have been impacted at once ). Alternatively, you may have submitted a sitemap with URLs Google can’t crawl( because of’ noindex’ edicts, robots.txt, password-protected pages, etc .).

If the full amounts of the number of indexed sheets on your website ceases without a proportional increase in errors, it’s probable you’re obstruction access to existing URLs.

In any case, to continue efforts to diagnose the questions by looking at your omitted pages and looking for clues.

15. Identify mobile usability publishes

Click Mobile Usability.

Make sure “Error” is selected.

Scroll down to the Details box to learn which Errors are motiving portable usability issues and how frequent “theyre about”.

Double-click on any Error type to learn the affected page URLs.

16. Learn how many total backlinks your place has

Click Links.

Open the Top linked sheets report.

Look at the box labeled “Total external links.”

Click the downward arrow next to “Incoming links” to sort from highest to lowest backlinks.

Every backlink is a signal to Google that your content is trustworthy and helpful. In general, the more backlinks the very best! Of course, aspect materials — one join from a high-authority area is much more valuable than two relations from low-authority locates. To determine which areas are connecting to a particular page, simply double-click that URL in the report.

17. Identify which URLs have the most backlinks

Click Links.

Open the Top connected pages report.

Click the downward arrow next to “Incoming links” to sort from highest to lowest backlinks.

If you want to help a sheet rank higher, supplementing a tie-up from a page with one tonne of backlinks is a good gambling. Those backlinks establish that URL a lot of page government — which it can then pass on to another page on your site with a link.

18. Identify which places link to you the most

Click Links.

Scroll down to “Top joining sites”> “More.”

Knowing your top concern provinces is unbelievably handy for advertisement — I’d recommend starting with these places whenever you do a link-building campaign.( Just make sure to use a implement like Moz, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to filter out the low-authority ones firstly .)

These may also be good candidates for comarketing campaigns or social media partnerships.

19. Identify the most popular anchor text for external ties

Click Links.

Scroll down to “Top attaching text”> “More.”

Anchor text should be as descriptive and specific as possible — and best instance situation, include your keyword. If you find websites attaching to your pages but employing anchor text like “Click here” “Learn more”, “Check it out”, etc ., consider sending an email asking them to update the hyperlink.

20. Identify which sheets have the most internal ties

Click Links.

Scroll down to “Top linked pages”> “More.”

It’s ordinary for some URLs to have more inbound links. For instance, if you run an ecommerce place, every product sheet in your “Skirts” category will relate back to the “Skirts” overview page. That’s a good thought: It tells Google your top-level URLs are the most important( which cures them rank higher ).

However, a heavily skewed relate dispensation fraction isn’t paragon. If a insignificant percentage of your URLS are going space more attaches than the respite, it’ll be difficult for the 95% to receive examine congestion — you’re not progressing enough authority to them.

Here’s what a heavily skewed dissemination looks like 😛 TAGEND

The optimal spread looks like this 😛 TAGEND

Use GSC’s link data to learn how your links are distributed and if you need to focus on originating your associate rationing more smooth.

21. Learn how many total internal associations your area has

Click Links.

Scroll down to “Top joined pages”> “More.”

Look at the box labeled “Total internal links.”

22. Find and fix AMP faults

Click AMP.

Make sure “Error” is selected.

Scroll down to the “Details” box to see which types of issues you have and how frequent they are.

Google recommends preparing inaccuracies before looking at the sheets in the “Valid with warnings” list. By default, flaws are ranked by seriousnes, frequency, and whether you’ve addressed them.

23. See Google how Google contemplates a URL

Click the lily-white magnifying glass at the top of the page.

Enter the page URL.( Make sure it belongs to the owned you’re currently considering .)

Here’s how to construe research results. If the URL is on Google, that intends it’s indexed and can appear in search.

That doesn’t mean it will — if it’s been marked as spam or you’ve removed or temporarily obstruction the contents, it won’t appear. Google the URL; if it shows up, searchers can find it.

Open the Index coverage card informed about the URL’s presence on Google, including which sitemaps point to this URL, the pertaining sheet that extended Googlebot to this URL, the last go Googlebot crawled this URL, whether you’ve permitted Googlebot to slither this URL, whether Googlebot actually could retrieve this URL, whether this sheet proscribes indexing, the canonical URL you’ve rectified for this sheet, and the URL Google has selected as the canonical for this page.

The Enhancement segment gives you information on 😛 TAGEND

The AMP version of this sheet, if it exists, and any AMP-specific issues

Status for chore posting and/ or recipe structured data

24. Go to the aged account of Search Console

The new GSC, while instinctive and well-designed, doesn’t have all the features of the age-old account. If you want to use the latter, click “Go to the old-fashioned version” in the left sidebar menu.


Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.

Read more: blog.hubspot.com