Enjoying My Website?
This website was created in my personal time. If you can afford to buy me a coffee as my reward for my efforts, I would really appreciate it!
(NZ $5 secure payment via Paypal)
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Google Search Console, also known as GSC by the SEO crowd who love to throw around lots of acronyms, is a must-use for anyone who wants to optimise their site and gain organic rank in Google. Since Google searches represent an overwhelmingly high percentage of searches performed in New Zealand, I tend to fixate a fair bit on that search engine alone, but you should know that Bing (and other search engines) have similar SEO tools available, and I’ll refer to those later.
Data from GSC
Unfortunately, lots of website owners have never heard of this tool. GSC provides data regarding your website’s performance in organic search. It reports on many different elements that go into assessing your website for rank, and if you know what to look for, it will also provide lots of clues on how to improve your site’s structure, content, and link profile to raise your rank ahead of competitors. Be warned though, there’s plenty of data and the inexperienced user might be prone to misinterpreting it. If you are new to GSC or have used it for a while but have some gaps in your understanding of what it reports on, check out my page on GSC in more detail where I explain most of the features and functions and give you a quick run-down on how to use them.
The GSC dashboard is always a great place to start, and right off the bat you can see some really awesome stats about your website: like search impressions, click-throughs, crawl errors and sitemaps.
Going over these fairly simplistically, (see this page for detail):
Search impressions are the number of times any page in your website has rendered a search impression in Google Search Results Pages (SERPs for short). A search impression is triggered when a Google user does a search, and then Google responds by showing a link to one or more of your pages in the search results. That search impression could be anywhere – from rank #1 (page 1) to as deep as rank 500 (page 50) or later. The search impressions graph and data table also indicates Click-Throughs from those impressions where a user clicked on the search result and landed on your site. Bingo – you got one organic search referral to your website. If that happens often enough, for the right people, and leads to your site achieving your business goals – then your site is regarded as ‘search engine optimised’ for Google. It’s fairly common that a site will be getting at least some page 1 impressions in Google, even some rank #1 – but if that doesn’t translate into conversions on your website, then it’s not really worth much to you to get that click-through. The rules about how this all works are very similar in Bing, but their algorithm (the software that makes decisions on rank position) operates differently enough that sometimes the difference is surprisingly dramatic. In my view, Google provides the best result for the user out of these two search engines.
The GSC data will also report on your word content, the number of links that Google has discovered that lead to your site’s pages, mobile screen display usability issues, security threats and much more. It’s really a goldmine of info for managing your organic SEO campaign. I could rave about it for hours but I already wrote a page dedicated to it, so let’s leave it at that.
GOOGLE GSC DISAVOW
This Tool provides the ability to remove the page-rank ‘credit’ from any backlinks to your website or page. It warrants mention on its own here, because it’s an important tool to enable link clean-ups.
Many website owners may have used link-building schemes in the past that are now damaging their rank. Google Penguin is an algorithm issued by Google and is specifically targeted at reducing the benefit that bulk links once imparted on their linked-to destination pages. It was once possible to gain rank for a relatively poor quality page by simply getting thousands of links to point to it – irrespective if they passed human traffic or not. Now after multiple releases of the Penguin algorithm, only quality and natural backlinks can provide a page with ranking power, and then only if the page itself offers a quality user experience. The pre-requisite now is to provide quality content. Google claims that the only links that give your page credit are ones that are earned naturally, but link-building campaigns are none-the-less still a part of the SEO services reality. Ensuring they conform to ‘natural’ statistical patterns for the linked-to pages’ genre, then link building campaigns are still effective.
Before using this tool, you should examine your backlinks carefully before disavowing any. An experienced eye and use of some of the other tools mentioned on this page are a must. You should also make every effort to manually remove any poor backlinks that may have been built by you or on your behalf in the past. The removal request you provide to Google has to be accompanied by an explanation of the processes you have followed to remove the links.