Google & # 39; s Search Console is a tool that allows website owners to see how Google indexes and processes their site. It is critical that you submit a sitemap so that all of your URLs are properly indexed.
The Search Console also includes many useful analysis tools, so you can see which searches are driving the most traffic and how your pages rank in Google's index. Plus, the search console shows if Google has found issues with your pages, which is especially important for AMP and mobile sites that need to be highly optimized. Google has a separate page speed checking tool that you want to use as well.
Verify your domain to get started
Go to the Search Console and enter your domain name to get started. You will be asked to authenticate with a challenge similar to how SSL authentication works. You want to copy the following string (including the
google site verification = part) and go to your domain provider.
 You want to add the string as a TXT record, with
@ as the host:
 Depending on your DNS provider, you may have to wait a few minutes for the changes to take effect. Once you are verified, you can access the console.
How to Use the Search Console
The "Overview" tab provides a quick look at your site's activity, and the "Performance" tab provides an in-depth look at how Google is doing. You can add a filter to limit the display to a specific page or page series:
One important thing to look at here is your impression – how often your page title and the fast blurb below it are shown to potential visitors. & # 39; CTR & # 39; stands for Click-Through Rate and is a measure of how often your site is clicked compared to others. A page with a higher position in the rankings is usually clicked more often.
If you scroll down, you will see a section of the most popular searches that lead visitors to your site. You can also view the most popular pages, countries and devices.
Under the "Coverage" tab, you can view a report on how your site is processed by Google. This includes displaying pages with errors that can prevent them from being ranked on Google, which you definitely want to fix.
This chart also shows all valid pages, pages with warnings and pages excluded from Google's index.
You can inspect all your pages by entering the URL in the search box above. The console searches the Google index and indicates whether Google is indexing that page correctly. If not, you can manually ask Google to recrawl using the 'Request indexing' button.
This crawls the page and follows most of the links, so submitting your homepage this way may be enough for some sites.
If your site is particularly large and complex to crawl (for example, a WordPress site like this, with hundreds of articles), you'll want to submit a sitemap instead. A sitemap is like a table of contents for your entire site; it contains links:
If you are on WordPress, you can use a plugin like Google XML Sitemap to generate yours. For other sites, there are plenty of online generators that can arrange it for you, and you can always build it manually according to their schedule.
It should be noted that you don't want any URL indexed on your site. You want the canonical version of every page indexed by Google instead. If you have duplicate or alternate pages, Google will mark them as duplicates, meaning the canonical page was found and recognized as the primary page. If this happens where you don't want it, your links may be mismanaged or your content may have been repeated.