What is Google Search Console?
What Is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (GSC) tools and reports help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results. It is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:
Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
View Google Search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your site, how often searchers click through for those queries, and more.
Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
Show you which sites link to your website.
Troubleshoot issues for AMP, mobile usability, and other Search features.
Who should use Google Search Console?
Business owners: Even if you won't be using Search Console yourself, you should be aware of it, become familiar with the basics of optimizing your site for search engines and know what features are available in Google Search.
SEO specialists or marketers: As someone focused on online marketing, Search Console will help you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking, and make informed decisions about the appearance of your site's search results. You can use the information in Search Console to influence technical decisions for the website and do sophisticated marketing analysis in conjunction with other Google tools like Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Ads.
Site administrators: As a site admin, you care about the healthy operation of your site. Search Console lets you easily monitor and in some cases resolve server errors, site load issues, and security issues like hacking and malware. You can also use it to ensure any site maintenance or adjustments you make happen smoothly with respect to search performance.
Web developers: If you are creating the actual markup and/or code for your site, Search Console helps you monitor and resolve common issues with markup, such as errors in structured data.
The Difference Between Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Google has created multiple tools for marketers to boost their success on the web, including Google Analytics and Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster). Both tools offer insight into your digital presence - but they're not the same.
Here's what you need to know about Google's marketing tools to help achieve the best possible insights - and the best possible results.
1. Google Analytics
Among the most popular tools for marketers, Google Analytics gives site owners a vivid snapshot of traffic statistics. Highlighting primarily how web users interact with your site, Google Analytics provides stats like total site visits, bounce rate, average time on site, and even demographic information for members of your audience. In addition, Google Analytics offers benefits for marketers running active campaigns, such as Google Ads. The primary focus of Google Analytics is to interpret and process website usage data, identifying trends and opportunities you can leverage to increase traffic, and boost your web presence.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a tool for webmasters that promotes success in search results. With a focus on clicks/ impressions, users are able to study things like click-through rates, search queries, crawl errors, links from outside websites, and HTML errors. These metrics have little to do with who actually visits your site; they're related to the ways your site appears to those searching keywords and phrases, making the options available valuable for SEO marketers and web developers.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console measure different things
Unlike Google Analytics, which presents flexible and customizable data in an easily-managed form, Google Search Console offers suggestions for approval, highlighting problem areas and opportunities for improvement.
What we do know is that Google uses a specific and mostly mysterious methodology to determine what a distinct click is, and this methodology likely does not line up with your analytics session configuration – leading to data discrepancies.
The measure methodologies employed by Google Analytics and Google Search Console are different, as explored above. Because of this, the data displayed is different.
How To Access to Google Search Console
To grant full access to Google Search Console, first, you must log in to your GSC account. To log in, go to search.google.com/search-console/. Click the blue Start now button to sign in to your Google account.
Once signed in, verify you are in the proper Google search console account by selecting the website you would like to provide access to, in the top left dropdown menu.
Navigate to Admin Settings
Once you are signed in to the proper GSC account, click the Settings button in the bottom left corner of the page. (Note, you may need to scroll down the page to find it.)
You should now see the Property settings, which include Ownership verification, Users and permissions, and Change of address. We will add a user to Google Search Console by editing the Users and permissions.
Add User to Google Search Console Account
Click Users and permissions and then click the blue ADD USER button in the top right corner of the User and permissions page.
Simply add the email address you’d like to grant access then select Full or Restricted permission.
Once you’ve selected the proper permission level for the user, click the ADD button.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully granted Full user permission to your website in Google Search Console. You can now let us know that we will be able to access your Google Search Console account.
Now that we have access to GSC, we will begin to review the search console account for any actionable items we may need to fix. We typically look for manual actions that may prevent your website from appearing in searches to 404 errors which need to be redirected to a live page, to missing sitemaps which may cause indexing issues. These issues are easy to fix but will cause major search engine optimization problems if they are left untouched.
If you need help reviewing your GSC account properties, do drop us an email at email@example.com
For more information on Google SEO tools, you can read our SEO blog articles here.