Google Search Console & Site Maps



You learned how to add your website to Google Search Console earlier in the course.

Now you will learn how to navigate Google Search Console and which items you should monitor for good SEO. Plus you will learn how to submit your Sitemaps to Google.

What is Google Search Console?

Through Search Console, Google provides website owners information on what Google sees when it visits their site.

As a website owner, you should routinely check Search Console to make sure there are no problems with your site.

We will go through each item in Google Search Console, so you will understand what it means and how it is essential to your SEO.

Welcome to Google Search Console



I find the Welcome to Google Search Console page to be deceiving because it leads you to believe that you haven't added your URLs.



To see your website's information:
  1. Click the hamburger in the top left corner.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Search Property.
  3. Then you can choose the URL. Remember that you should have four versions of your website listed - https://www, https://, http://www, & http://. Choose the one that you designated as the Preferred Domain.

Google Search Console Overview

The Overview pulls together the data from three other sections and displays it on one screen. We will cover the details when we get to those sections.

Index

In the Submitted Sitemaps section, you can check the status of your sitemaps and see if Google found errors. If you have errors, Google will tell you what they are.

It can take Google a day or two to update the status after you submit a sitemap.
SEO Benefit: Remember that your sitemap gives Google the directions to find your content. You want to make sure there aren't problems with those directions and that Google can always find you.

Enhancements

Manual Actions

Manual actions tell you if your site is in Google jail.



A Manual Action occurs when Google’s algorithm sets off an alarm that says a real live human needs to confirm the problem.

If the human agrees that there is an issue, you will receive a Manual Action against your site.

While you have a Manual Action against your site, Google may exclude you from search results or downgrade your rank.

The only Manual Actions I have seen references “unnatural links,” which means that Google has detected that you have Follow links that should have been No Follow. In other words, Google thinks you are paying for content so they have thrown you in Google jail.

How to Get Rid of a Manual Action

To get rid of a manual action, you need to fix the problem and then ask Google to reevaluate your site.

Sounds easy, right?

But here's the rub. Google won't tell you where or how many errors you have.

You are responsible for finding the errors on your own.

If you don't catch and fix all the errors, Google won't clear the manual action, AND they still won't tell you where or how many mistakes you have.

I Found a Manual Action. Now What?

Don’t panic. Depending on the manual action, there may be a quick and easy way to get out of Google jail.

If Google thinks you have unnatural links, you can place a site-wide No Follow code on your site that will make every link on your post No Follow.

Yes, that means you will lose the benefit of internal linking, BUT that is a small price to pay to get out of Google jail.

If you find a manual action on your site feel free to contact me at [email protected], so I can point you in the right direction to get it fixed.
SEO Benefit: Manual actions are the worst thing that can happen to your site's SEO. If you have a manual action, it should be your #1 Priority to get it fixed. Because until you do, the rest of your SEO efforts won't matter since Google may choose not to display your site in search results.

Links

The links section provides information on external links to your page and internal links.

Settings

In the settings, you can verify your site ownership and add users to your site.

Assignment - Submit Sitemaps & Identify Any Problems

Don't forget to visit our Facebook Group to share your progress or ask questions.