Webmaster Tools – Daily Tasks

Webmaster Tools - GoogleGoogle Webmaster Tools should be a part of your daily tasks when it comes to monitoring the health of your websites. Over the years Google has become more transparent in sharing their analytic’s information. Monitoring this information on a daily basis lets you know immediately if your websites are having issues with the Google search engine. Keep in mind that the information in Google Webmaster Tools are usually two to several days delayed.

There are several areas to review each day.

The first one is the dashboard. Here, at a glance, you’ll be able to determine if there are any problems with crawl errors, search query traffic and sitemap indexing. If you do notice an issue, you simply click the arrow on the right side of the grey bar above the metric you are reviewing, and it will immediately take you to more comprehensive information.

On the dashboard look for a red “!” in the three boxes. If you do see one, click the arrow in the grey tab to take you to the Crawl Errors page. Then click on the box  showing the error. Below you’ll see a graph and a list of URL’s that are creating the problem. The response code will let you know what type of error there is. Clicking on the URL will allow you to see the page specifically.

Next the Search Query Graph will let you see how many queries, impressions and clicks your website is receiving. Look for upward and downward trends. If there is a drastic change, then click the arrow in the grey bar to look at the specifics of the trends. A downturn in trends will alert you of a ranking or indexing problem.

Then in the sitemap area, you’ll be able to see how many of your pages that were submitted with your sitemap are being indexed. If there is a large difference between the two, investigate deeper for indexing problems.

After the Dashboard page, you’ll want to click on the Health link, then  Index Status. Here you will also want to look at trends. A sharp downturn in indexed pages lets you know that Google is not indexing a lot of your pages. You’ll want to explore the reasons why, which are usually tied to pages with problems or similar content.

The last daily check is to click on the Optimization link on the left, then HTML Improvements. Here you will want to keep track of Duplicate Title Tags. You’ll want to correct any duplicate titles, allowing Google to index and rank all your pages. If you have duplicate titles, Google may not give indexed value to both pages.

If you follow these daily routines, you’ll be able to identify problems early.

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