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Top 10 reasons why Google Webmaster Tools is my BFF

When it comes to SEO, Google Webmaster Tools and I are Best Friends Forever.

Fist Bump - courtesy Time

I know at the end of the day, dude always has my back. He’s fluff to my peanut butter, Hutch to my Starsky, my broheim. He’s brutally honest; he’s one of those friends that tells you like it is, even if it’s bad. And I admire that!

Let’s get down to it: 10 reasons why Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is my BFF (if you can’t follow this, there’s a list of straightforward reasons why I like GWT after this list):

  1. He helps me rep-re-zent.  All I want is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  I want to be known!  GWT tells me (“Index stats”) whether or not I can be found in his index. He should be braggin’ about me!  If not, then there’s something awry.
  2. Mo Pages, Mo Problems.  GWT lets me know if he’s having problems getting to know me.  Am I slow in getting back to him (“URLs timed out”)?  Did I tell him I was going to meet him somewhere and not show up (“HTTP Errors” and “Not Found”)?  He’s a guy that keeps a journal so he knows exactly how many times he’s expected me to be somewhere only to not find me there.
  3. He has has his ear to the ground.  He tells me what people are saying about me (“Top Search Queries”).
  4. Helps spread the word if I want to be called “Christian” or “Chris” (“Preferred Domain”).  I mean, calling me both names is technically the same.. but what name would I prefer to be called?
  5. He wants to know all. about. me.  So, instead of relying on our conversations for him to piece together what I’m all about, I just can say hey, can I just give you this full biography of who I am (“Submit a sitemap”) and just call that good?  He’s a crazy cat though – he only likes this biography in a certain format (.xml)… he’s weird like that (just playin’ GWT!).  He also is somewhat of a grammar snob, letting me know if there are any problems with the biography.
  6. He’s detail-driven.  He’ll let me know if I have any issues (“Content analysis”).  So I didn’t have a title tag here and I had a long META description there – he gets up all in my grill and tells me about it!  Lay off, my man!
  7. Dude is a n.e.r.d.!  We’re not talking about manga or anime or anything: he loves statistics (“Statistics Overview”).  I mean, it’s cool and all… but sometimes he starts talking about who craves my attention and (“Subscriber Stats”) even channels his ‘inner-self’ (“What Googlebot sees”) and really opens up about what he sees in me.  I mean, it’s flattering… but dang, he can be harsh!
  8. He loves gossip.  He craves it, in fact.  And he will tell me whenever someone happens to talk about me (“Pages with external links”).  He’ll even note when I’m talking about myself (“Pages with internal links).  “Why would Christian steal from the Yankees?”
  9. When people ask about me… GWT lets me tell him what I would like him to say about me (“Sitelinks”).  So, say someone asks about me… I can tell GTW that I would like him to let that individual know about my funny personality, perhaps a small synopsis of who I am, or otherwise.
  10. Sometimes, I like to keep some details of my life private… like my love for Mandy Moore.  Or my liking of the Los Angeles Lakers.  I can tell GWT to never tell anyone of these certain aspects of my life (Generate robots.txt).  Well, I guess they’re not very private now..

And there you go.  That’s a short list of why Google Webmaster Tools and I are BFF.  Now, for the more serious readers – here’s the list again, but without all the BFF stuff

  1. Index stats – says if your site is included in Google’s index.  Also if Google has accessed your home page.
  2. Web crawl errors – tells you if Google is having trouble crawling and indexing your site.
  3. Top search queries – gives you an quick synopsis of the top search queries people are searching on that access your site.
  4. Preferred domain – specify your canonical here to tell Google if you would like your site to be http://www- or http://-.
  5. Submitting a sitemap – submit your xml sitemap and see if there are any errors Google has found.
  6. Content analysis – lets you know if any of your pages lack title tags or have long (or short) META descriptions.
  7. Statistics – gives you some stats such as how many subscribers your site has, crawl stats and even “What Googlebot sees”.
  8. Links – lets you know how many reported external links are pointing to your site (and which specific pages are being linked to) as well as your inlinks.
  9. Sitelinks – you can somewhat control what sitelinks Google shows for a branded result of yours that has sitelinks.
  10. Robots.txt generation and analysis – you can generate a robots.txt file on GWT and also analyze it to check if there are any errors.

Google Webmaster Tools is an invaluable tool that allows you to really see in-detail what Google thinks of your site.  If you have problems – don’t fret!  Start correcting them one-by-one and before you know it, you’ll have a website in good standing with virtually zero crawl or sitemap errors. That will make it a lot easier to get great results from Google.

About Christian Bullock