6 Effective Strategies for Google Webmaster Tools

Most people say that free stuff on the Internet is junk.

However, Google Webmaster Tools is definitely not one of them. This freebie service designed for webmasters, as the name suggests, aims for better website indexing and optimization.

When it was first introduced, naturally, it was met with skepticism. But as it gained more and more users, a lot of webmasters were eventually convinced that this helped them in more ways than the fingers can count.

But how exactly do you use these set of tools wisely?

1. Claim Ownership

Google will want confirmation of your ownership over a site. Basically, there are two methods of validating yourself: by default (through HTML metadata) and via uploading a text file.

But before you can do this, you must first sign in to Webmaster Tools with your Google account and then add your site. Only then can you validate your authority over a certain website.

Take note that it may take time before Google gathers all the data from your site. But when they do, you can then use all of the tools provided according to your needs.

2. Customize Crawler Entry

You can tweak the settings on your site regarding crawler access. In other words, you can customize the robots.txt file and specify how Google can ‘crawl’ your site. If you have a content that you do not want to be sniffed at, you can indicate so.

Note that there are only three choices for you: test robots.txt, generate robots.txt, and remove URL.

The last feature is immensely helpful because, should there be irrelevant or outdated articles that come out on SERPs (search engine results pages), you can use Remove URL to eliminate it forever on such pages.

3. Strive for Sitelinks

This feature basically adds relevant links to your existing list. These outbound links will appear below the search results pages for your site.

But Google does not just give these out randomly; you have to earn the right to access these links. To do that, your current link base must be quality, user-friendly, and relevant.

But after your site is up and running and you gain significant credibility in the online community, you will gain access to Google’s sitelinks and be able to manage these effectively.

Now how are these useful to you? First, sitelinks can significantly improve your click-through rate (CTR) and PPC quality score. Second, they can extend your ad text space, enabling you to show links to pages from your website in addition to your default landing page. And third, they enhance your SEO objectives and help you promote better brand awareness.

4. Tweak the Settings

This option allows you to customize according to your requirements, specifically with your target geographical region, domain name, and crawl speed.

With regards to your crawl rate, you can tweak the settings for a convenient page load time. Basically, you are telling Google at which time intervals it can crawl and analyze your pages.

5. Find Keywords

There is a section in Webmaster tools known as ‘search queries’ where you are provided with the list of keywords you have on your website. You can also view what keywords users entered that lead them to your site.

And most of all, this will help you determine which keywords are working for your SEO goals and which ones are less effective.

You can then use the results here to evaluate your current articles and determine whether they have proper placement of terms, if there is appropriate ‘spread’ of keywords, and if the overall quality of your site’s contents is good.

6. “To the lab!”

Labs is another tool that you can use to customize searches either by narrowing down the search exclusively to your site or by extending the parameters and include other sites similar to your niche.

You can also have instant previews where you can see screenshots of the SERP that includes one of the pages from your site.


These fantastic tools given to you by Google, for free, are all very helpful at making your tasks quicker and easier. And by understanding how to use them properly, you can maximize your SEO goals exponentially.

About the Author:
Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a professional SEO Bristol company offering services to companies across the globe.

Filed in: Analytics, Web Tools

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