Google Search Console

Google Search Console

The ins and outs of Google's tools for webmasters

Google Search Console for Technical SEO

Google Search Console: Webmaster Tools from Google

Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is a free online tool by Google that helps you track your website’s presence in Google’s search results and in Google Discover. For technical SEO, it is a definitive source of information. For smaller sites, manual work with the Search Console can even replace certain technical SEO tools.

The Search Console reports on the number of times a page from the website appeared in the search results and the number of times a page in the search results was clicked. For each Google query your site appears in the results for, you can see the average position of your site, which helps you identify the most profitable keywords on your site.

It can be less helpful for long-tail queries, though: queries with few searches or few clicks may contain identifying information; for compliance reasons, these queries can not be inspected in the Search Console.

It also provides access to technical SEO information on individual pages of the website, such as the canonical URL chosen by Google, the dates of the last crawl, the type of Googlebot that explored the page, as well as data on mobile friendliness and on search result enhancements based on Schema.org markup.

Authoritative information about Google Search crawl and index

Google Search Console is also the official source of information when it comes to a website’s performance in Google Search. For example, it is the only place where you can find the official number of pages of a website in Google’s index. It is also the only place where you can find a list of manual penalties Google has raised against the site, as well as lists of warnings, crawl issues, or compliance issues.

It contains a variety of tools to optimize and to understand the indexing of your site:

  • URL inspection tool: discover how Googlebots interpret a webpage, uncover crawl issues on an individual page, or request indexing for that page.
  • Sitemap submission tool: submit an XML sitemap with a list of pages you want Google to explore
  • Structured data testing tool: verify how you format structured data on your website to ensure that Google is able to use it to enhance your search listings
  • Manual actions: see, fix, and remove manual penalties against your site

Revamped in 2018, certain tools and reports still exist in only legacy versions:

  • URL removal tool: request the removal of a page from Google’s index. It will no longer be visible in search results
  • Crawl stats: view graphics of the number of times Googlebots have visited your website
  • URL parameter tool: block Google’s exploration of URLs containing certain parameter strings in order to avoid duplicate content issues

Taken together, this makes Google Search Console a necessary tool for technical SEOs trying to manage or understand their own website’s performance on Google.

Tutorials and guides about Google Search Console

How to use Google Search Console for technical SEO

[Tutorial] Rankings report

A step-by-step guide to combine your Search Console data to your crawl report

[Video tutorial] How to connect external data in OnCrawl

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[Tutorial] How to calculate the number of resources needed for log analysis

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[Video tutorial] How to monitor page speed in OnCrawl

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FAQ about Google Search Console

Can I export report data from Google Search Console?
Yes, you can export most reports in Google Search Console as a CSV file or as a Google Sheets file.
Can I see my competitor’s website in Google Search Console?
No. Because of the website validation measures put in place by Google Search Console, you can only see websites you own or have the right to work on.
How do I get access to a Search Console account for my site?
You can access Google Search Console at https://search.google.com/search-console. You will then need to add a property ( = your website), and verify it using one of the following methods: HTML file upload, HTML tag placement, DNS record, Google Analytics tracking code, Google Tag Manager snippet, or specific procedures for Google Sites, Blogger, or Google Domains. This ensures that you have ownership or direct access to the website you're trying to add.
How long back does Google Search Console let me see data for?
Google Search Console currently allows you to look at data for up to 16 months back. Earlier data is not available in the Search Console.
Where can I find Google Search Console help?
Google provides a help center and a community forum for the Search Console. Both can be found here: https://support.google.com/webmasters#topic=9128571
Who can see my website in Google Search Console?
Only people who have access to your website through different validation methods can see your website in the Search Console. If you are a website owner, you should make sure that your SEOs have access to the tool.
Why are there differences between my log file data and Google Search Console’s crawl stats?
There are multiple reasons for differences between log file data and Google Search Console's crawl stats. The primary reason, which we've seen by looking at data for thousands of sites, is that the crawl stats combine data from all of Google's bots, even those (like Mediapartners) not used for organic search purposes. In contrast, most SEOs looking at log files will concentrate on bots with a "Googlebot" User-Agent.
Why do I only see 1000 results in Google Search Console?
Google Search Console limits results in the web version to 1000 lines. This means you might see different results if you filter or sort the results. (The 1000-line limit also applies to downloads and exports. To get around this limit, you can use the Search Console API.)
Why is my Google Search Console data not up to date?
Until 2019, Google Search Console's most recent data was frequently a week old or older. While Google has taken steps to correct that, there are still occasional lags, such as the ten-day lag for many sites in early January 2020. Google usually corrects these quickly, and data is generally available within a day or two.
Why should I use the Google Search Console API?
The Google Search Console API is an alternative way of accessing the same data available in the online interface. However, the API makes it easier to connect Search Console data with other tools, and is one way to get more data than just the first 1000 lines shown online and in exports.

OnCrawl and Google Search Console

Use the power of a technical SEO platform and integrate data from Google Search Console into your technical SEO analyses.

Discover OnCrawl's Google Search Console integration