I am going to talk about Google Webmaster Tools in a 3-part article and explain all the important places you need to check or adjust. Google Webmaster Tools has been improved greatly in 2012. The focus will be on http://newmediasources.ca. That’s right, I am going to publish my own numbers. The site is less then 6 months old so you’re not going to see thousands of visitors or impressions. I am in the process of building this site up and improvements will happen. I’ve guest blogged on great sites and overtime I am sure to see New Media Sources in the top 100,000 (currently 763,533) sites in the world.
I am not going to go over every little detail like signing up or where you should go on the dashboard. According to Nacho Libre, “lets get to the needy greedy”.
Geographic Target – The first place to check is your “Geographic Target”. In my case, I have a .ca domain is its automatically targeted to Canada. If you have other domains like a .com domain you would be able to select a country where you want to target.
Preferred Domain – I personally like to set a preferred domain without the www. It’s just easier to write and more user friendly. Make sure you forward one to the other with a 301 redirect. For example, I’ve picked http://newmediasources.ca and have forwarded http://www.newmediasources.ca to what I’ve selected in Google. You probably won’t get a PR until you do this or simply leave it alone with “Don’t set preferred domain” selected.
Crawl Rate – Keep “Let Google optimize for my site (recommended)” selected unless Google spiders are slowing down your site. I wouldn’t touch this unless you have a hugely popular site with a set audience. Even then I wouldn’t change this setting since Google spiders don’t really bog down your site.
Sitelinks are extremely useful. They help a user searching for your brand locate a page on Google search results without actually digging into your website. This is great usability. Also please remember that Google decides when your site is trustworthy enough to show deep links with Sitelinks. An SEO can acquire credible links with quality content to boost your chances.
Once Sitelinks are established you can only demote a link. You can’t actually change it.
URL parameters are similar to canonicals only done through Google Webmaster Tools. You can tell Google if you have identical content here. I would really stick to using Canonicals instead. It’s just more efficient then sitting in this section and entering information. You can find more information on URL parameters here.
Change Of Address
If for some reason you change the address of your site (I wouldn’t know why someone would do this unless they broke major Google rules and it that case there is no need to tell Google about the old site), you can give Google you’ve moved. Just make sure you the all your 301’s and verify your new site with Google Webmaster Tools.
Users And Associates
Users and associates are a place to add other members to view and adjust a specific account. If you have multiple SEO’s or marketers working on the same project, simply add their email and they are good to go.
This is the first part of four introductions to Google Webmaster Tools. Make sure to check back soon for the other three.
[schema type=”person” name=”Puya Turkiyan” jobtitle=”SEO & Online Marketing Specialist” url=”http://newmediasources.ca/” description=”Puya Turkiyan is an established online marketing specialist providing SEO services in beautiful Vancouver, BC with a great track record and an eye for conversion with lead generation.” city=”Vancouver” state=”BC” ] Puya has provided SEO Services all over North America.