What Is ‘Google Search Console’?

Search results for "Google Search Console."
Courtesy of Google Search.

 

What Is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a service that allows webmasters to assess the performance of their websites on Google Search. Using Search Console isn’t a prerequisite for the inclusion of websites in Google Search results – rather, it is a tool intended to help business owners, SEO specialists, and web developers analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their websites regarding search performance.

Until May 20, 2015, Search Console was called Google Webmaster Tools.

Search Console incorporates a range of reports that, among other things, allow users to:

  • Assess the number of search result clicks against the number of impressions (CTR, or click-through rate).
  • Assess the position of their website for different search results.
  • Determine which queries showed the website on Google search.
  • Evaluate the mobile-friendliness of the website.
  • Review security issues and manual actions (if any) taken against the website.
  • View external websites that link to their website.
  • Troubleshoot usability and indexing issues.

To start using Search Console, webmasters need to add their website to their Search Console account. Additionally, they need to verify ownership of the added website. Methods of verification include adding an HTML tag to the website’s source code, uploading an HTML file to the website, or adding Google Analytics tracking code.

 

What Is The Difference Between Google Analytics And Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is intended to aid the assessment of a website’s Google search performance, while Google Analytics allows website owners to track the behavior of their website visitors.

Among other things, Google Analytics allows webmasters to determine:

  • The geographic distribution of their audience.
  • The demographic composition of visitors, including their age and gender.
  • The ratio of new vs returning visitors.
  • Visitor session durations.
  • How visitors have found the website (e.g. via organic search or social media).
  • Session entry and exit pages, as well as which webpages visitors view during their sessions.

With that in mind, Search Console and Analytics have different purposes, but they pursue the same goal – to assist website owners with optimizing their web presence.

 

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