Google provides many free tools to webmasters that are very helpful and provide a wealth of information. Google Webmaster Tools is an essential tool that all website owners should use. Getting Google Webmaster Tools set up on your website involves a quick sign up process. All that you need is a Google Account and your hosting information to hook up your site to Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Webmaster Tools is great from a technical SEO perspective. As Google has become more transparent and communicative with website owners, Google will now send messages to webmasters via Google Webmaster Tools to alert the website owner if there are any issues going on with the site or anything else that they should know about. For example, Google has recently begun sending out “unnatural link” warnings to website owners when Google detects links pointing to the site that are out of the ordinary and coming from websites that are deemed to be low quality in the eyes of Google. These notifications are very helpful and keep website owners on track as they carry out SEO and other online marketing activities.
Important features of Google Webmaster Tools include allowing webmasters to submit a sitemap in order to get the site properly indexed, information on how the Google robot is crawling the site and whether it is encountering any errors that need to be fixed, a list of internal and external links that are pointing to the website, a list of links that are broken on the site, a list of keywords that led to the site appearing on the SERP and the click through rate of those keywords in addition to where they showed up on the SERP, indexing information, and a list of any other errors that may be detected.
A Google Webmaster Tools account should be set up on the site as soon as the site goes live. If it’s not set up, it will be set up at the onset of an SEO campaign. A website needs to be functioning properly from a technical perspective in addition to a content/usability perspective in order for it to rank prominently in the SERPs. Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t need to be checked every day but it should be check on a regular basis to ensure that things are operating as they should. Anytime that major website content changes are made the sitemap should be resubmitted to prompt the search engines to go back and visit the site and rank the new content accordingly.