Google Webmaster’s Tools: Top 5 Uses

August 11, 2009 posts a decent reminder in importance and prioritizing. Using Google Webmaster Tools will only help if you get data that tells you what to do, though. As with all tools, use the data incontext and not as dictation. 1% SEO for the little things, 99% SEO for everything else.

Chat Man

The Five Most Important Things You Can Do with Google Webmaster Tools

Rating: 5 stars / 3


Table of Contents:

# The Five Most Important Things You Can Do with Google Webmaster Tools

# Finish Verifying the Site

# Second and Third Important GWT Tasks

# Fourth and Fifth Important GWT Tasks

via The Five Most Important Things You Can Do with Google Webmaster Tools.


Howling for Supplemental Results

September 10, 2008
Michael Gray, BKA GrayWolf, once again shares insight that goes beyond SEO Chatter to SEO Practice. (Whenever I see a GrayWolf post, I imagine his voice saying, “Okay, Kiddies! Listen up!”) 

When I first began tinkering in the world of SEO, one of the things I heard, too often, was, “You have a lot of pages in the Supplemental Index on Google.” Immediately, my thought was how do I get those pages out of Supplemental Indexing (hint: making sure <meta> Title & Description tags were used properly was a great place for me to start!)? After that, I realized quite quickly that the Supplemental Index was my resource for knowing which of my pages Google (and, I presumed, probably the other search engines, too) did not particularly like. Needless to say, attacking the Supplemental Index pages acknowledged by Google significantly increased organic visibility across the board (Yahoo! and MSN showed increases, too, but not as significantly as G).

But, Google took away Supplemental Index results. There went my data resource! Clumsily, I tried checking cache dates, but sometimes the cache date *I* saw was not, necessarily the most accurate information; so it was pointless. (Check your bot activity in your server logs vs. actual cache dates of those same pages on MSN and Google. My experience shows minor discrepancies and a metric like the one I was going for needed much more conformity.) I tried tracking linking references reported in Google and Yahoo! (but everytime an algo changed, so did my data!) but a site of 3,000+ indexed pages generates some extremely large link reports and I wasn’t going to get all the data I needed, anyway! I needed to know, with certainty, *what* was being crawled, when it was crawled, and weather or not that page was organically ranking for any traffic.

But (GrayWolf even points out the ‘eureka’ moment) Michael has given me that information back!

And that, boys and girls, is professional SEO in action! Many, many thanks Mr. Gray!

Disclaimer: Any SEO technique that really takes 60+ days to offer up any significant data or rank movement is worth looking into. Good SEO takes TIME, so don’t pass over good techniques for ‘quick’ techniques. (If you don’t believe me, check out the folks on Twitter who were counting on their bio page to give them rank. It worked, until Twitter changed its methodology. Think of all that wasted time…)

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Posted on September 10th, 2008 



When Google took away the supplemental index last year, they killed one of the key diagnostic tools in the SEO’s toolbox, the ability to identify which parts of a site were unimportant (and being infrequently crawled) in a search engines eyes.
To tell what pats of a site google (or any search engine for that matter) thinks are important what you need is a way of date tagging when the last time a search engine visited/indexed the page. It’s not important to know that it was crawled 16:42:03 on September 8, 2008, it’s important to know that it’s been over 30/60/90 days since a search engine visited that page.
One of the problems with this method is if you have pages that aren’t being crawled now it may be a while before they are crawled with the new date code keyword phrase stamp.
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G-Myths and Metrics

August 28, 2008
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Website Metrics and Analytics

What’s REALLY important when measuring website metrics and analytics?

by Esther C Kane
August 28, 2008
Now that Google has officially announced that they will no longer accept any automation tools scanning their
search engine for website rankings, some SEO firms and SEO webmasters are wondering what can they use for their Website Metrics and Analytics?
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How you measure the performance of your website may not give you the information that you really need and, most times, accurately assessing your site is more a matter of what you measure. In my post about bounce rate importance, I address the idea of how a bounce rate can be high on successful campaigns, and low bounce rates can spell disaster for others.

Editorial Note: Not to slight Esther, in any way, but Google has made no such “Official Announcement,” as my previous posts shows. It’s always important to verify the origins of G-Myths, as so many of them go flying around at the slightest movement of Google.

Aside from that, Esther does point out some very important metrics to consider:
1) ROI (Return On Investment)
*Google Analytics will track ROI to a certain degree. Lead generation or sign-up counts and any other activity that is not monetarily tracked will have to be assigned a dollar value, which can skew actual numbers
2) Unique Visitors
*Any adequate site analytics package should track this metric.
3) Leads (See #1: ROI)
4) Conversions
* Be sure that you’ve established a methodology to track the conversion to a sale, otherwise you won’t really know what kind of effect your online activity is really having on your overall revenue.
5) Time on Page
* Do you have a directory page? Page times for that should be relatively lower than other pages in your site.
* Do you have a search results page? Page times for that should be a bit above your site’s average.
6) Call to action
*Be sure that your call to action is relevant and unobtrusive. Multiple links to a sign-up/sale/registration page should be attributed ‘nofollow’ to preserve your internal pages’ link juice.
7) Bounce Rate
* See above comments

Bounce Rate: Info for SEO, or Distraction?

August 22, 2008
Bounce rates can be difficult to understand, tougher to measure, and insane to base decisions on. 

Before you see high bounce rates and freak, ask yourself if there may be a good reason for this.

Before you see low bounce rates and pat yourself on the back, be sure that you have an appropriate ‘time on page’ measurement, among other things. Visitors that spend little time on a page, but click-through many pages, may have left your site *without* the info they wanted. And none of us get bookmarked/tagged/blogged for being pointless, do we?

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Bounce Rate. What does it mean to you?
Wouldn’t it be true that if an information site was properly designed and structured and was very SE friendly wouldn’t a high bounce indicate success? Someone is looking for something, searched, found your page in the SERP and left because they got the information they were looking for.
High bounce rates for an ecommerce site with no checkout are a concern. There are many things that would affect that one. I think deal shopping is one of the top factors. Maybe those generating the high bounce rates will be back to purchase if they’ve found you’re offering a good deal?

other metrics to take into consideration while looking at bounce rates like, how many of those bounces are human? And, could someone program a bot to sit there and generate high bounce rates for your site and wreak havoc on the metrics and the performance of your site?

What happens if you discover a competitor is doing this? How does one protect their site from this kind of sabotage?

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