Seeing what Google sees

My next way of making sure that Google knows about my site, is to take a look into Google’s view of it.  To do this I am going to sign up for a service called “Google Webmaster Tools”.  This shows me the keywords that Google associates with my site and also the searches that led to it being found.

The first thing your going to need to do this is an account with Google.  If you’ve got one for something else like E-Mail or AdSense, then that’s fine.  Otherwise, visit Google and sign up for an account now.

Once you have your account, take the following steps:

1. Visit Google Webmaster Tools.  Sign in with the account that you just created, and have it activated for the Webmaster services.

2. Once you are logged in, click on “Add a site…”

Add a site

3. Enter the URL (address) or your site and click on “continue”

Enter the URL

4. You must now proove to Google that you own the site.  To do this, you can either add a META tag, or upload a special HTML file that Google offers you as a download.

Choose an authentication method

5. I recommend using the HTML file, as this avoids having to change the METAs in WordPress.  Download the file and upload it to your site using an FTP program.

Download the file and FTP it to your site

6. Once you have confirmed your ownership of the site, Google will show you the keywords and search results that are associated with it.

Google Webmaster Dashboard

7. The area “Your site on the web” can be opened up to see search queries in more detail.

Search queries

8. The same applies for keywords.


So why do you need this?  After all, your server statistics may give you the same sort of data.

Well, apart from give you more of a chance to work with Google in some later steps, it gives you an insight into what Google thinks about your site.

Even if you are passing keywords in your META tags, Google may have a completely different picture of your site.  If that is the case, then you may be wrongly indexed and not appearing on the searches that you want to.

By using the Webmaster Tools you can be aware of this and make changes to the site.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a blogger from Germany. He has written code for WordPress themes since 2006 and been creating websites since 1994.
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