Quick Guidelines to Webmaster Tools

Webmaster tools from major search engines (like Bing and Google) all provide site owners and webmasters with several key site architecture and performance data. Below are some of the most important ones from a SEO perspective:

Sitemap and Indexing Status: (Site Configuration) It allows site owners to submit the .xml sitemap file to search engine crawlers, and it updates the crawling and indexing status periodically. This great feature helps site owners to see which web pages are indexed, the current cache of the web site, and links to home page.

Crawling Details: (Site Configuration) It provide the function to generate the robots.txt file for easier crawler access. This function also allows site owners to see real accessibility problems with the web pages that need to be addressed to make sure those pages are indexable and working properly. It also has a “URL removal” function to allow site owners to remove a single URL or remove an entire directory/site.

Besides submitting web sites for indexing and crawling, Webmaster tools also offer lots of valuable tools to analyze your websites and their performance in Google, as well as detect any problems that may occur with them.

Click “Diagnostics” to check problems like
Malware Report
Crawling Errors: It shows any problems that search engines have with crawling specific pages on your site, URL not found, HTTP errors and etc.
HTML Suggestions: It shows potential problems with critical HTML problems from SEO perspective, such as Duplicate Title Tags, Short Meta Description Tags and Duplicate Meta Tags that may be occurring on web pages.

Search Traffic: (Your Site on the Web) It shows the top search queries, impression, click, CTR, and average position for these terms. It also provides internal and external linking status.

Page Speed and Loading Time: (Lab) The performance overview shows a graph of the aggregated speed numbers for the website, based on the pages that were most frequently accessed by visitors who use the Google Toolbar with the Page Rank feature activated. Besides page speed and loading time test, the webmaster tool also give page speed suggestions based on the Page Speed Firefox / Firebug plug-in.


Li Ma is a Chicago based SEO strategist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in Search Engine Optimization and other Digital Marketing best practice and tactics.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at 10:08 am and is filed under Internet Marketing, SEO, Web Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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