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Google Webmaster Tools: The Importance of Verifying Your Site
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Google has recently taken Google Webmaster Central out of beta. This shows just how important webmasters are to Google. Google has even gone so far to enable comments on the Google Webmasters Central blog. At this time, I believe that this is the only Google blog property to do so. So along with the release from beta, we see just how important Google Webmaster Tools can be for webmasters.

Using Google Webmaster Tools is an easy process. The benefits of setting up Google Webmaster Tools are many including access to a wide variety of key data about your site. Herein lies the importance of why you should verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools. Once verified you are presented with a more complete and powerful set of diagnostic tools. For B2B marketers and webmasters this means items such as crawl errors, backlink inventories and page load times are all available for you to study and review in order to integrate as part of your search engine optimization strategy.

In November, SEO-Space reported on consistent sitemap protocol from Google, Yahoo and MSN. The importance of sitemaps as it releates to Google Webmaster Tools as stated by the search engines is defined as follows:

... a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site." Google goes on to state that "A Sitemap provides an additional view into your site (just as your home page and HTML site map do). This program does not replace our normal methods of crawling the web."

The engines want to work with webmasters as they want to index and find content that is useful and of benefit to the end user. The end goal here is to be able to provide the most relevant results possible.

Here are seven reasons as to why you should verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools.
  1. Using the webmaster tools can help you identify problem areas such as 404 pages that redirect and return 200 status ok pages (which confuse the spiders)
  2. Once verified, the data presented can help you diagnose site problems and facilitate the spidering and indexing of your site.
  3. Google provides a snapshot of site analysis and query information so you can determine how Google is viewing your site as an authority based on a theme
  4. Google Webmaster Tools can help B2B search marketers and webmasters with your search engine optimization campaign by providing a central location for data that may be affecting your site's performance in Google.
  5. Newly added feature of displaying link data can help you examine your external link inventories while providing the most popular anchor text that sites are using to link to your site.
  6. Liking data can provide insight into the internal linking structure of your site. If you have internal pages that are not being crawled and are not inheriting Page Rank you can determine how these pages are interlinked on your site.
  7. Google Webmaster Tools provides a more accurate snapshot of backlinks to your site although Google still maintains that this is only a snapshot of the links to your site.
By removing Google Webmaster Tools out of beta, Google has made it clear that they want webmasters to pay attention to these metrics. Verifying your site in Google Webmaster Tools can give you a more complete analysis of issues that may be affecting your site's status in Google. For more information, tips, tricks and Google Webmaster Tools developments, check out the Official Google Webmaster Central blog.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, March 21, 2007  
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Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
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