What Is Google Search Console? (+How Does It Work?)

Google Search Console (GSC) is a pivotal resource for anyone with a website. This free tool offered by Google is not just a technical suite for the SEO savvy but a comprehensive platform that empowers website owners, marketers, and content creators to monitor, maintain, and optimize their site’s presence in Google Search results. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner in the digital realm, GSC offers invaluable insights into how your website is perceived by the world’s most powerful search engine. In this article, we delve into the heart of what is Google Search Console, exploring its functionalities, benefits, and the pivotal role it plays in steering your website’s journey through the vast ocean of online searches.

What Is Google Search Console?

What Is Google Search Console?

After some time since its release, Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) has become an essential tool for many professionals rather than just webmasters. SEO experts, marketing managers, web designers, company owners, app devs, etc., started to benefit from this service highly, and Google decided to upgrade its name in May 2015 to be more inclusive.

If you don’t really know what Google Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console is, let’s explain in detail. Google Search Console is an entirely free service by Google. It enables you to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot your site’s appearance in Google Search results. You don’t have to register to the Search Console to see your Google Search results. Still, Search Console assists you in understanding and improving how Google sees your site. You can also find useful data about the people who visit your website, e.g., how many people visit your website and how they find it if they visit your website on a desktop computer or mobile, and which pages receive the most clicks. You can find your site’s errors and fix them or submit a sitemap, too.

According to Google, whether you’re a business owner, SEO specialist, marketer, site administrator, web developer, or app creator, Search Console will be helpful to you. But even if you use platforms like Blogger, Wix, or Squarespace or run a small business, the Search Console has benefits.

If you’re willing to improve how your site appears on Google Search, and you have some time to spend on learning about search engine optimization (SEO) and Search Console, then keep on reading.

Before you can work on your data, you have to add and verify your site first. Add and verify your website in the Search Console to prove to Google that you’re a site owner, an authorized user, or a webmaster. Search Console gives you detailed information and insights about the performance of your website. 

How Does Google Search Console Work?

Google Search Console works in 3 steps: Crawling, Indexing, and Serving. Crawling means following links to discover the essential pages on the web. There isn’t an automatic list that stores all web pages. Google must always search for new sites and add those to its known pages list. Crawling basically means this process of discovery. 

  • Pro Tips: Submit an individual URL to Google or ensure that some other site that Google already knows about links to your webpage.

Indexing means storing information about all the crawled websites. After a page’s discovery, Google attempts to learn what is the page’s content. We call this process “indexing.” Google examines the content catalogs of all the images and videos that are embedded on the given website. “Google index” stores this information, which is a vast database stored in many computers.

  • Pro Tips: You can use short but meaningful page titles to improve your page indexing. These titles should make the reader understand what the content is about. 

Lastly, serving (or ranking) means determining what each page is about and how it should rank for relevant queries. When a user searches a question, Google seeks to get the most suitable result from its index. This action is based on various determinants. Google tries to arrange the highest quality answers. It considers other factors that will provide the best user experience and the most relevant results. Google also analyzes things such as the user’s location, language, and device (a computer or a mobile device). I.e, searching for “coffee shops” will show different results to a user in London than it would to a user in Istanbul. 

  • Pro Tips: Make your page fast-loading and mobile-friendly. Put valuable content on your page and keep it updated. Read and follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines to advance your serving and ranking.
key features of GSC

Key Features of Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a powerhouse of features designed to enhance your website’s performance in Google Search. Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

  • Performance Report: Provides insights into how your website performs in search results. Offers data on clicks, impressions, click-through rates (CTR), and the average position of your pages.
  • URL Inspection Tool: Delivers a detailed analysis of how Google views each URL on your site. Highlights any issues related to crawling, indexing, or security.
  • Sitemap Submission Feature: This allows you to inform Google directly about the structure of your site. Ensures that all your pages are discovered and indexed by Google.
  • Mobile Usability Report: Identifies pages on your site that are not mobile-friendly. Provides suggestions for making your site more accessible on mobile devices.
  • Manual Actions and Security Issues Sections: Offers alerts on actions required to maintain your site’s health and security. Helps in addressing potential risks and penalties.

Each of these features collectively makes Google Search Console a vital tool for managing and enhancing your website’s presence in Google Search, offering clear insights and actionable steps to optimize how your site is perceived and ranked.

How to Set Up Google Search Console

If you are a website owner, knowing how to set up Google Search Console is a must because you have to check on your website and adjust the changes to your website. Rest assured, if you don’t know, we will be here to help you how to set up Google Search Console step by step.

First of all, you need to sign in to your Google account and visit Google Search Console. Second, you need to click the ‘’Start now’’ button and copy-paste your website URL into the box, then click ‘’Continue’’. After that, you are required to verify the ownership of your website. In order to do that, you can add a special HTML tag to your homepage or use Google Analytics to verify your ownership. After you complete the verification, click the ‘’Sitemaps’’ button to enter the directions to your sitemap and click ‘’Submit’’.

That may take some time for new data to process, so be patient and don’t forget to check your website’s performance.

Add a Domain Property

Add a Domain Property

Domain property is important because if you do not add a domain property to your website, you will not be able to get well-detailed information about your website. In order to add a domain property, you need to sign in to Google Search Console with your Google account. Find and choose the ‘’Domain’’ option. After that, enter your domain, and then you need to verify your ownership. And after you complete the verification, submit your sitemap by clicking the ‘’Submit’’ button, and then you are done. After you submit your sitemap, do not forget to check your website’s performance once in an hour.

Add a URL Prefix Property

Sign in to Google Search Console with your Google account to add a URL prefix property. Once you sign in with your Google account to Google Search Console, you will need to add a new property, so you need to click on the ‘’+’’ button in order to add a new property. After that, you need to choose the ‘’URL Prefix’’ option. If you want to check a certain part of your website, you will need to copy-paste the URL prefix. After that, you must verify your ownership to complete the verification. Once you verify the ownership, submit your sitemap and you successfully add a URL prefix property.

Domain Property vs. URL Prefix Property

Depending on what type of website you are running and to what extent you want to control your website, there are differences between domain property and prefix property. For instance, if your website doesn’t have any subdomain, the domain property option will be more sufficient for you, or if your website has different subdomains like support and e-commerce, you might want to use the URL prefix property to monitor every subdomain. In short, if you want to control one single website, then domain properties are less challenging to deal with when controlling only one website. On the other hand, if your website has different parts, then URL prefix properties are more efficient to control more than one part of a website.

How to Add a Sitemap to Google Search Console

How to Add a Sitemap to Google Search Console

To add a sitemap to Google Search Console, you need to sign in to Google Search Console with your Google account. You can choose domain property or URL prefix property in order to add a sitemap. After that, click ‘’Sitemaps’’ on the left side of the menu. In the ‘’Sitemaps’’ option, click the ‘’Add a new sitemap’’ button. When you click ‘’Add a new sitemap’’, you need to find the URL location of your sitemap. Once you find it, you need to enter the URL to your sitemap and choose the ‘’Submit’’ button. After that, verify your sitemap submission and complete adding a sitemap.

Using Looker (Data Studio) for Reporting in Google Search Console

You first need to go to the Google Data Studio and enter your Google account. After you sign in, create a new report by clicking the ‘’+’’ symbol, click the ‘’Create’’ button, and then click the ‘’Google Search Console’’ button. After that, you need to connect Data Studio with Google Search Console data with your Google account. Choose one of the properties for your report and select metrics like clicks and impressions. After that, adjust the appearance of your report. When you are done, don’t forget to save your report. In addition, you can also share your report with others.

Search Console Dimensions and Metrics

Dimensions and metrics can be considered as your website’s performance and the way you monitor your performance through the data. There are some familiar dimensions and metrics that you can see in Google Search Console often. 

In order for you to understand better, dimensions can be considered as categories that you want to divide into different data. Examples of familiar dimensions include ‘’page’’, ‘’device’’ or ‘’query’’. Metrics are status that aligns with your data. Those are what we call search console clicksearch console ctr, and impression.

What Is Impression?

What Is Impression?

The impression is how many times visitors view your web page. Your website page’s URL doesn’t need to be clicked. It just needs to be appeared in the search results. For instance, if visitors can see your website in their search results, every one of them will count as an impression. The more impression your website has, the more your website is becoming popular in search results. The important thing you need to keep in mind is that the impression does not mean the count of how many visitors have clicked your website URL. It simply means how many times visitors saw your website URL.

What Is Click?

What Is Click?

Click indicates how many times the visitors have clicked the URL of your website in search results. For instance, if ten users can see your website URL in search results and only half of them decide to click and visit your website, you will have five clicks. Clicks determine how often you get visitors to your website and how much your website becomes popular in terms of active visits to your website. Clicks can help you to understand how much your website grows in terms of discoverability by different visitors throughout the internet.

What Is Average Position?

What Is Average Position?

The average position represents your web page ranking in search results. The ranking of your web page is calculated based on the number of impressions you get. A lower average position is considered a higher ranking.

What Is CTR?

What Is CTR?

CTR means Click-Through Rate. CTR represents what percentage of users have clicked on your website URL. The higher the CTR, the better your website will become because the large amount of CTR means many users have seen your website URL in search results. 

using Google Search Console for SEO

Using Google Search Console for SEO

Google Search Console is invaluable for enhancing your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. It provides key insights and actionable data that can significantly impact your site’s search performance. Here’s how you can utilize Google Search Console for effective SEO:

  • Identifying Top Performing Keywords: GSC lets you see which keywords bring the most traffic to your site. By understanding these, you can optimize your content to focus more on these high-performing keywords.
  • Improving Page Rankings: The tool provides data on your page’s current rankings in search results. You can use this information to identify pages that need improvement and adjust your SEO tactics accordingly.
  • Optimizing Mobile Performance: With the Mobile Usability report, GSC highlights issues affecting the mobile-friendliness of your pages, allowing you to make necessary adjustments for better performance on mobile devices.
  • Addressing Crawling and Indexing Issues: The Index Coverage report details any problems Google bots might have encountered while crawling and indexing your site. Addressing these issues ensures that all your valuable content is indexed and ranks in search results.
  • Enhancing User Experience: The Page Speed Insights in GSC provide critical information about your website’s loading times, enabling you to make optimizations for a faster, more efficient user experience.

By leveraging these features of Google Search Console, you can comprehensively enhance your website’s SEO. Regularly monitoring and applying insights from GSC to your SEO strategy ensures your website remains competitive and visible in Google Search results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Google Search Console is a vital tool for managing your website’s presence in Google Search. It offers a range of features to help you understand your site’s performance, identify issues, and make informed decisions to improve your SEO strategy. That’s it! Now you know what GSC is and the basic logic behind how this tool works.

Frequently Asked Questions About

GSC is an entirely free service that enables you to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot your site’s appearance in search results.

Google Analytics is user-oriented and renders data about the customers who visit and interact with your site. GSC is search-engine focused and can help site owners improve visibility and presence in the SERPs.

Basically, using GSC allows you to see why your site is doing well (or poorly) in the organic results.

You can add multiple websites as properties in the Google Search Console and control them independently.

It is recommended to check your website’s performance regularly at best if possible, and it is recommended to check once a week, at least if you are unable to check regularly.

Ayşenur Tekin
Ayşenur Tekin

Posts: 155

After graduating from Istanbul Aydin University, English Translation, and Interpreting department, Ayşenur Tekin is interested in writing and editing articles. She started her master's degree in New Media (at IAU) and started to gain knowledge in the fields of digital marketing and SEO. She is cur... Read More
7 Comments on What Is Google Search Console? (+How Does It Work?)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Total: 33 Average: 5 )

7 Comments

  1. The Roar Farm Gir
    The Roar Farm Gir

    one of the best information you shared with us.

    • Gizem Akmanlı
      Gizem Akmanlı

      Thank you! You can also like our other articles.

  2. Sammy W.
    Sammy W.

    Fantastic article! I was always confused about what Google Search Console was and its purpose, but this piece cleared it up for me. The breakdown of the key features, especially the Performance Report and Mobile Usability, was incredibly helpful. Thanks for sharing such valuable insights!

  3. Toby C.
    Toby C.

    Great read! This article provided a thorough overview of Google Search Console. I particularly appreciated the explanations about the URL Inspection Tool and Sitemap Submission – areas I wasn’t too familiar with before. This has motivated me to start using GSC more effectively for my website. Thanks for the informative content!

  4. Tom M.
    Tom M.

    Really insightful article on Google Search Console! I had no idea about the depth of tools and analytics it offered. It seems like a must-have for any website owner looking to improve their SEO game.

  5. Rita K.
    Rita K.

    This article on Google Search Console is a game-changer! I’ve been struggling to understand my site’s performance in Google search, but now I feel equipped to dive in and make informed decisions. Thanks for breaking it down so clearly!

    • Ayşenur Tekin
      Ayşenur Tekin

      Thanks a lot!