Keeping Your Website Indexed with Google Webmaster Tools
Have you ever wondered how exactly Kayak.com shows up in Google when you search for ‘cheap travel’? There are a lot of factors that contribute to how your website is displayed in search results, but there is one common factor that you absolutely MUST have to ensure any amount of success in organic search: Verification of your site through Google Webmaster Tools.
What is it, and Why should I care?
Webmaster Tools allows you to verify that you are the owner of a given website, and it also allows you to assist Google in finding the important content on your website using sitemaps. This is important for a multitude of reasons:
- By proving ownership of your site, Google then knows that your website is a real website, owned by a real live person, who isn’t using the site to distribute malware, phish for customer information, or any other malicious activities. By doing this, you immediately catapult yourself above all of the grey-water, ‘shady’ websites of the internet (a staggering percentage of the internet is made up of these malicious or otherwise ‘low quality’ sites.
- By creating and submitting a sitemap, Google knows exactly where the important content on your website lives, and exactly how to direct users towards the information they’re looking for. The name sitemap is quite literal; it gives the internet a map, or directory, of your site that can be used to find exactly what a user is looking for, the first time they try.
The above video will show you step-by-step how to configure Google Webmaster Tools for your site. The steps are fairly simple, especially if you already have Google Analytics set up. Sound off in the comments if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!
Later this week, we’ll be following up with a video that walks you through the configuration steps for Bing Webmaster tools!