Google Search Console Basics
Google Search Console
Google is continually evaluating and updating their search algorithms. In fact they claim to update their algorithm several thousand times a year. They do an excellent job of maintaining the secrecy of their search tools. Those two facts make it difficult to keep up with SEO for your website. The rules seem to be in a continuous state of change.
The two key components of Google when it comes to making sure your website gets seen by people searching the internet are Google Search Console and Google My Business. These are two very different platforms and used for different reasons but in the end, they are both critical for effective SEO.
GSC is the tool for submitting your website to the Google Search Engine index. It’s the administrative area of Google Search.
When someone types something into the Google search bar, Google doesn’t really search the internet – it performs a search within its’ own massive index of websites. If your website hasn’t been indexed by Google, your website will not appear in the search results Google returns – end of story.
Getting your website indexed by Google is the easy part of the equation. WHERE your site is positioned within the search results is the hard part. If Google decides that your website should receive a ranking of, let’s say 1,236 – you might as well not even be online. Nobody is going to scroll through hundreds of pages of search results and then just happen to click on your listing. Not happening.
Google Index Position
Once a site is indexed the real SEO work begins. A crucial step in Organic SEO is determining what search terms you want your web page to rank for. This can be a bit of an art form. You don’t want to be too generic. The solution is to use long-tail keyword phrases.
For example let’s say you have a web page about puppies. If you decide to structure your page to rank for the keyword phrase “puppies” you will encounter a mountain of competition and your chances of ranking towards the top of Google Search Results (SERP) is slim to none (back to position 1,236). But if you structure your page to be more specific and use long-tail keyword phrases like “french bulldog puppies for sale in Omaha” you are more likely to have better SERP results.
Getting Started With Google Search Console (GSC)
In order to get started using GSC you need to visit Google Search Console and login. If you don’t have an account, go ahead and create one. (if you have a gmail account that will work) The first thing you need to do is add your website so click on Add Property. Then you need to choose property type.
Use the Learn More link if you need assistance in choosing. After you choose a property type you’ll need to verify the site belongs to you. There are several methods available.
Once you get the site verified go ahead and upload your sitemaps. You can submit pages of your website by using the URLInspection tool. This may help speed up the process of getting your site into Google’s index. Don’t get in a hurry here – we’ve seen it take up to 6 weeks for a new site to start showing up in Google’s index.
Don’t forget to check-in on GSC regularly and review any notifications. GSC will let you know if there are any issues that need your attention.
Organic SEO Basics
What is Organic SEO and how does it relate to SERP. What’s Google Up To?
Organic SEO is also known as On-Page SEO. It is made up of various techniques applied to a website page to enable search engines to discover the page, determine what the page is about, and judge the importance of the page among its’ competitors.
Whenever you make a change to a page on your site or add a new page, make sure to use Google Search Console and use the URL Inspection tool to ask Google to update their index with that page.
So looking at the question of “What’s Google Up To?” we concern ourselves with how Google manipulates the information contained on a web page within the index. The algorithms are Google’s proprietary property and guarded fiercely so it’s impossible to know exactly how they work. Even if you DID know, by the time you take actions to capitalize on your new knowledge, Google will have updated their algorithm again.
Some of the major updates Google has rolled out have impacted SERP drastically and some have had little or no impact whatsoever. Here are some of the areas Google has worked on “improving” over the years.
- Duplicate content
- Plagiarized content
- Keyword stuffing
- Irrelevant links
- Low quality content
- No mobile version
- Poor user experience (UX)
- E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust) signals
- Lack of content focus
Core Web Vitals
One of the latest areas of focus for Google is called Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS for short. CLS is a component of the Core Web Vitals assessment and is a user experience metric that measures how unstable content is for your visitors. Layout shifts occur when page content moves after being presented to the user. These unexpected shifts can lead to a frustrating visual and user experience, such as misplaced clicks or rendered content being scrolled out of view.
These updates are not necessarily bad for the web (they’re intended to make the internet a better place) but if your website isn’t kept up to date they could have a negative affect for your SERP.
Give Google What It Wants
What should you do to remain in big G’s good graces. As a comedian once said, “times may change but standards must remain.” That applies to your website too. Make sure you have the Organic SEO basics nailed down 100%. Title, description, headers, and high quality, relevant content. These will never go out of style and form the foundation of your SEO efforts.
One thing to keep in mind is that Google may claim to want to make the web better, but make no mistake… Google’s main interest is a profitable Google!
If you have questions, let us know.
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