Chapter 5 – Google Webmaster Tools viewing data and using tools Part 1.
In the previous chapter we have taken a look at Site dashboard and site setting of a website in Google webmaster tool. In this chapter, we will take a look at different menu option and data available to us from the tool.
We will start with first Menu options and that is Search Appearance. Under this option we have two sets of data available for us Structured Data and HTML improvements and also we have two sets of tools available for us Data Highlighter and Sitelinks.
To know what we are going to talk simply click on “i” information symbol next to Search appearance and it will give you a nice picture about what we are going to find here. Don’t worry if you don’t understand much of it now we will discuss it in more detail.
1. Structured Data: This report shows us the structured data element which Google found on our website and also reports if there are any errors. These data can be from schema.org or older microformats.
I know most of you might be scratching that what is structured data? Structured data had just started taking shape and set to be game changer in SEO. It is the “extra” information which you see next to website URL and meta description in search results. We have already got an example, in the Search appearance overview.
Suppose if you are searching for any event, for example concert and along with URL of website and meta description you see the timing and location of event this is Structured data. One such example would be if you are searching for any product or service and you see its review and star rating an opening and closing hour this is a part of structured data.
Structured data are added directly to HTML markup of a page. Search engines use these data to find out what your website is about and generate rich snippets, with useful information which appears in search result for your website.
Structured data is very useful and it hugely impacts click through rate of a website in search results. So in coming days there will be a lot of focus on it in from an online business perspective.
2. Data Highlighter: It is a tool and an alternative to structured data. As we have discussed structured data generates rich snippet by reading the codes which you input in HTML markup. Data highlighter gives you the opportunity to generate a rich snippet using this tool without having to implement any code and google will show this rich snippet in its results. Let’s watch a video from Google about data highlighter to see what it is and how it works.
3. HTML improvements: Here you can see the data about any issue with the title tag and description tag of your website.
Title tag and description tag should be unique for each page so that it uniquely describes each page. This not only helps Google to identify what the page is about, but also helps users to understand the relevance of page by looking at snippets in search result because most of the time Google will present title tag and description tag in search snippet. So creating a good title and description tag not only helps search engines, but also increases your click through rate.
So this data helps you identify if there are any issues or are there any duplicates in your tags. Clicking on these links will give you more details on the error which it has found.
4. Sitelinks: This is handy tool provided by Google to remove a link under the Sitelinks generated by Google in case if you don’t want that link to appear in search result.
Before we use this tool we need to know what are Sitelinks. These are automatically generated links which appear below your site search result. These links appear when your website becomes an authority for a particular keyword and Google start showing this sub link to important pages on your website under the main URL of a search result.
You do not have control of what will appear on Sitelink. It is something which Google decides based on the importance of a web page. So there could be a situation where a link has appeared under the main URL of a search result which Google thinks is important, but you don’t want it to appear there. So you can use this tool to demote the Sitelink URL to remove it from appearing in search results. Removing Sitelink using this tool is temporary it may come back if Google again finds it to be important page that should be shown. So you need to constantly review your Sitelinks.
This brings us to the end of this chapter. I would again urge you to use the forum to ask questions and use comment fields only for leaving comments.