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Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics Tricks that you are still missing out on

August 25, 2012 · 5 comments

in SEO

google webmaster toolsSo, you have been using Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics since the dawn of the civilization, (sorry just kidding) and you religiously entertain the belief that you know every bit of them right? Wrong, there are some gems hidden deep inside these two amazing products that you might have not discovered yet. Wondering what these features could be that you have not checked out yet. Ok let me go straight into the thick of things:

Checking Robots.txt File Before You Make it Live: few days ago I was entrusted with the responsibility of checking XML Sitemap of a website to figure out whether it contains any URL which is blocked by Robots.txt file in one way or other way. Now, there were 10 thousands of URLs, so checking them manually one by one was a dead man’s job. Then I found this wonderful feature in Google Webmaster Tools under Health >> Blocked URLs.

robots.txt file

Put all the URLs that you want to check within this field – “URLs Specify the URLs and user-agents to test against” and then press test. It will show you status of each URL individually about whether they are being blocked by robots.txt file or not. A great tool to ensure that the XML sitemap and robots.txt files are not clashing with one another.

Index Pages Fast with Fetch As Google Bot: Webmaster tool has another mind blowing features that lets you check how Google bot is viewing a particular web page of yours. Go to Health and then click on “Fetch As Google Bot”. Then fetch a page by using this tool, and when it says success, click on the tab – “Submit to Index”. By doing so, this page will be indexed by Google relatively faster than other pages.

submit to index

Try this tool if you wish to get some pages indexed quickly.

submit url to index confirm

Check sitemap.xml before submitting: Do you feel embarrassed when you find that the XML sitemap that you have submitted in Google Webmaster Tools contains zillions of errors? If yes, here is the face-saver. Under “Optimization” tab, click on “Sitemap”. At the top right section click on “Add/Test Sitemap”. It will open up a dialogue box.

Now test the sitemap and if the system finds any inconsistency, it will show you that automatically. Based on that information, you can make necessary changes in the XML sitemap.

HTML Improvement: This is one such feature that has saved my skin in different ways in my stint as an SEO professional. It will give you a detail report on the number of pages having “Duplicate meta descriptions”, “Short meta descriptions”, “Long meta descriptions”, “Missing title tags”, “Duplicate title tags” and more. There are options to download the details in CSV format for further pruning of information.

In page Analysis of Google Analytics: “In Page Analysis” gives you detailed info as to where users have clicked mostly on a page. You can check each page individually and find out which sections have drawn more attention of the users. This is a great way to find out the most popular sections in a page without getting into trouble with something complex as A/B testing or something like that. Though the reports are not always correct, they at least give you an overall idea of visitors are interacting with your website.

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Michael Evans is a passionate blogger and he is a regular contributor to Site2You.com. He can be contacted at Google +.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Collins August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

In-page Analysis helped me to modify the amount of information which is visible on screen without scrolling.
Alexander Collins recently posted..Top 10 Warren Buffett’s Tips and Quotes to LearnMy Profile

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Michael Evans August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Sorry did not get you Collins.. are u referring Meta data here?

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Felicia August 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thank you for sharing these useful tricks for google webmaster and analytics. The most helpful for me here is the last part – in page analysis of Google analytics. Before in my personal blog, I would like to see which pages have gotten more attention of my readers. It was quite troublesome to use tools on how to find it out before and I was afraid that I might mess something up on my blog. Thanks again for sharing!
Felicia recently posted..Jens Kyllonen is Going to SpaceMy Profile

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Michael Evans August 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Yes In Page Analysis is great but there are some bugs in it. You need to remain aware of its caveats but overall a great tool

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akhilendra August 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Google webmaster and analytics are perfect tool for any webmaster of any level. they provide detailed information about every aspect of a site. i specially like the in page analysis in analytics because it helps me in understanding the user behavior in great detail.

thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

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