It’s common knowledge that Google jealously guards the inner workings of its search engine. While search engine optimization experts and marketing professionals can make educated judgements as to what a particular algorithm update does or how it works, based on careful observation of cause and effect, they are just guessing.
The only party that knows for sure how Google works is Google itself.
That isn’t to say the search giant leaves us entirely in the dark. Through both official channels and first-party software, it provides webmasters and site owners with a great deal of information. The Google Search Console is one such tool.
Originally known as Google Webmaster Tools, the Search Console is a website monitoring control panel focused primarily on offering real time information. It differs from the more widely-known Google Analytics in that the metrics and statistics it provides are primarily concerned with general search engine traffic and search results. Analytics is a bit more granular because it monitors specific interactions between users and your website.
To be clear: The Google Search Console is how Google views and interacts with your site, while Analytics is how your visitors view and interact with your site.
The Google Search Console lets you examine crawl, indexing, fetching, and so on. It provides a wealth of information tied to how your site is doing on Google, as well as measurable insights on how you might improve. In other words, it lets you know, at a glance, if there are any significant problems with your SEO efforts.
The Google Search Console provides you with direct, Google-sanctioned insight into improvements you can make to your SEO, and gives a visualization of your website’s organic traffic. If your site is downgraded on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) or blocked for any reason, the Google Search Console will provide you with a notification.
You’ll never be left in the dark about things like crawl errors, spam, or malware. Instead, you’ll know about them as soon as they happen, and can take the necessary action.
It should go without saying that both Google Analytics and the Google Search Console are invaluable tools for any webmaster. However each tool is significantly less valuable if it’s used without the other. For maximum effectiveness, you need to use both.
Enabling the Google Search Console on your site is fairly simple, as is linking it to your Google Analytics account. Data on both can be found on Google’s help page.