We’ve all used GWT sometime in our daily lives but GWT is a powerful tool with a lot of not-so-well-known functions built into it. This post will explain the most powerful and known functions and those which are slightly hidden and from which, in some situations, we can draw a lot of info and knowledge.
One of the first functions is the error detection in migrations: the graphic below displays the errors which happened during a blog migration from drupal to wordpress, these errors weren’t spotted at the beginning and the client contacted us when seeing a traffic descent and, through analyzing pages which had vanished during migration, we began to fix those: the blog regained the lost traffic due to the vanished pages. If you access Health – Tracking Errors you’ll be able to validate the state the page is on and spot possible errors.
Eliminating an URL
Within this function in the Optimizing -> Eliminating URL GWT options we find the option to report to Google that we want to de-index a specific URL. This is very practical when we’ve got indexed URLs which are returning a 404 and to not to fill our site with 301 redirecting: this way we can directly de-index the URL.
One of the newest tools is that of Optimizing -> Structured Data and the Data Labeling
The Structured Data option allows us to see the tagged content’s evolution using rich snippets in some cases, especially when you alter blog plugins to add structured data and later (without minding these edits) the plugins versions are updated, losing the implementing of structured data so it’s recommended to visit the page from time to time to check that all’s being tagged in the proper manner.
The latest option Optimizing -gt; Data Labeling added to GWT allows us to tag each part of our site just by using the mouse.
At the start it needs a typical URL from your site, be it a post, a product, a category and which type of contents you’re going to tag within that page. Our example shows a URL from our blog and we’d pick the option “posts” to continue with the tagging.
After this 1st step, GWT opens the indicated page and we can begin the labeling process indicating all which we can label at code level but in a simpler and automated manner by simply choosing the content and the type of structured data it belongs to: we can find tricks and advice which can help in implementing data labeling.
Within GWT we can also access this tool from Optimizing -> Other resources -> Structured Data Labeling Assistant, but this time around the tool has a different look despite the function being the same.
We have, for the time being, once we’ve accessed the tool, stopped the process by pressing “Cancel” because the enriched data is an aspect we are very careful with in all of our projects and those we participate into and we prefer to do this manually.
Even if you’ve never had a GWT account, if you’ve got Google+ and you’re a verified author of some blog, the option Labs -> Author stats allows you to find all of the info of the impressions and clicks of your published stuff.
Within the GWT we can find tools not specified in the menu like the two we describe next.
Spam Web o Spam Report
This tool, spam web, grants us several method to denounce bad habits like the selling of pay links, non-adequate content or bad habits regarding Google’s tools.
Another tool we don’t find the menu but by directly acceding it , it’s one of the most recent ones to be added to the list. Its use is to report Google about low-quality links aiming for our site and, being out of your control, you can’t do anything to remove them: Google will help on that.
If you don’t have ample SEO or web positioning knowledge then you’d be better off not using it because it can make the links benefiting from positioning be eliminate and what initially was realized as an improvement worsens. But a lot has been said about this tool and it’s true usefulness. Sending this info to Google and confessing that “you did something bad” is not wholly beneficial: we can stumble upon various debates among sector pros regarding the using of it or not when we get a penalty.
This tool, Reconsideration Request is aimed for sites which have been penalized and the form makes communication with Google easier to report which actions or what marketing agency could have influenced in this penalty and asks for Google to consider the possibility to show again the penalized site’s results without minding those bad habits.
This is a very interesting tool but like Disavow Tools has its good and bad parts when supplying info to Google which can be beneficial or can be damaging for the positioning because you could be admitting that you’ve infringed the Google commands.
In this link you can find further info supplied by Google about this tool.
If you know other tools or new stuff over at GWT which you think they could be interesting, we’d like of you to comment them and analyze their working.