Google Webmaster Tools

You can learn so much from Google Webmaster Tools, such as:

* Understanding how often GoogleBot visits your Web site.
* Finding errors on your site (404s, etc.).
* Content analysis (which will show you if you have duplicate title tags or meta description tags or content that isn’t indexable).
* Statistics, including top search queries, crawl stats, subscriber stats (if you publish a RSS feed of your content and people subscribe to these feeds using iGoogle, Google Reader, or Orkut).
* Viewing your site from the search engine’s perspective (What Googlebot Sees).
* Learning which pages of your site are indexed in Google and which other Web sites link to your site (Index Stats).

If you look at the “What GoogleBot Sees” report you can see the top 200 phrases that other Web sites have used when linking to your site, and a comparison of how the content on your Web site may or may not “jive” with those links. Obviously, you would prefer that the links pointing to your Web site are consistent with the content on your Web site.

For those who don’t already know, doing a “” check on Google isn’t reflective of the entirety of links that Google actually knows about. Going into Google Webmaster Tools will give you much more accurate data.

Two important concepts results from Google Webmaster Tools:

1. You can find 404 errors on your Web site and you may have had other Web sites linking to these 404 pages. If you can 301 redirect those pages to the new location of the content that used to exist on this page (or perhaps to something closely related to the content that was on this page), you’re recovering a lost link.
2. You can view pages with external links by looking at the Links section. You may find some Web sites that you already have a personal relationship with that are linking to you. Perhaps they would be open to you suggesting that they change the anchor text of their link from “Company Name” to “Keyword Here.”

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