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Whether you are an entrepreneur, online marketer or web builder: Google Search Console is extremely useful if you are actively working on getting as many results as possible from your website. In practice, I notice that many stakeholders of a website do not or hardly use Google Search Console. And that’s a shame, because it offers a lot of insight for many disciplines that are part of managing and optimizing your website. In this article you can read why Google Search Console is a good tool and I will take you through the tool so that you can get started right away.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google. If you have a website or a webshop, this tool is useful to keep at hand. You use Google Search Console to gain insights and optimization options in the field of findability in Google.

Although it is not necessary to set up Google Search Console to become discoverable, it is valuable to do so. Especially if you want to make your website as easy to find as possible. Because the insights you get from Google Search Console will help you with this.

Google Search Console gives you insight into how Google rates your site for safety and functionality. In addition, you can see what the performance of your website is, so that you can draw up a plan for how you are going to improve it. In this article I explain what you see in Google Search Console and what you can use it for.

Who should use Google Search Console and why?

Anyone who has a website should use Google Search Console. Both people who have general knowledge and the specialists benefit from using Search Console. Take a look at the list of functions below. I explain per role why Search Console has added value for your work.

Business owner

As an owner, you want to know how easily you can be found on certain search terms. You can see how often people search for your company name in Google. That gives an indication of your name recognition. In addition, it is useful to be aware of the basic principles for optimizing your website. You can immediately see whether your website is properly indexed by Google, what the results are and what you can improve on security and functionalities.

SEO specialist or marketer

Search Console allows you to track website traffic, get information to make good decisions about site content and layout, and find technical optimizations for your website. You can see which keywords are promising and the progress of your efforts.

In addition, Google Search Console can be linked to countless other tools, such as SemRush, Google Analytics and Google Data Studio. Google Search Console helps to get the right insights. In addition, you can solve targeted problems, you can keep track of the link profile of your website and you can see how pages are indexed. The link profile is an overview of the number of internal links and, if links from external domains point to your website, which pages these links go to.

Also read:  21 free SEO tools in a row

Site Administrator / Developer

As an administrator or developer of a website, you must ensure that it works properly. Google Search Console provides insight into server errors, web page issues, and security alerts. In addition, Search Console provides control over formatting of structured data and formatting issues. After the Google Page Experience, LCP, CLS and FID influence findability. Search Console also provides insight into this.

Google Search Console explained

What insights and data can you find in Google Search Console? I’ll take you through the five different parts and functions of Google Search Console.

1. General

First, I’ll cover two general features: Performance Viewing and URL Inspection.

View achievements

This section contains several performance reports that show you how your site is performing in Google. You can see how often users have clicked to your website, what position you are in on average and which keywords your website comes up with with the corresponding position.

You yourself have the option to adjust data, compare it and segment the data. That is interesting, because if you have made improvements to your mobile website, for example, you want to be able to analyze whether you have achieved more impressions and clicks on mobile.

It is possible to filter the results on different dimensions, such as the page URL (this allows you to see per page on which search terms it can be found), the country or device.

Regularly check which search terms your website can be found on, because if you can be found on keywords such as ‘gambling’ or ‘bitcoins’ while you are a healthcare provider, this may indicate that you have been hacked.

Some tips for interesting insights

  • Filter your company name from the results. This provides insight into which non-branded search terms your website can be found on.
  • Create a filter in which you expose keywords that are between places 3 and 10 with a search volume of, for example, >100 per month. By making adjustments such as adding internal links or content improvements, you can get just a few spots higher on the keywords, so that you can rise in position with relatively little effort.
Screenshot of Google Search Console.

URL inspection

The URL Inspection tool is useful for several reasons. First, it allows you to manually submit new pages you’ve written and have them indexed. This speeds up the time that your page is indexed in the search results and you get results faster.

Secondly, the tool is useful for gaining insight into the status of your indexed page. You can see whether your page is indexed properly and which optimizations you can make.

Screenshot of URL inspection in Google Search Console.

2. Indexing

Now I’ll go a little deeper into indexing: its coverage, sitemaps, and deletion.


Google itself indicates that if your website has less than 500 pages, you probably don’t need to use this report. This report tells you how your pages are indexed. Google uses 4 statuses for this:

  1. Error : URLs may lead to a 404 page, making this an incorrect page.
  2. Valid with warnings : These are pages that are indexed, but there is something wrong with them. For example, you may be blocking robots.txt indexation.
  3. Valid : these are the pages that are indexed correctly.
  4. Excluded : These are the pages you’ve excluded from indexing. Consider, for example, your confirmation pages or pages that you do not want to be accessible to the general public, such as a login screen.

Site Maps

Here you submit the sitemaps of your website. You do this as soon as you put your website live or if the location of your sitemap changes.

A sitemap for visitors is known as an HTML sitemap. Often a link to an HTML sitemap is placed in the footer of a website. A sitemap for search engines is known as the XML sitemap. Put this sitemap in XML so that search engines can properly read this sitemap and index the content.

You submit a sitemap to let Google know which pages you have and whether they can be indexed.


You use this function if you want to remove certain pages from the indexation. This won’t remove an entire page, but it will prevent the page from being included in search results. A reason to remove a page from the index is because it is no longer relevant, there are errors on the page or because malware may have been placed on your page. In this environment you can send a request to Google to remove a page from the search results.

3. Functionality

I also like to explain a number of functionalities: page functionality, site vitality and ease of use on mobile devices.

Page functionality

In this report you can see how your pages function according to the Google guidelines. It looks at site vitality, ease of use on mobile devices, security vulnerabilities and HTTPS. If you offer advertisements on your website or webshop, an assessment will also be made about this with ‘advertising functionality’.

This overview shows at a glance how your website scores on these components. This way you immediately see which factors you can still work on to become more findable.

Screenshot from Google showing how well your URLs perform on page functionality.

Site vitality

The Site Vitality report shows how your website is performing based on actual user data. This performance is important, because if the loading time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, your bounce rate will already increase by 32%. Does your loading time increase to 6 seconds? Then your bounce rate will increase by 106%, according to an explanation from Google . This report lets you see how your pages are performing based on actual usage data rather than tools like Google Pagespeed Insight. So real data on which you can optimize.

In this report you will also find data about scores on LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay) and CLS (Custom Layout Shift). These scores indicate how well your pages perform in these areas and what you can still improve.

In this report, Google groups pages based on similar user experiences. This allows you to see how you can quickly improve multiple pages.

If you want to know how individual pages perform in these areas, you can additionally take the Google Pagespeed Insight test . You want to score as well as possible on this, so that visitors have a pleasant experience on your website. If Google sees that this is the case , it will work to your advantage during the process of becoming easy to find.

Screenshot of Google Pagespeed Insight.

Ease of use on mobile devices

This report lists the pages that are not yet delivering an optimal user experience on mobile. If there are pages here, you can click on the results to see what you can improve. You’ll also see when Google noticed the issue that caused your page to get an “Error” code.

If there are error messages, it is wise to solve the most common error. That way you kill most birds with one stone, which improves your findability. This causes the error to appear on many pages. If an error occurs on many pages, it is often an error in the template.

A general tip to improve the experience on your mobile site is to regularly check how your website works on mobile. Also ask people from your area to visit your website on mobile. Everyone is unique and takes different actions on a website, giving you insight into what you can do to improve your mobile site.

4. Security Vulnerabilities and Manual Actions

You should see a green tick in this report. Isn’t this so? Then there is something wrong with your website. Google indicates which problems there are and on which pages this occurs. It could be that your site has been hacked, malware has been posted, or social engineering is involved . In the latter case, visitors are tempted to share personal information, such as your ID card details, bank details or even passwords. You may also be encouraged to download rogue software. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s still good to check this status regularly.

If you have problems on your website, you need to fix it on your entire website. You then request an assessment in this report.

5. Left

In this report you can find valuable information about the link profile of your website. Here you can see which sites link to your website.

It is wise to go through this list, because you do not want spam sites to refer to your website. If you encounter this, it is good to approach the external site via available contact details and send a request to remove the link.

In addition, under the heading ‘Internal links’ you will see a list of the most linked pages. This indicates which pages get the most internal links. This is useful information, because if you want to get certain pages higher in the search results, you cannot avoid looking at the number – and of course the quality – of internal links. Do they lag behind the rest? Then you will have to add internal links to the page.

Under the heading ‘External links’ you can see which pages have the most links on other websites. This overview gives you insight into which pages have the most external links. This is especially useful if you are actively link building as you can keep track of your progress.

Of course, other SEO tools, such as SemRush, also offer good and often more extensive functionalities for this.

If you are active in link building, this report is useful to keep. After all, you want to see the list of relevant referring domains grow.

On to better findability

I’m curious if you are going to get started with Google Search Console. With this article I hope to have given you some tips on why and how to use this tool. In Search Console Help you will find more explanation per section from Google itself. Google Search Console is actually indispensable if you want to become easier to find in Google’s search engine. So use it regularly!