How to Verify and Get Started with Google Search Console

What were you doing in Internet Marketing in 2006?

By then I’d been doing SEO for 4 years and Google was already driving all the competitors out. My first brush with the confusion of Google’s black box was the famous (infamous?) Florida update, which knocked one of my clients’ sites off the map for almost a year in 2003-4.

So we budding web developers and SEOs were understandably enthusiastic when Google showed some indication it wanted to engage with us as we struggled to help their clients understand and navigate the world of search and search engine optimization (SEO). I’m pretty sure that it was 2006 that Google introduced the forerunner of what we now know as “Google Search Console.” Back then it was called “Webmaster Tools,” and looked like the screen capture below.

Screen capture of Google Webmaster Tools, 2006

Here’s what Google had to say about this suite of tools back then:

Our suite of webmaster tools provides you with a free and easy way to make your site more Google-friendly. They can show you Google’s view of your site, help you diagnose problems, and let you share info with us to help improve your site’s visibility.

Getting Google’s view of your site, and diagnosing potential problems
The first step to increasing your site’s visibility on Google is learning how our robots crawl and index your site…

If you’ve watched my videos for very long, or taken any SEO Training workshops with me, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that I’m a big fan of Google’s free Search Console.

Search Console is great for viewing how Google is interacting with your site (primarily crawling and indexing it), which, as you can see from their comments above, was the original focus of the tool.

In addition Search Console now is a great resource for marketers who want to explore keywords and customer behavior, content creators who are optimizing for their SERP listings (i.e. the way your listing appears on a search results page), determining whether your site is creating problems for mobile devices, finding out about the structured data on your site, or even simply seeing if a page of your site even made it into Google’s index.

I recommend becoming acquainted with Google’s Search Console to every manager or owner who is interested in marketing their website and succeeding online. But there’s a bit of a hitch.

When a Free SEO Tool is Not Exactly Free

I said that Search Console is free, but it comes with a price. The price is that you have to get a little technical to set it up. Now, if you’re a business person and not a website technician, you might have just had your hopes drop about ever using it. Well, don’t. Part of our mission is to provide real world digital marketing training to people just like you.

First, if you have a WordPress website, we have created a free video that will help you get started with Google Search Console. It’s free on YouTube, and you can run it from the below player. In addition, even if you don’t have a WordPress site, we have a class on our Horizon Web Marketing Academy that will take you through 4 other methods for getting started. The course normally sells for a scant $9, but if you’ve read this far, well, first of all, thanks!. Secondly, we’ll reward you by letting you into the class for free.

If all you need is to know WordPress verification, just watch the video here or click through to watch it on our YouTube channel.