Are you a Webmaster Tools addict? You should be. Google’s console is getting more useful by the day.
Their ongoing introduction of “Alerts” is practically a godsend for the busy website owner whose time could be better spent marketing her business rather than worrying about SEO.
Here are three useful alerts that can help you pro-actively stay on top of your SEO efforts.
1. Crawl Error Alerts
In July Google introduced functionality that alerts you when your site has crawling issues.
If Google can’t crawl your site, it can’t index it. If your site is not in the index, it won’t rank. Simple as that.
Fear not, Google does provide recommendations within the console that should get you (or your tech team) on your way to fixing these issues.
This is what a site crawl error looks like.
2. Inbound Link Alerts
With Google’s recent crusade on link buying, monitoring your links is as important as ever.
Google has been notifying webmasters about unnatural link patterns for months now. These notifications are in the form of a message in your webmaster tools console.
If you see such notification, don’t worry right away. In most cases, it’s Google’s way for scaring the hell out of you.
Get in touch with your “SEO” agency and ask them to investigate further and come back to you with a solution. In the meantime, pray that they were not responsible for these shady (low quality) links. In most cases, they probably were!
Here’s a screenshot of the unnatural links alert message.
3. Search Query Alerts
Last but not least, Google’s search query alert, announced only last week. It notifies webmasters when a sudden drop in their rankings occurs. Extremely useful!
If Google alerts you about a sudden drop in your rankings, evident by a drop in impressions or click though rates, you’re now automatically notified via the console.
This allows you to pro-actively troubleshoot problems on your site, and in some cases fix them right away to restore your rankings.
It would be useful if you had followed my previous advice and annotated your analytics for better insights on traffic fluctuation.
Note however that drops in rankings are not always attributed to technical errors on your site, in most instances, it’s most likely that your content is no longer the best content to server for a user’s query; in this case you need to analyse what your competoitors are doing and try to outdo them.
Here’s what this alert looks like.
Now Over to You
Are you taking advantage of Google’s SEO alerts? Do you find them useful? How can Google make them better? Share your thoughts below…