Posted by Aiden Clinton
on Nov 23, 2010 in Operating a Website
| Comments Off on How to Set Up Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is your connection to Google as a webmaster. It allows you to see the inner workings of how your website interfaces with the Google search engine, what Google thinks that your website is about — important for proper AdSense targeting — and how your site ranks for the different keyword phrases that people are using to find you. Perhaps most importantly, Google Webmaster Tools allows you to submit a sitemap for your website. Adding a sitemap is perhaps the best way of making sure that Google is able to efficiently crawl and index the content on your site. After you set up Google Webmaster Tools and point Google to your sitemap, Google will periodically download the sitemap to see how to find the new content on your website. Google is by far the most popular search engine, and it is essential that you configure Google Webmaster Tools and upload a sitemap for each new website that you create.
- Navigate to the Google Webmaster Tools website and click the blue “Sign in to Webmaster Tools” button.
- Enter your Google account email address and password. Click “Sign in.” This brings you to the main screen for Google Webmaster Tools.
- Click the “Add a Site” button.
- Type the address of your website, e.g. “theaffluentblogger.com” or “www.theaffluentblogger.com.” (It can actually be wise to add both versions of your site’s address — I’ll discuss why in a future article.) Click “Continue.”
- Click the “Upload an HTML file to your server” radio button, and then click the “Download” link that appears. This downloads an HTML file containing a long string of letters and numbers.
- Open an FTP client and log in to your Web server. Upload the HTML file that you downloaded from Google to the main directory of your website (usually “public_html”). Google does not want to provide sensitive information about a website to anyone who does not own that site. Your ability to upload this file to your server proves that you are the owner of the website.
- Return to the Google Webmaster Tools page, and click the “Verify” button. You are now verified as the owner of the website, and Google returns you to the main website summary page.
- Click the name of the newly added website under “Sites.” All of the areas on the Google Webmaster Tools page will say “No data available” for right now. It will be several days before you begin to see information here, so do not be alarmed.
- Click the “Submit a Sitemap” link on the bottom-right corner of the page.
- Click the “Submit a Sitemap” button.
- Type the name of your sitemap file (usually sitemap.xml), and then click “Submit Sitemap.” Google will use the data contained in the sitemap to make sure that every page of your website is indexed. (How to create a sitemap for WordPress)
Another easy way to verify your ownership of a domain is to use the “Add a meta tag to your site’s home page” in Step 5, and add the code that Google provides you to in the “Integration” section of the Elegant Themes EPanel. However, every little bit of extra code can make a website take slightly longer to load, so I prefer the method set forth in the steps above.