✅ – it’s week 19 of the A to Z of #seo – which means S for…

🔎 Search Console

Previously known as Webmaster Tools this free tool from Google is an absolute must for any site owner/SEO. It gives you incredible and deep insights as to how Google sees, crawls & indexes your site, along with information on speed, product data, links (both internal & external), sitemap details along with mobile usability.

You need to verify ownership of any site you add, but once done, the reports/data will start flowing in pretty quickly. You can also look back up to 16 months to see performance trends and comparisons over time, for pages, queries and metrics such as average position (in SERPs) and CTR.

If your site has a “manual penalty” you’ll see information on that within SC too. This is the strictest form of Penalty, reserved for those who have really set out to spam Google’s search results.

Google is adding new features to this tool constantly (as they evolve from the older version). Recent additions are reports on speed, products, breadcrumbs & there also links to the ‘legacy’ reports which are gradually being either revamped or killed off should you need to check back (e.g. on the robots file testing tool I mentioned last week).

All in all, GSC is thorough & incredibly powerful.