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New Report & Updated Tool from Google to Check Your Site

by Carol Swinehart

New Report & Updated Tool from Google to Check Your Site

For those of your unfamiliar with Google Webmaster Tools, you only need a Gmail account to be able to list your site within the Google Webmasters Tool Dashboard which enables you to get indexed and receive error messages from Google.

Follow the steps below:

After you login to your Gmail account, go to Google Webmaster Tools. You will see the dashboard with a red button (add site) to the right. Click the button and proceed. (Please note: if you are the site owner, your webmaster may have already setup an account that they can share with you. You will not want two separate accounts. That will cause problems.)

If you have determined that there is no other account for your web address, you will be asked to enter your domain name with or without the www. Check with your server to see if they have both the www and non-www. You will then be asked to verify your site. If you have access to the files via ftp that is a very easy task, if you do not you will have to get your webmaster involved.

The easiest way to verify your site is to use the alternate method of meta tag verification. When you click on that button a meta tag verification code will appear on the page. Copy the code and paste it onto the homepage of your site often called index.php, index.html, home.php, home.html in the code. You will want to paste that in the header by the other meta tags. When you have saved the file to your server. Click verify at the bottom of the Webmaster Tool verification page.

In order to use the new report and tool your site must be indexed, so you will need to generate a robots.txt file used in indexing your site by the search engine robots.

The robots.txt file allows Google and other search engines into certain parts of your site to index while keeping them out of others. They are easy to write see [The Web Robots Page] (http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html “Robots.txt”) Check your robots text for errors here.

After generating the robots.txt file, you will want to generate the xml sitemap so Google and other search engines know what pages to index and how often to index them.

Use the free tool XML Sitemap Generator Tool. This tool generates several types of sitemaps. You will need either the xml or the gz xml (zipped version of xml file if site is very large) file, and ror and sitemap.html files upload to your site.

Google will ask for you to first check your sitemap to make sure it is working well. If it passes the test. Then view the the urls generated to make sure they are correct. Now you will ftp your sitemap(s) and robots.txt to your site (you will need your webhosting username and password to accomplish this). It will take a day or so to get your site indexed. The site must be indexed in order to use the new Google Blocked Resources Report and updated Fetch and Render tool.

So what do the Blocked Resources Report and Fetch and Render Tool do? See explanation below. At the end of this post is the link to go directly to these tools.

Blocked Resources Report

New report on Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters/website owners find images, CSS, and JavaScript that GoogleBot cannot reach because they are being blocked.

Updated Fetch & Render Tool:

The fetch and render tool is designed to show you how Google sees your page. But now, Google is showing you how it sees your page versus how a user sees your page, side-by-side. Google said:

When you request a URL be fetched and rendered, it now shows screenshots rendered both as Googlebot and as a typical user. This makes it easier to recognize the issues that significantly influence why your pages are seen differently by Googlebot.

Blocked Resource Tool and Updated Fetch and Render Tool click here.