Get started with Search Console

Search Console is a tool from Google that can help anyone with a website to understand how they are performing on Google Search, and what they can do to improve their appearance on search to bring more relevant traffic to their websites.

Search Console provides information on how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. This can help website owners to monitor and optimize Search performance.

There is no need to log in to the tool every day. If new issues are found by Google on your site, you'll receive an email from Search Console alerting you. But you might want to check your account around once every month, or when you make changes to the site's content, to make sure the data is stable. Learn more about managing your site with Search Console.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Verify site ownership. Get access to all of the information Search Console makes available. Learn more about how to verify your site ownership.
  2. Make sure Google can find and read your pages. The Index coverage report gives you an overview of all the pages Google indexed or tried to index in your website. Review the list available and try to fix page errors and warnings.
  3. Consider submitting a sitemap to Search Console. Pages from your site can be discovered by Google without this step. However, submitting a sitemap via Search Console might speed up your site's discovery. If you decide to submit it through the tool, you'll be able to monitor information related to it. Learn more about the Sitemaps report.
  4. Monitor your site's performance. The Search performance report shows how much traffic you're getting from Google Search, including breakdowns by queries, pages, and countries. For each of those breakdowns, you can see trends for impressions, clicks, and other metrics. If your traffic is going down, consider debugging the traffic drop, which can help you prioritize your efforts.

If you'd like to learn Search Console more in-depth, there are broadly two areas you could focus on. We provide here a list of reports that would be most relevant to web developers and those that would be most relevant to SEO specialists, digital marketers, and site administrators. While the groups have several intersection points, it's still useful to try and provide the most relevant reports for each group.

Helpful reports for SEO specialists, digital marketers, and site administrators

The following list includes the most useful Search Console reports to help you manage various aspects of how Google Search indexes, crawls, and serves your site.

  • Learn if your site has any Google Search manual actions issued against it. If a site has a manual action, some or all of that site may not be shown in Google search results. The Manual Actions report shows any issues, in which section of your site, and where to learn more about it.
  • Temporarily hide pages from Google Search. The Removals tool is a way to quickly remove content on your site from Google Search results. A successful request lasts only about six months, to allow time for you to find a solution to either allow the content to be seen or to remove it permanently.
  • Tell Google about a site migration. If you move your website from one domain or subdomain to another, the Change of Address tool tells Google about your change, and helps to migrate your Google Search results from your old site to your new site.
  • Review issues with your structured data implementation. The Rich result status reports show what structured data Google could or could not read from your site. You'll find details on errors that prevent showing your pages as rich results, warnings that might limit your appearance, and information on how to debug and fix issues.

Helpful reports for web developers

The following reports can help developers build websites that are healthy, findable, and optimized for Google Search.

  • Understand site-wide Search indexing issues. The Index Coverage report shows which pages have errors, warnings, or are excluded from Search. In addition, it shows the number of impressions the website pages accrued on Google Search, which helps understanding how issues might have affected your organic traffic.
  • Debug page-level Search indexing issues. The URL Inspection tool provides the current index status of website pages and options to test a live URL, to ask Google to crawl a specific page, and to view detailed information about the page's loaded resources and other information.
  • Find and fix threats affecting your site. The Security Issues report report shows warnings when Google finds that a website might have been hacked, or used in ways that could potentially harm a visitor or their device.
  • Make sure your website provides a great page experience to your users. The Core Web Vitals report shows how pages perform based on real world usage data, sometimes called field data.

Get a full list of Search Console reports and tools