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Google Search Console Review: the Best Free SEO tool Guide

Summary
The free website monitoring tool is an essential web developing tool. The right question to ask would be what tools should complement the Search Console or Google Analytics rather than “Should I use them?” First of all, who knows the Googlebot better than Google? Second, using the GSC, you can make sure that your URLs are included in the Google Index; and last but not least, the service is for free! Many third-party applications provide a fraction of what Google offers for prices over 20$ a month. So, why not use the good old Google software instead?
Good
  • 1- Google provides it
  • 2- It contains the latest Google updates
  • 3- It is free
  • 4- Traces back your interactions up to 16 months
  • 5- Ample tutorials and educational content
  • 6- Various audits, metrics, and analytics
Bad
  • 1- Poor graphics
  • 2- Works only on Google, not other search engines
7.7
Good
User Experience - 6
Features - 7
value over price - 10

This GSC Review is about the Google Search Console, which is an SEO tool by Google Corporation. As you might assume, the Search Console is one of the most common apps regarding SEO optimization for Google Search engine is the priority for many web developers and other users. In this Google Search Console Review, we highlight the main features of the app. This review aims to address people involved with creating, developing, improving, and optimizing web content.

What is Google Search Console?

The Google Search Console is an essential program for website owners, SEO professionals, and content creators to improve their Rank in the Google Search Results Pages. Google has been the dominant search engine by far in the last 20 years. The Search Console is a free tool that can help you monitor how your website performs on Google crawls and search results. Other apps created by Google can help you earn more traffic in the SERP competition; some of these Google apps include Google AdMob, Google AdSense, Google Ads, and Google analytics. However, the Google Search Console Review focuses on the tools and features of the GSC that can improve your site.

Introduction to the GSC review

While it is the Google bot web spider or web crawler that surfs all the websites, The Google Search Console Review reverses the process for once and crawls Google. This article first provides a user experience test that inspects aspects such as graphic designs, navigation, user-friendliness, and marketing strategies. Next, we crawl the GSC to discover its top tools and features. Moving on, we shall discuss the free and paid services that users can acquire. Then, we shall compare the Google Search Console to other competitors, and in the end, we will state the strong and weak points of the free SEO tool and give it a score out of ten.   

GSC Review: Google Search Console User Testing

First, let’s discover the Google UI, as it plays a significant role in how practical a program is. This part of the Google Search Console Review benchmarks the SEO tool in different ways. The first impression review discusses the graphic design, the home page headers and footers, the menus and toolbars, and how intuitive they are. Second, the navigation section is about performing a typical action in the GSC environment. Third, we discuss how to get educated on using the Google Search Console for content optimization; and last but not least, we chew over the marketing campaigns on the GSC home page and how effective the marketing funnels are.

The free SEO tool’s First impression

The fact that GSC is created by Google, one of the largest and most advanced tech companies in the world, carries a huge reputation and respect. Therefore, the actual first impression is the name Google itself. Nevertheless, let’s through brand value out of the window and treat the website as an independent SEO optimization tool.

Upon landing the home page, you have to enter your website’s domain or a page URL. Next, the Google Search Console will ask for verification. Once you’re verified, you’re redirected to the Search Console workspace.

welcome to google search console

The Google Search Console dashboard is plain, and there aren’t many graphical elements insight. Instead, most of the dashboard space is allocated to metrics and diagrams. The dashboard can be divided into three main areas: the Google toolbar at the top, the tools panel on the left, and the workspace covering most of the Home page. There are no footers because, first of all, you’re on Google! In addition, Google SEO services are accessible in the Google Search Console; therefore, there is no need to create access to payment options. Since there aren’t any noticeable features here, let’s conclude that the graphical design is virtually non-existent; in return, you don’t have to pay for any of the Google Console Services.

website performance SEO tool screenshot

Navigation: Finding the CTR for a specific page using GSC

In this part of the Google Search Console Review, we analyze the CTR- click-through rate- of a page in our selected domain. Needless to say, the easier we get there, the more user-friendly GSC is. Moreover, the quality and readability of the requested data will be evaluated because SEO professionals and digital marketers have a lot on their plate and don’t appreciate spending time unscrambling preliminary numbers and statistics.

So let’s get the ball rolling. The default dashboard page is your domain’s overall performance. However, we intend to monitor and improve only one of the pages for the sake of demonstration. So moving to the performance tab via the left panel sounds like a good idea.

Google Search screenshot

As demonstrated in the picture, different options can be screened in the performance tool. There are Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices, Search Appearance, and Dates. I would obviously go for the pages, although search appearance also might be an excellent way to reach my page metrics. And the pages are listed in the tab, as predicted. So what SEO metrics does the Google Search Console provide from a page?

GSC queries screenshot

The parameters you instantly get from your pages are the Total number of clicks and the Total impressions highlighted. For those of you who are new to SEO management and content strategy, Impressions are the number of times that your page appears in search results. Besides those numbers, the Average CTR, which was the metric I was looking for, is right next to them. The Average position is another helpful piece of information that shows your ranking in Google in a chosen time frame.

Google Search Console Tutorials

How do you use the Google Search Console? Can you learn how to use the functions and features yourself, or are there enough walkthrough tutorials on the web? This part of the GSC Review assesses how difficult or easy it is to learn Google Search Console’s quirks and features.

In-house tutorials

There are different ways to learn how to use Google Search Console. You can open the Help Menu to read a descriptive old-school software manual or click on the link to the YouTube tutorials by Google. By the way, since YouTube is a part of Google Corporation, you can count it as an in-house source; after all, we’re talking about Google!

search console SEO tool tour

Another way of getting acquainted with the SEO analytics tool is taking the tour when you first sign up, which pops up a brief explanation about any new features you go to.

Other places to learn how to use the Google Search Console

Although YouTube is a property of Google, let’s give the greatest video streaming service some credit and count it as an independent external learning source. There are lots of influencers and SEO professionals explaining how to use the GSC. Moreover, the Google Search team has made a whole series on using the SEO analytic tool.

Besides YouTube, there are tons of SEO tools, content marketing, freelancer Blogs, etc., that include a guide on using the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Google Marketing Strategy

There is no direct marketing content involved here. To be more accurate, Google is the number one search engine. And they want to keep it that way; thus, they provide users free analytics to promote Google services. Another interesting view is that if Google had taken over all SEO tools, the other SEO tools would have to swing away to other search engines where their offers are more practical, making Google less competitive.

GSC Google Search Console Top Features

There are a lot of metrics involved in the SERP ranking race. Understanding these parameters would help website owners and service providers understand how to improve their visibility on the SERP. In this part of the Google Search Console Review, we highlight the most frequently used and mainstream features used for SEO optimization.

Performance Reports

These reports are metrics on how well your website performs on Google. The performance report is divided into Search and Discover categories. Search performance is more commonly used, especially for small websites. The most important metrics presented in this tool are:

  • Total clicks
  • Total Impressions
  • Average CTR
  • Average Position
search console SEO tool metrics

Besides the metrics, there are several dimensions or data attributes where you can sort out these metrics for more detail. For example, I chose the Pages dimension to view the performance of one of my web pages in the UX testing section of this GSC Review.

You can add or remove the infographics of each metric by clicking on it to check or on check the data selection. The changes will apply to both the chart and the table.

Queries

These are the search strings, or set of characters, that have lead viewers to seeing your page snippets in the results pages. When you select the Queries table, the Google Search Console shows the user inputs leading to your page. If there are expected questions that don’t appear on the list, you need to optimize your content or create new tags and snippets for your search results.

Pages

There are many reasons why your page won’t show up in the SERP. If an important page of your website is missing from the Pages list, there are problems with the web page URL. Therefore you have to use the URL inspection tool.

Using filters at the top of the page allows you to concentrate on a specific range of pages or contents, for bulk analytics aren’t used most of the time. Check out the different filters you can apply to narrow down the analytic metrics of your website in the picture below.

search metrics filters

Rich Results improvements

Rich results include the conventional blue link in the result page containing a Meta description and a thumbnail. The rich results require a strong data structure so that the Google Bot can read and categorize your content. In order to keep an eye on your data structure and rich results, you can go to the Performance tab, click the Search appearance button on the table, and view your rich results by clicking on it.

GSC review screenshot

Google Search Console URL inspection

The URL inspection provides information on the issues that prevent or hinder the appearance of your page on the SERP. If your URL has an error, it will not appear on the search results page as the Google Bot will not add it to Google Index; however, your page cannot be used to its full potential if there are some issues. For instance, the thumbnail picture or snippets might not appear.

GSC errors and issues photo

GSC Index Coverage

This SEO tool displays which pages can or can’t be displayed on Google Index. It is crucial to track the occurrence of the errors since the corresponding cause might have influenced other pages too.

Search Console Google Index

For example, the picture above illustrates a domain with only 147 valid pages and 380 pages that are excluded from Google Index. The Google Search Console has detected 7 errors and 2 issues that can be fixed to improve your website visibility and overall performance. The number of pages you have on the Google Index is an essential factor for search engine optimization. You can browse your URLs to find and fix these errors in the GSC platform.

If some of your contents need revision or you want them removed from Google Search results, you can request the removal of the URL in the Google Search Console.

Page experience tools

The Google Search Console page experience includes factors that indicate how interactive your content is. How many clicks do you get, how much time do users spend on your domain and such information. You can also check whether your pages are available on mobile devices or not.

Google Search Console Review: Enhancements

This feature also assesses your rich search content and checks if they are readable in the SERP or not. You can find and fix any errors that keep you from getting the best possible results.

Top features recap: The Google Search Console review

In a nutshell, the GSC is a website review and monitoring tool essential for analyzing your content regarding how they appear on the Google SERP. The review tools help you identify your strengths and weaknesses regarding metrics such as impressions, clicks, and click-through rate. Moreover, you can scour your domain for errors and issues that prevent your pages from showing up on the top results page or the issues that keep you from getting the number of clicks that your content deserves. The Google Search Console must be regarded as a post-production web content audit tool rather than a Real-time SEO tool. Nevertheless, using the features of the GSC, you can combine the results from Google Console with an SEO tool to create a high-ranking website and boost your domain authority.

Is there a price for Google Search Console?

As of today, all the services from the GSC are provided for free. Therefore, an amateur website gets the same kind of treatment that a kingpin website gets. This reassuring behavior from Google makes it sustain as the most powerful Search Engine. On the flip side, many other apps can improve your content optimization that has embedded the Google Search Console results, or they have an independent web crawler of their own.

Free Google Audits or Paid SEO tools

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are great free content and website management tools; however, professional SEO marketers or web developers often tend to use more sophisticated SEO software. The question that arises is whether it’s best for these professionals to stick to their paid programs, or should they always align their websites and pages with the mother cyber ship, AKA Google. The Comparison Section of the Google Search Console Review is dedicated to thoroughly address this question.

Paid Search Engine Optimization tools that can replace or complement GSC

With the advent of AI and Machine Learning, many companies have entered the digital marketing section, especially the SEO tools and services niche. These tools provide Keyword Research, Competitive Analysis, Website Crawls and audits, and other features that would help a website improve its Google Ranking. The following are some of the top SEO tools of 2021:

Top 2021 Paid and Free SEO Tools:

  1. Moz Pro:
    Moz Pro is a user-friendly SEO tool with different analytic tools. The Moz Pro medium plan seems a viable option for small businesses and freelancers. However, if you would like a more feasible plan, you can try SEMrush Pro and combine the free features of Google Search Console. Read Cyberg’s Moz Review to discover Moz quirks and characteristics.
  2. Marketmuse:
    Marketmuse SEO tool is an AI solution to your optimization needs which offers various plans starting from 80$ per month. It is my personal favorite paid SEO tool. Read the Marketmuse Review to find out why. Nevertheless, I can’t help but tell you that Marketmuse Pro can generate automated text using your chosen keywords and questions!
  3. SEMrush:
    The SEO marketing software improves visibility, provides comprehensive data analysis, competitiveness evaluations, and much more. SEMrush tools cost you at least 120$ per month. If you’re an independent business owner or a freelancer, SEMrush Guru is a viable option. Click this link to read our SEMrush Review.
  4. Ahrefs:
    Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools of the year. The service includes a set of tools at a reasonable price. We encourage you to use the trial version to determine if Ahrefs can satisfy your content marketing requirements. However, the price tag for using Ahrefs SEO tools is 180$ per month for the Standard account. This is four times the amount of the Mangools premium price. So Mangools might be an economical alternative for Ahrefs users. On the flipside, Ahrefs provides useful Analytics with an intuitive UI. Please read the Ahrefs SEO tool Review for more information on the software.
  5. Alexa internet:
    Alexa SEO tool is a part of the Amazon Web Service Corporation. Therefore, we would expect it to use AI tools, NLP, and other advanced technologies; nevertheless, the Alexa platform is far behind other rivals such as SEMrush, Moz, and Marketmuse. Click the link to read the Alexa Review.

Google is the best search engine. The free tools it provides are of high value; however, being a free web application has its setbacks, too; proceed to the pros and cons section to read more.

What are the Google Search Console Pros and Cons?

The advantages of GSC:

  1. Google provides it
  2. It contains the latest Google updates
  3. It is free
  4. Traces back your interactions up to 16 months
  5. Ample tutorials and educational content
  6. Various audits, metrics, and analytics

The Disadvantages of Google Search Console:

  1. Poor graphics
  2. Works only on Google, not other search engines

Google Search Console Review, Conclusion:

The free website monitoring tool is an essential web developing tool. The right question to ask would be what tools should complement the Search Console or Google Analytics rather than “Should I use them?” First of all, who knows the Googlebot better than Google? Second, using the GSC, you can make sure that your URLs are included in the Google Index; and last but not least, the service is for free! Many third-party applications provide a fraction of what Google offers for prices over 20$ a month. So, why not use the good old Google software instead?

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