Google Webmaster Tools is a resource for webmasters to track information about their websites and to share vital information with Google about changes to websites and domains. Here's how to get started with Google Webmaster Tools.
- Create a Webmaster Tools account. Go to www.google.com/webmasters. It's quick and easy to sign up.
- Click "Add a Site" button. Add the homepage of the website you want to register. To get full statistics, keyword clickthrough information and problem information about your site, you will need to verify your site.
- Verify your site. After you register a website in Google Webmaster Tools, you need to verify it. Click the "Verify This Site" button. Webmaster Tools will provide you with a txt file to upload to your site.
- Upload the txt file. Login to your webhosting program for the website you are registering. Upload the txt file into your main directory and make sure that it is published and live at http://www.yourwebsite.com/file.txt with "file" replaced with the filename that Google gives you. If you can access the file with your web browser, then so can Google. You must have access to the root level domain of the website for this step to be possible. If you have a free website at yourwebsite.angelfire.com for instance, then you cannot verify the site. In such a case, you will only get limited data in your Google Webmaster Tools account.
- Visit your dashboard. Once your site is verified in Google Webmaster Tools, you will be able to see which which websites link to various pages of your website, possible problems with html code and metadata, popular keywords that visitors use to get to your site and much more. You will also learn how many times your keywords are appearing in search results versus how many clicks they're getting. The labs feature shows you how long it took pages of your site to load during the last crawl.
Google Webmaster Tools makes it very easy to navigate the interface and find which pages you need. Keep in mind that you will not get a lot of information right away. Google will collect the information in an ongoing basis. Keep checking your Webmaster Tools account for the most recent information.