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Category: Analytics

Search Engine Tools

Geographic Target – If a given site targets users in a particular location, webmasters can provide Google with information that will help determine how that site appears in its country-specific search results, and also improve Google search results for geographic queries.

Preferred Domain – The preferred domain is the one that a webmaster would like used to index their site’s pages. If a webmaster specifies a preferred domain as www.example.com and Google finds a link to that site that is formatted as example.com, Google will treat that link as if it were pointing at www.example.com.

URL Parameters – You can indicate to Google information about each parameter on your site, such as “sort=price” and “sessionid=2“. This helps Google crawl your site more efficiently.

Crawl Rate – The crawl rate affects the speed (but not the frequency) of Googlebot’s requests during the crawl process.

Malware – Google will inform you if it has found any malware on your site. Malware creates a bad user experience, and hurts your rankings.

Crawl Errors – If Googlebot encounters significant errors while crawling your site, such as 404s, it will report these.

HTML Suggestions – Google looks for search engine-unfriendly HTML elements such as issues with meta descriptions and title tags.

Metrics for Measuring

Google Site Query

Restrict your search to a specific site (e.g., site:webcraft.ws). Useful to see the number and list of pages indexed on a particular domain. You can expand the value by adding additional query parameters. For example, site:moz.com/blog inurl:tools, will show only those pages in Google’s index that are in the blog and contain the word “tools” in the URL. This number will fluctuate, but it’s a decent rough measurement (learn more from this blog post).

Google Trends

At google.com/trends, you can research keyword search volume and popularity over time. Log in to your Google account to get richer data, including specific numbers instead of simple trend lines.

Blog Search Link Query

Search links in a blog (e.g., link:webcraft.ws/blog). Google’s regular link query operator is not always useful, but their blog search generally yields high-quality results, sortable by date range and relevance. Learn more about the link operator in this blog post.

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