Google webmaster tools is an absolute requirements for your websites search engine indexing. Google webmaster tools account is where you manage your websites indexing and configurations. It is here where you can instruct what google can see and access so your site can be fully indexed correctly.
Do not confuse this with google adwords or analytics, this is for indexing configurations only
The most important section of google webmaster tools are:
1) first you need to verify your website, We find that the html download and upload is the easiest and fastest way to get verified
2) adding the urls to be crawled. You should have 4 versions.
3) Set up your default url and redirects. If your canonical on your website is the non-www, then make sure google agrees and also has the default url set to the non-www. From this point on you only have to edit the default listing. google and your site must be in agreeement.
4) This is where you submit your site map to google. Make sure you have a link to your sitemap in the footer or footer menu of your website. There are several plug-ins you can use to create the sitemap. 911websiterepair suggests OSMAP for Joomla and Yoast for Wordpress. Add the url to the sitemap configuration, making sure you use the google test button first. If google see's the sitemap, then your good to submit. Come back to this section often and make sure you have no errors. You should only need to submit once, google will crawl and update automatically on a regular basis.
5) Fetch and Render: this is where you submit your website to google for indexing.
Google wants to access as much of your site as possible. Submit the website url and do a Fetch. It can take a few minutes to complete. If your not on the default url you set up in step 3, then you will get a redirected message. Go to the default url to complete.
You have two fetch and render options. Smartphone and Web. As google is indexing the mobile version of websites now (and not the web versions) do the smartphone fetch.
You will have one of 2 results. Partial or complete. There are 2 side by side panes that show you what the website looks like and what google can actually see. They will provide you a list of what you need to edit.
Google needs access to some of your core files in order to render and crawl the layout of your site correctly. At this point you may need help. You need to edit your robots text file with the allow command and the associated paths. Thats a little too complex for this blog post.
6) Just know, google webmaster tools is absolutley required and cannot be ignored.
7) You can't use google maps api and other google services without a GWT account with verified and configured urls.
There is no ignoring how google works, Google Webmaster Tools will improve your listings.
8) One more item in GWT is security. If your website gets hacked, and google detects the hack, google will add a tag on your listing. (this website may be hacked or contain malware)
In order to get google to remove this horrible listing tag, you have to have a GWT account. There is a setting to tell google you have cleaned the site and would like to have the site recrawled. One nice feature of this is that google will give you a spreadsheet of infected files for your malware removing company.
Watch the video on The Importance Of Google Webmaster Tools. 911websiterepair can coonfigure you GWT account for you as well as remove the google malware listing warning.