Googles Webmaster Tools are not widely advertised by Google, however offer some useful information for Webmasters/Blogowners.
Going back through the archives it appears the webmaster tools were launched around October 2006.
To connect the Webmaster Tools to your site, you need to copy a small line of code into the html of your websites index page. To do this go to www.google.com/webmasters and follow the instructions. This ensures that you are indeed the owner of the site. Once this is done you are then able to access a number of reports and features that can assist you with learning more about the way Google indexes your site, and the searches that people are running, along with your rankings at the time they searched.
Logging into the tools console, you will come to a screen like the below. There are three main tabs. Diagnostics, Statistics and Sitemaps.
The Diagnostics section shows you any errors that Google has found while crawling your site, the crawl rate (how often the Googlebot visits and checks your site), robots.txt analysis as well as enhanced image search if you want it. (This is where Google somehow labels all your images to make them easier to index).
The final section of the webmaster tools is the sitemaps section, I have not used this yet but it appears that you can upload a sitemap and google will use this in addition to its normal indexing techniques. If you need more info on this here is an article from Google explaining in more depth.
What is a Sitemap file and why should I have one?
I recommend that you check these tools out, knowledge is power when it comes to building your sites, so it is important to try and get all the information that you can. Googles Webmaster Tools will help with this, so we are adding them to our Web bloggers toolkit .
Tommorrow I will be posting my 80 Day Summary, so be sure to check back!
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