Webmaster Tools, Central and Site Explorer.
The major search engines have, for a long time, provided webmasters with tools to help with management of their presence on the web.
The major search engines have, for a long time, provided webmasters with tools to help with management of their presence on the web. Google provides “Webmaster Tools,” Yahoo has its “Site Explorer” and Bing has “Webmaster Central.”
Each tool is a free service and can provide invaluable information for webmasters and developers.
Google’s Webmaster tools in particular, provides insight into ‘crawl errors’ which can hamper a websites ability to rank well in the search engines. Not to be taken totally at face value these crawl errors can help webmasters to identify architectural issues with a website and highlight bad internal linking and missing pages.
Each tool also allows for submitting a sitemap which, once picked up, will show how many pages were submitted and how many have been added to their Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) This again can highlight potential issues with the site if the number of pages submitted and indexed differs greatly. (Although this could be down to timing as it will take time for all pages to be indexed.)
Other interesting tools include the malware detector, HTML suggestions and Site Performance tools.
The Malware detector informs you if your website has been compromised by hackers and contains malware.
The HTML Suggestions tool, analyses indexed pages and advises if there are any particular issues with the sites code.
The Site performance tool tracks page load times and provides a comparison between your website and the rest of the web. As Google place more importance on page load times this tool will let you know if your site needs improving.
Nowadays all three suites can be accessed through a single Google profile and installation is as simple as adding a piece of Meta data to the site or a file upload to the root folder of the site.
With the wealth of information and analysis available, you should make sure that you’re not missing out on these valuable tools.