Website Issues Solved With New Fetch As Google Tool
This week, on their Webmaster Central blog, Google announced a very useful update for their Fetch As Google tool. Basically, the Fetch As Google Tool lets you see a page as Google see it. This can be incredibly useful when troubleshooting a web page’s poor performance and poor search rankings.
“For example, if you use rich media files to display content, the page returned by the tool may not contain this content if Google can’t crawl it effectively. You can choose to fetch a page as Google’s regular web crawler sees it or, if you publish mobile content, as our mobile crawlers do.”
Let’s take a look at how this all works and how you can use the new Fetch As Google tool to improve your website’s performance in search realists for your targeted set of keywords.
Before you can get started, you need to ensure you’ve verified your website with Google Webmaster Tools. Once that’s complete, do this:
1. Log in to Webmaster Tools and choose the website you want to fix.
2. On the left side of the dashboard, click Crawl, then Fetch As Google.
3. In the empty field, complete the url you want to have crawled.
4. To the right you’ll see some options with drop down lists. In order to see what Google’s web crawler, Googlebot sees, choose “Desktop”. If you’d like to see how Google sees the page on smartphones, select “Mobile: Smartphone”.
5. If you need to go deeper and render the page to see what Googlebot’s mobile crawler sees, select Mobile: cHTML. This view is typically for Japanese websites. You can also choose the option of Mobile: XHTML/WML.
6. Final two options are to click Fetch for Googlebot to fetch the url you entered. You’ll then have the option to submit the url to Google’s index.
Additionally, and this is the new cool part, you can choose Fetch and Render to have Googlebot both fetch the url and render it as a webpage – as Google sees it!
How To Use The Fetch As Google Tool
In Google’s post, they suggest we use this tool to diagnose your website’s page’s poor performance in search results mainly because you’re able to fix crawling errors. This is very useful because if Google is not able to render the page as you intend, it could have a negative effect on your web pages search engine rankings.
Another handy use for this tool is to help you identify problematic pages if your website ever has been hacked. To illustrate, an example might be if your site appears in search results for popular spam terms and those terms don’t even exist in your website source code. The Fetch as Google tool can help you understand exactly what Google is seeing on your site.
Finally, something to keep in mind is the robot.txt file. Fetch As Google won’t render any page that you blocked by robot.txt. If you’re hiding files and content because you don’t want it to be crawled by Googlebot, Google won’t be able to shoe them to you in the rendered view.
How do you please on using this new tool?
Please let us know in the comments.
* Featured Image via Flickr