Google Webmaster Tools is a free service that helps you evaluate and maintain your website's performance in search results (1). Offered as a free service to anyone who owns a website, Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is a conduit of information from the largest search engine in the world to you, offering insights into how it sees your website and helping you uncover issues that need fixing.
You do not need to use GWT for your website to appear in search results, but it can offer you valuable information that can help with your marketing efforts.
1. It verifies that Google can access the content on your website.
2. GWT makes it possible to submit new pages and posts for Google to crawl and remove content you don't want search engine users to discover.
3. It helps you deliver and evaluate content that offers users a more visual experience.
4. You can maintain your website without disrupting its presence in search results.
5. It allows you to discover and eliminate malware or spam problems that may not be easily found through other means.
1. It tells you the most popular queries causing your website to appear in search results.
2. It tells you which queries are driving the most traffic.
3. You can see which websites are linking to yours.
4. You can evaluate how well your mobile website is performing for people searching on tablets and phones.
Before accessing any data, you have to verify that you are the owner, or authorized representative, of the website. There are five ways you can verify your website. One is not really better than the other, so you can choose which option is the easiest for you (2).
Once your account is set up and your website is verified, you will have access to plenty of actionable data that can help you optimize your website. You can receive alerts from Google, adjust settings to deliver specific information to your inbox, submit XML site maps and view user queries where your website appeared in search. Learn the basics of using GWT, and you will have a great resource on which to base your future marketing decisions.