If you’ve ever had a severe drop in your Google rankings in search results, you may think of Google more of an enemy than an ally.
But if you knew what I do, you’d realize that there are tools provided by the search engine that help you learn more about your traffic, and may even help drive visitors to your site.
Here are five ways that Google provides free traffic assistance.
#1 – Google will Help Your Pages Get Discovered with Google Sitemaps
Google Sitemaps is a program that gives you the opportunity to present your site’s pages to Google in XML or text. Google will then come by and spider the pages, getting you indexed faster.
Take note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that your pages will be listed for your favorite keywords, only that discovery will take place a lot faster than with manual submission. Google Sitemaps will also give you some basic site stats if you verify your site, such as the top keywords for discovery, errors it found when crawling, and the types of documents at your site.
If you find compiling your sitemap for Google in the correct format difficult, try the SOFTplus GSiteCrawler Google Sitemap generator. It’s my favorite Sitemap generator, free and easy to use.
#2 – Google Will Talk To You or Your Webmaster with the Webmaster Section
The Google Information Page for Webmasters should be your first stop when you want to know more about anything that has to do with your site and its relationship to Google and any of its many flavors of search such as Froogle. Particularly for new site owners or operators, checking this page first has saved many from needless anxiety.
Most of the basic information is in straightforward language, with links to details for geeks like me.