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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Using Search Engine–Supplied SEO Tools

Google and Bing both make an active effort to communicate with webmasters and publishers and provide some very useful tools for SEO professionals.

Search Engine Webmaster Tools

Although we have referred to the Webmaster Tools provided by Google and Bing throughout the book, it is worth going into these in greater depth. Using Webmaster Tools is a great way to see how the search engines perceive your site.

First, let’s clear up a popular misconception. Setting up and using a Google WMT or Bing WMT account provides no new information about your site to the search engines. That is not the purpose of these tools.

This becomes clear when you learn how the tools are set up. You can create a Webmaster Tools account with either Google or Bing quite easily. An important part of creating these accounts is verifying your ownership of the site. To do that, you have two options:

  • Place a search engine–supplied meta tag on the home page of your domain.

  • Place a special file as specified by the search engine in the root directory of your web server.

Neither of these actions changes or enhances the search engine’s ability to access information about your website.

The intent of these tools is to provide publishers with data on how the search engines view their sites. This is incredibly valuable data that publishers can use to diagnose site problems. We recommend that all publishers leverage both of these tools on all of their websites.

In the following sections, we will ...

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