If there is one tool that you need to use for your website’s Google rankings, then, its the Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools). Why? Because its Google’s tool for website owners, and because its related to Google search engine rankings. It provides important factors and useful information regarding your website’s standing in Google.
Video Lesson Showing Insights for Using Google Search Console for Search Engine Optimization
Usual Concerns Website Owners Have When Using the Google Search Console & How to Remedy Them
Usually sitemaps errors and warnings, crawl errors (404 page not found) and sudden Google organic ranking drops cause distress to Website owners who rely on website traffic coming from Google search results.
Sitemap Errors and Warning
Warnings: URLs unreachable. This basically means that a moment in time when Googlebot tried to access your web page (URL) the server responded with 500 Internal Server Error response. This could be a temporary issue (perhaps server re-boot) but if these issues grow in number in Search Console, then either find a WordPress Developer or contact your web hosting company.
Crawl errors (including 404 page not found) usually don’t affect your rankings and its actually natural part of operating an online business. What you can do is, simply check the URL’s in your XML Sitemap and make sure that those URL’s are the ones on your site. You can and should use preferred domain settings as well.
Furthermore: if certain URL’s are no longer available on your website, and those OLD URL’s have backlinks pointing to them from quality sites, then you should use 301 Redirection.
Google Ranking Drops
This is serious issue as you can imagine. First thing to check is to fetch as Google to see if Google can access pages from your website. If it cannot, then you need to work out why and fix it as soon as possible (or else your Google rankings will continue to drop). To remedy: explore Search Analytics to see what’s been going on with your ranking position (Note: you can also compare date ranges) and ask, if you made any changes to your site?
Important: do not search Google search box to see your own rankings. Instead use Google Search Console Performance Report.
As with everything Google, you can learn more about Google Search Console by visiting the help forum. Update: New Blog Post with new video lessons can be found here > Google Search Console Errors