Today I want to cover a very useful tool that’s available via Google Webmaster Tools. While a great many resources exist within Webmaster Tools, I want to focus on the Fetch as Google tool. This tool is simple in it’s use and explanation, and is immensely useful and helpful to any website owner who is overhauling a website, updating a page, or just starting a new website.

Getting Started With Fetch As Google

The process of using Fetch as Google is pretty simple. Once you’ve verified Webmaster Tools on your website, access the Crawl section and select “Fetch as Google.”

See photo (left).

Once here, you are able to enter any of your webpages to be rendered by Google. This allows you to render both the mobile or desktop versions of any page on your site exactly as Google sees it. This also enables you as the site owner to make sure that Google sees everything on your website correctly.

 

Possible Mobile Optimization Issues

If you pull up a rendered page and it doesn’t look right, something on your site needs to be adjusted. Fetch as Google also provides you access to how Google views the mobile version of your website. With Google’s recent Mobilegeddon update, making sure that all of the pages on your site are easily accessible to mobile users is critical.

After you’ve rendered all the pages of your site, you can then submit all of those pages to Google’s index. This allows you to shortcut Google’s normal indexing process and get your site into the search results faster.

Google stated the following upon release of the tool:

“When you submit a URL in this way Googlebot will crawl the URL, usually within a day. We’ll then consider it for inclusion in our index. Note that we don’t guarantee that every URL submitted in this way will be indexed; we’ll still use our regular processes—the same ones we use on URLs discovered in any other way—to evaluate whether a URL belongs in our index.” [1]

So, like most tools out there, it’s not 100% but it does give you a way to expedite the normal process when making changes to your site or creating a new site entirely. You are also able to tell Google to crawl every link on that page as well, so you can quickly submit your entire website to Google. This will help you get into the results much more quickly and keep your business humming along.

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10 Comments

  • Josh Aaron, July 20, 2015 @ 1:04 pm

    Useful. I normally find that Google has any site’s I’ve created indexed very quickly—usually from about 3 days to one week. That’s usually fast enough for my purposes. I wonder if this would be more useful (in my case) for those times that I make a big change to a page or post and want Google to quickly index those changes…

  • Maria Williams, July 20, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

    Good Article TJ. I usually like to send a Fetch to Google when we add new copy on the website.

  • M Andrew Eagar, July 20, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

    Great post TJ. I really enjoy this tool in Search Console. you might find this interesting but I did a study a few weeks back for a website where I built out 8 pages for the business. I waited for Google to naturally index them and waited a MONTH and they were still not indexed. I then used the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool and within 5min it was indexed. Not only was it indexed but it was also ranking on the first page for many (low competition) terms.

    I find it interesting that not only does Google index the page but it also runs it through it’s algorithm to give it an initial ranking.

  • Kelly Shelton, July 21, 2015 @ 10:01 am

    Fetch as Google is such a useful tool that so many businesses don’t know about.

  • Josh Aaron, July 21, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

    Andrew –
    Out of curiosity, did you do anything at all to send signals of that site’s existence other than just let it sit? For example, did you do any social media links? I’m assuming that you wanted to get a pure sample and therefore didn’t do any manner of linking to the site (thus the word “naturally”), correct?

  • M Andrew Eagar, July 21, 2015 @ 1:51 pm

    Josh,
    I didn’t do anything but create the pages. No social posts, no links, nothing. The only things these new pages had were navigational links on the actual website.

  • Caz*, July 28, 2015 @ 9:27 pm

    I know when I’ve specifically wanted Google to tell me all about a site and show it to me via “their eyes,” I have already submitted an XML sitemap for Google to know about every page on the site. I think that’s a primary step of setting up any Search Console account. I don’t know why you would ever want to not do that?

  • Jamison Michael Furr, July 30, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

    Thanks for the input, @drewwhitmill:disqus. I bet @mandreweagar:disqus has an answer to that question…

  • Andrew Williams, February 17, 2016 @ 2:32 pm

    Google Search Console give a lot of insight on how Google sees your site. You can find if there are errors that need to be fixed or an issue with your hosting causing your site to go down sometimes, just to name a few.

  • Sani Nielsen, February 17, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

    We agree. It’s amazing how powerful Google Search Console really is and how helpful it can be to small businesses.

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