The Google Webmaster Tool which incorporates Google Sitemaps, is a tool from Google to provides statistics and error information about websites for webmasters. Together with Google Sitemaps, the service provides a way for webmasters to tell Google crawler and spider what web pages are present on the websites, and also information about those pages, such as which are most important and how often they change, to the Google Search in discovery of web pages. In Google Webmaster Tool, there are tools for managing websites too, and now more features, namely Googlebot activity reports, crawl rate control, enhanced image search, and number of URLs submitted have been added, making the webmaster tool are powerful tool for website owners.

Googlebot activity reports

Googlebot activity reports, accessible from Crawl rate link on the Diagnostics tab of Google Webmaster Tool, provides information for webmasters with charts and graphs that illustrate the number of pages Googlebot crawled per day, the number of kilobytes Googlebot downloaded per day, and the average time spent downloading a page per day. Each chart also contains further information on the average, maximum, and minimum value for the data over the 90 period that webmasters can viewed and used for troubleshooting issues related to the site.

Google Crawl Rate

Crawl rate control

You may be wondered why Googlebot doesn’t want to visit, crawl and index your sites faster, or Googlebot is visiting the websites too frequently until overwhelming server’s bandwidth and resources. Googlebot uses sophisticated algorithms that determine how much to crawl each site, and now, with crawl speed control, you can actually control how fast Googlebot should crawl your site by providing the information to Google on how Google should crawl your sites, from the bottom part of Crawl rate links on Diagnostic tab. There are three options available – Normal which is the default, Slower which will tell web crawler Googlebot to reduce its crawling speed to reduce Googlebot’s traffic on your server, and Faster where Googlebot will crawl the site more quickly. But “Faster” crawl option only available if Google feel the site’s server could handle the additional bandwidth, and Googlebot can crawl your site more.

Googlebot Crawl Speed Control

Enhanced image search

Enhanced image search features allows Google to use tools such as Google Image Labeler to associate the images included in your site with labels that will improve indexing and search quality of those images hosted by Google. Enhanced image search option can be opted in and opted out immediately, via Enhanced Image Search link on Diagnostic tab.

Enhanced Image Search

Number of URLs submitted

Via Google Sitemaps on Google Webmaster Tool, a webmaster can submit sitemap of his or her websites to Google to tell Google the structure and contents of his websites for web crawler Googlebot to crawl. You may generate the sitemap automatically, but how would you ensure that the sitemap contains every single URLs and links on your site? Google now provides the count of URLs submitted with the sitemap, which can be used to compare with the number of pages that you think your sites should contains for confirmation. To see access the number of URLs Google found in each Sitemap you’ve submitted, just click on the Sitemaps tab.

Sitemap URLs Count