Posted July 14, 2008 5:28 pm by with 20 comments

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Google announces a new program today to work with web hosts to integrate Google Webmaster Tools for their users.

The Google Webmaster Tools Access Provider program features APIs to enable web hosts to offer their subscribers access to Webmaster Tools. Subscribers will be able to create Webmaster Tools accounts and submit sitemaps without leaving hosts’ control panels.

In all, this is a boon to web hosts, since they’ll be able to add value for their subscribers. Subscribers wouldn’t be forced to participate in Webmaster Tools, but easy access to information to help new and inexperienced webmasters understand how their site is doing in Google would probably be pretty popular. Google gets sites that are better optimized and more relevant in its index.

And if you don’t want to take my word for it (Webmaster Tools is cool), then take Andy’s:

At BlogWorld, an audience member asked me to share my #1 SEO recommendation for bloggers. Tough question, right? I told the audience that every blogger should sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. It’s the only place where you get data straight from the horse’s mouth and the information they share is invaluable.

The APIs are free to use for web hosts and Google will even give you a pretty little badge (shown above).

A similar pilot program with GoDaddy has been running since November, and has apparently seen success.

  • Thanks for the update Jordan very much appreciated. We’ll see how it all works out!

    Garrett Pierson’s last blog post..Monday Interviews with Jordan Kasteler

  • I wonder if SEO’s can use the API to create custom Webmaster Tools Control Panels for their clients? Or do you have to be a web host?

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Top 5 National Real Estate Franchise Web Sites

  • PS3

    I’ve used Webmaster tools for a good while now and have to mirror Jordan and Andy’s sentiments, it is THE place to go for accurate feedback. Where else can you review “what Googlebot sees”.

    (Cue lots of people showing me other resources for that!)

  • That is a good question Joe.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Tom Critchlow Rockin Whiteboard Friday at SEOmoz

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Joe—The program FAQ says this:

    I don’t host websites for my customers. Can I still participate in this program?
    To be a Webmaster Tools access provider, you must be able to complete the verification steps on behalf of your customers. If you are unable to do so, you won’t be able to use the Google APIs necessary to provide your customers with Google Webmaster Tools.

    Does that answer the question?

  • The will be a great offering for sure…any idea if any other existing tools plan on using the API?

    Nick Stamoulis’s last blog post..Is Search Engine Optimization A Fool’s Game

  • “Does that answer the question?”

    Not really. I almost always get FTP access for my clients so my answer would be yes, yet I am not a host.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Tom Critchlow Rockin Whiteboard Friday at SEOmoz

  • Jordan McCollum

    It doesn’t sound like Google’s referring to FTP access.

  • Google’s verification steps entails uploading a HTML document with a verification code in the title of the file. Therefore, I would say that if you had FTP access then you would be able to complete verification. Considering, I haven’t really looked at the FAQs or documentation yet, I would assume by what i have read here, that the answer to my original question is, Yes!

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Top 5 National Real Estate Franchise Web Sites

  • Ok, I have used the godaddy one so many times.. Website Tonight has it. I have built over 130 sites through this template-based sustem. I will say that the Google Webmaster Tools function is idiot proof; I can even tell clients what to do (and they can do it all alone) and it works flawlessly. I also appreciate their XML sitemap, which updates automatically and can be customized page by page. GoDaddy is on the ball and offering a superior product. I have small clients that use the system and corporations. I have blogged about it several times. Now you have access to the CSS stylesheets and no one ever knows that for less than $120 a year you have a Web site with unlimited pages, a CMS and much, much more.

    Melissa –’s last blog post..What is SEO Consulting? Well, It Depends on the Vision of the Consultant

  • Yeah! Let’s give Google more access to more data!

  • In principle, I think it’s a good idea and can drive users to the webmaster tools that are often overlooked but they offer a great deal of free stats.
    However, in practice I found the arrangement with GoDaddy to be a bit of a hassle, as the API required creation of a new Google account and I wasn’t able to link GoDaddy to my existing one, that did have the webmaster tools enabled.

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..Platform-A’s ADTECH Signs Agreement with Gannett for Online Ad Serving

  • Let see if this will success as the pilot project with GoDaddy.

  • I think that this is a great feature. The Google webmaster tools just keeps getting better and better. This would surely help inexperienced webm owners to access its invaluable data.

  • Otilia, I agree with the issue of not being able to link to my current Webmaster account. That is a big con for me.

    Melissa –’s last blog post..What is SEO Consulting? Well, It Depends on the Vision of the Consultant

  • If Joe Hall is right, then the web host would in effect have to upload a document to each individual hosting account. If you host thousands, that could be an issue–not to mention violating the trust of your client, by accessing their FTP.

  • Webmaster tools are good, but I still wish they didn’t hold back on some of the back linking information. I understand why they do it their regular SERP pages, but if someone owns the site, I don’t understand the need to obscure linking info.

    Top Rated Digital’s last blog post..The Top 10 Digital Cameras Ripped Apart

  • My company provides web hosting, and I have FTP access to everyone of my hosting clients’ accounts, furthermore my TOS provides that I have the ability to have FTP access. Quite honestly I would never go with a hosting company that didn’t retain FTP access to my account. There have been numinous times that my clients have needed me to have FTP access for various support related issues.

    @Andy I am thinking that for a hosting provider like GoDaddy, the API probably provides for a batch verification function where it will automatically issue thousands of codes at the same time, and then the godaddy technicians probably wrote a script or two to create and place the verification html documents on each acccount from the back end. This kinda process is possible with any shared hosting provider because they can custom write the functions for each account from their end.

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Top 5 National Real Estate Franchise Web Sites

  • Is there an advantage? True, it would make it easier to get the data but there is still the interpretation of the data. A SEO is still needed at the interpretation stage and I assume that most SEOs know how to at the verification page (I use the alternative which is a meta tag.

    I think that it will create a headache with the host providers being buried in beginners questions like “I have a 15 minute flash movie on my page and heaps of graphics but Google says my page is blank”.


  • But will all the host service providers be providing these services ?

    Travel Point’s last blog post..The Samba of Brazil