Our initial guide on Tumblr Marketing and SEO was such a huge hit that we decided to do a part 2 step-by-step guide on how to add your Tumblr to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and add a Sitemap to Google Search Console.
Not sure if many of you have noticed, but these days Google is doing anything and everything to hide referrer data, specifically keyword data. In the past, many internet marketers took the stance of “hiding” their websites from Google. Now, with Google not passing referrer data to analytics programs such as Piwik, it is more important than ever to get acquainted with GWT.
GWT is actually a very powerful tool. You can get a ton of data from it and use it for many different tasks. First thing to remember about GWT is that it really only tracks Google search. Sure, you can pull metrics from it such as backlinks but overall when it shows you “visitors” or “index stats” – it is mainly referring to Google search engine. Tip: Read up on Google Webmaster Guidelines if you haven’t lately.
This post might be common knowledge to most people, but we’ve had some questions in the past so thought we would illustrate it. Normally the process of verifying a GWT account is very straight forward: drop a file into your FTP and hit “verify.” Well with Tumblr the files are hosted on the Tumblr servers, so you need to go a different route, and below we will explain:
Step 1: Create a Tumblr Sitemap
This is the easy part. Want to know a secret about Tumblr blogs? They all come with XML sitemap files built in! All you have to do is navigate to your Tumblr blog URL and add “sitemap.xml” to the end. So for instance, our Tumblr URL is:
so our sitemap will automatically be:
If you’d like to take it a step further, you can create a website sitemap, which is different from an XML sitemap in the fact that it is intended for your visitors, instead of search engines. You can read about that more in our guide to XML and website sitemaps.
Tumblr throws a lot of bonus SEO goodies into their framework. For instance, they generate a robots.txt file for all Tumblr blogs as well. You can view your robots.txt file by navigating to:
The downside is the robots.txt file can’t be edited, but the good part is Tumblr is the one handling all the traffic and crawling and are pretty good at this stuff.
Step 2: Add Your Tumblr to Google Search Console
The first step is navigating to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), you can do that by going to: google.com/webmasters and sign in.
You must have an account at this point, if you don’t then take this time to go ahead and make one.
Once logged in to GWT you will be presented with your home screen. Here you will click the “add a site” button:
After that you will be presented with the dialogue box to enter your site. Here you will input the full address of your Tumblr blog, in this case we will use the Elite Strategies Tumblr:
Once that is done, you will be presented with the next screen, to verify your site. In case anyone does not know why you do this, this is so ill-intentioned people will not add your site to their GWT and start changing all sorts of settings and causing havoc on your site. Normally you do this by dropping a verification file into the root of your FTP, but today we must do a tiny workaround.
Tumblr does not have FTP capabilities (at least, end users do not) so we must verify using a meta tag.
Now shoot on over to your Tumblr blog in a new tab. Hit the “customize” wrench/button at the top of the page then from there hit the “Edit HTML” button that should be on the left hand pane. (locations of these may change if Tumblr changes in the future)
Now is the part when you take the code that is on your clipboard that you got from Google Search Console, and insert it within the <head> tag of your Tumblr blog, you want to do this just above the <body> tag like so:
We censored our data to be a little more cautious. After that you will go back to the GWT tab. Now hit “verify” and you are done!
Well, you are not done yet :)
Step 3: Tumblr Sitemap to Google Search Console
Technically your Tumblr blog is part of the GWT world, but you are not officially in yet. You still need to add your sitemap, so Google can find its way around. Most of the time Google can and will find your Tumblr XML sitemap, but its always good to play nice with Google and help their process as much as possible.
Next, go the “Optimization” tab (I always felt like it should be part of the “configuration” tab) and click on the sitemap section. Go through the next three steps as shown:
Being that we already have a Tumblr sitemap (step listed above), we can take that URL and use it here.
There is some conflicting information out there regarding which sitemap to add (sitemap.xml or sitemap1.xml). Sitemap.xml lists sitemap1.xml and so forth so it is already included however just to be safe, I usually add both sitemaps just for fun, it won’t hurt you.