Google Search Console
Adding a "Property"
- Top left, under Google Search Console, Current "Propertly" Dropdown Menu
- Add Property (select the proper type)
- More Information from Google: Add a website property - Search Console Help (google.com)
Inspecting a URL
- Very top of page, enter a Full URL
Notice there is a "Google Index" and a "Live Test" Sub-Tab
Starting Point: https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/(see link at the top right of the page to sign in)
Adding a URL-prefix property
It shouldn't be this difficult, but thank you Google, it is.
URL-prefix property VS Domain Property
- URL-prefix property = https://wiki.terrabase.info
- Domain Property = *://*.terrabase.info (where * = WildCard / Anything, IE http://www.terrabase.info, https://WhatEver.terrabase.info, https://terrabase.info
- ...from: Add a website property - Search Console Help (google.com)
Why does this matter? Well, when it comes to checking a robots.txt file with the Google Search Console (which by the way has no easy way or any link what so ever to find the "Robots.txt Tool", unless you have the explicit link), it only checks URL-prefix properties, not Domain Properties.
From Google (Test your robots.txt with the robots.txt Tester - Search Console Help (google.com)): The tool works only with URL-prefix properties; it does not work with Domain properties.
OK, where is the ROBOTS.txt Tester? Is there a link available from the Google Seach Console? Hell no! Here's the explicit link:
Now the next question is how to add a URL-prefix property...
How to add a URL-prefix property
Google (and one can assume other Search Engines) wants an authortative / single ULR (AKA link) defined for every 'page' of content on the internet. There can be several URLs that 'link' / connect to a single page of content. We as humans don't really care, but remember, there's a human perspective and a 'robot' perspective, this is all about the 'search bots'.
In broad internet terms it is referred to as a Canonical Link Element. In the Google Search Console, it is referred to as: User-declared canonical AND Google-selected canonical.
As it appears in a real life web page;
<link rel="canonical" href="https://wiki.terrabase.info/wiki/Main_Page"/>
How to include that above item if one isn't hand coding the HTML?
- In the LocalSettings.php File, add these to lines (from https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgCanonicalServerand https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgEnableCanonicalServerLink)
- $wgCanonicalServer = 'https://WhatEverDomainName'; (http can be used in place of https, but Google doesn't like that)
- $wgEnableCanonicalServerLink = "true";
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Mobile_Pages
An interesting insight into AMP (Hint: These guys describe how to implement it for WordPress, but explicitly state they don't do it for their own site due to a myriad of reasons: https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-setup-google-amp-on-your-wordpress-site/
How is it implemented?
- For MediaWiki based sites, both extensions AMP and AcceleratedMobilePages are both busted as of late 2021;
- AMP: This one is dated appx 2018, version 0.0.0 according to Special:Version, 0.0.1 according to the author, neither of which is inspiring. When testing with Google Search Console, it doesn't respond to the ?action=amp command automatically. And when manually adding the <amp/> Element, per documentation, it breaks the page. So busted as of late 2021.
- AcceleratedMobilePages: This one is dated appx late 2019. It does trigger Google's AMP detection, but doesn't work according to Google. And when testing manually with the ?action=amp, it produces a blank page. So this one is busted and broken too (as of late 2021).
CONCUSION: As of 2021, this feels like a busted Microsoft Silver Light type of effort that's doomed to be a BETA version of something else that will rise from the ashes. Use other tools to create a "Mobile Friendly" website
- MediaWiki: Mobile Front End
- WordPress: "Responsive" Themes, etc.
Google URL Inspection Tool (Test Yourself)
Additional Information: URL Inspection Tool - Search Console Help (google.com)
- View Tested Page (AKA "View a rendered version of the page", as it is referred to in the documentation), Screenshot (Thankfully only the perspective of the tiny little smart phone screen is provided, presumably for those who like their champange in a plastic cup.)
- What the fork is AMP. Well, that is an acronym for Accelerated Mobile Pages(although you wouldn't know it from Google's documentation page as it doesn't provide the words that the acronym stands for, nor does it even provide, oh ,what's the term, oh yes, LINK to a definition of AMP (hint, it isn't amperage)).