Beginner's Guide

Verify and claim your website URL

Before you can upload and publish product data to Merchant Center for Google Shopping, you must verify and claim your website URL.

Verification lets Google know that you are an authorized owner of a website URL. Claiming associates the verified website URL with your Merchant Center account. The links provided in your data feed must match the URL, including the top level domain (ex: .com, .net...) registered in your Merchant Center account. Product listings submitted for any URL other than the one registered in your Merchant Center account will not process successfully.

There are two ways that you can verify and claim your website URL: during account signup or from the Settings tab of Merchant Center.

During account signup

When you first sign up for a Merchant Center account, you’ll see the option to verify and claim your website URL. We strongly recommend that you complete this step during account signup, especially if you’ll be using Google Shopping.

If you need to skip this step during signup, you can verify and claim your website URL from the Settings tab of your Merchant Center account.

From the Settings tab

  1. Determine the exact website URL to verify and claim

    To ensure all your uploaded listings are accepted by Google, you'll need to determine the right website URL to verify and claim.

    For simple stores, the best URL to verify is the top-level URL of your store, e.g. http://example.com. If your store resides on a sub-host or on a path, you should include those in your URL, e.g. http://stores.example.com/mystore

    Note: Verifying http://www.example.com only covers the www sub-host and any paths underneath, but not the entire domain. To cover the entire domain, you must verify and claim the root domain, e.g. http://example.com

    When entering a URL, the format must follow the rules below:

    • The URL must start with either http:// or https://
    • No IP addresses are allowed, e.g. http://10.127.127.127
    • No ports are allowed, e.g. http://www.example.com:8080
    • No fragments are allowed, e.g. http://www.example.com#top
  2. Verify your website URL

    You'll use Google Webmaster Tools to add and verify your website URL. Once you verify your domain in Google Webmaster Tools, you'll link that account to Merchant Center through a shared login to both accounts.

    New URL Verification

    If your site does not already have a verified Google Webmaster Tools account, please follow the steps below to verify your domain:

    • 1. In the General tab of the Settings section of your Merchant Center account, click "Verify this URL" after entering and saving your domain.
    • 2. You will be taken to Google Webmaster Tools where you'll see various methods for verifying your domain.
    • 3. Choose one of the methods provided and follow the steps to verify your domain

    Note: If you do not already have a Google Webmaster Tools account, please make sure to complete the verification steps with the same Google Account that is your login email for Merchant Center for which you wish to verify the URL.

    Existing URL Verification

    If your domain is already verified in an existing Google Webmaster Tools account, the easiest option for verification is to add the Google Account login email address for your Merchant Center account as an owner (not as a user) of the verified Google Webmaster Tools account. Alternatively, you can add a Google Account login email address that is an existing owner in the Google Webmaster Tools account as a login to your Merchant Center account. You can also follow the steps listed in the section above to create an additional verified account for this domain.

  3. Claim your website URL

    After your website URL is verified in Google Webmaster Tools, you will need to claim the website URL in Google Merchant Center. In order for us to associate your verified URL in Merchant Center, you will have to use the same login email for both your Merchant Center and Webmaster Tools accounts.

    While more than one person can verify the same URL, Google Merchant Center requires that only one account holds the right to upload and publish product listings for this URL. For this reason, you need to claim your website URL in Google Merchant Center after you have verified it in Webmaster Tools. To claim your website URL:

    • 1. Sign in to your Google Merchant Center account.
    • 2. Click on the Settings link, then click General.
    • 3. Under Website URL, enter your site's URL and save. You'll see the site's claiming and verification status display
    • 4. Click I want to claim this website to claim the URL.
    • 5. Click Save Changes to confirm your changes.
    • 6. You should see "Verified" and "Claimed" displayed under your URL.

    After you’ve claimed your website URL, you can create product data.

Ways you might lose your claim

  • If another authorized owner of the website in question successfully verifies and claims the website URL, you will lose the claim and will be notified by email. We'll let you know who the clashing account is (you can also find this information in your Google Webmaster tools account) in order to resolve the situation yourself, where possible. If unsuccessful, you can choose to either verify and claim a different URL or contact us.

  • If you lose your 'verified' status in Google Webmaster Tools, you will lose the claim. You can lose the 'verified' status because the identifying Meta tag or HTML file has been removed from the website. If you've lost your 'verified' status in Google Webmaster tools, you will need to follow the steps above to verify and claim your website URL again.

  • If you choose to verify and claim a different URL in Google Merchant Center, you will lose the claim for your previously verified and claimed website URL. Follow the steps above if you'd like to reclaim your previous URL.

Multi-client accounts

Multi-client accounts allow merchants to submit items for more than one website domain. Learn more.

Multi-client account owners may verify and claim a website URL for the parent account. Typically, the parent account should verify and claim the top-level domain, e.g. http://example.com. Each sub-account will then automatically inherit the claim and can submit products for any sub-host or path under the claimed URL tree.

Alternatively, each sub-account can also choose to verify and claim a completely different website URL instead.

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