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Beginner's Guide

Verify and claim your website URL

Before you can upload product data to Merchant Center, you need to verify and claim your store’s 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. 
This article will show you how to claim and verify your website.

How it works

If you have never verified your website URL with Google before, you’ll start by verifying your website. To do this, you’ll choose one of four ways to allow Google to communicate your website. These methods add markers to your site so that Google can find your site, and confirm that you are the authorized owner of both your website and your Merchant Center account. This code does not give Google any other sort of access or permissions.

To complete the process, you’ll claim your site. That means you’re reserving the URL you’ve verified for use with your Merchant Center account.

If you have verified your website URL with Google before, you can complete the process without leaving Merchant Center. Google will associate your website information through your Google Account. If you’re familiar with Google Search Console and have already verified your website URL before, you can easily claim it in your Merchant Center account. Learn more about Google Search Console

Keep in mind
The links you provide in your product data must match the URL, including the top level domain (for example, .com, .net), that you claim in your account. Items submitted for any domain other than the one registered in your Merchant Center account will not process successfully.

Instructions

Step 1: Enter your website URL in Merchant Center

If you entered your store’s website URL when you created your Merchant Center account, you can move on to Step 2. If you didn't enter your store’s website URL when you created your Merchant Center account, you can enter one at any time using these steps:

1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
2. From the navigation panel, click Business information
3. From the page menu, click About your business to open the "About your business" page.
4. Click to open the Website section. 
5. Enter your URL. Learn about the requirements for this URL.
6. Click Save.

Step 2: Verify and claim your website URL

If you’ve already verified your website during setup, you can move on to step 3. 

Verifying your website confirms that you are the owner of your website URL, and that you have the ability to make edits to its content. To verify your website, you’ll use one of four methods. Each of these options allows Google to verify that you are the owner and that you have edit access to your website.
 

HTML file upload (most common method)

You’ll upload an HTML file to your server and we’ll verify that the file exists in the specified location. To use this method, you must be able to upload new files to your server. To stay verified, do not remove the HTML file even after you’ve verified and claimed your website URL.
  1. Download the HTML file listed in the instructions on this page.
  2. Upload the file to your website
  3. Confirm successful upload by visiting the site listed on the same page.

HTML tag

Add a meta tag to your home page. You’ll copy a short line of HTML code and paste it into the code of your website. This code is only a marker, and does not give Google access to or permissions for your site. To use this method, you must be able to edit the HTML code of your site's index page. To stay verified, do not remove the HTML tag even after you’ve verified and claimed your website URL.​

  1. Sign in to Merchant Center.
  2. In the page menu, click Business information, and then Website.
  3. Under "Alternative methods", select HTML tag
  4. Copy the meta tag generated for your account. 
  5. Paste the tag code into your site's home page. It should go in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.

Google Analytics

If you’re already using Google Analytics, you can add your existing Google Analytics code you use to track your site. To use this method, you must be an administrator of  your Google Analytics account. The Google Analytics tracking code is used only to verify your website URL ownership. No Google Analytics data will be accessed.
  1. Sign into your Google Analytics account. 
  2. Click Admin.
  3. Select an account from the menu in the “Account” column.
  4. Select a property from the menu in the “Property” column.
  5. Under “Property,”, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.
  6. Your tracking ID and property number are displayed at the top of the page.
  7. The tracking code snippet for your website is displayed under Website tracking.
  8. Copy the meta tag generated for your Google Analytics account. 
  9. Paste the tag code into your site's home page. It should go in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.

Google Tag Manager

Install a container to your website. You must have “View, Edit, and Manage” account level permission in Google Tag Manager. The Google Tag Manager container ID is used only to verify website ownership. No Google Tag Manager data will be accessed.
  1. Sign in to Google Tag Manager
  2. Create a container 
  3. Install a container by adding the container snippet to your site

Step 3: Claim your website URL

Claiming your website URL gives you the exclusive right to use your website in connection with your Merchant Center account.

Claim a URL that's new to Google 

After you’ve completed the steps for either HTML file upload, HTML tag, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager verification:
 
  1. Return to the Website page in your Merchant Center account.
  2. Depending on which verification method you used, expand either the HTML file upload box or the Alternative methods box.
  3. Click Verify & Claim.

Claim a URL you’ve verified before in Google Search Console

  1. You can claim your URL by adding the same email address for both your Merchant Center account and your Search Console account. 
    1. If your domain is already verified in an existing Google Search Console account, the easiest option for claiming that URL in Merchant Center is to add the Google Account for your Merchant Center account as an Owner of the verified Google Search Console account. 
    2. Or, you can add a Google Account that is an existing Owner in the Search Console account as a login to your Merchant Center account.
  2. After you add the same login email for both your Merchant Center and a verified Search Console account, you’ll see that your website is already listed as verified in Merchant Center. You’ll need to claim the website URL either while you sign up for an account or on the About your business page by selecting the option to Claim website.

How to verify when using multiple website domains

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

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, for example: http://example.com. Each sub-account will then automatically inherit the claim and can submit products for that domain.

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

Learn about verifying and claiming website URLs for multi-client accounts

 

Related links

 

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