Beginner's Guide

Verify and claim your website URL

Before you can upload product data to Merchant Center for Google Shopping, you must verify and claim your shop's website URL. Verification lets Google know that you are an authorised owner of a website URL. Claiming associates the verified website URL with your Merchant Center account.

There are two ways that you can verify and claim your website URL: during account sign-up or from the Website Verification tab.

  • During account sign-up (recommended): We strongly recommend that you complete this step when you first sign up for a Merchant Center account, especially if you'll be using Google Shopping. If you need to skip this step during sign-up, you can verify and claim your website URL from the Website Verification tab.
  • From the Website Verification tab: Verify and claim your website at any time from this tab.

Merchant Center leverages Google Search Console, a product that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence on Google, for website verification and claiming. You can verify and claim your website URL without leaving Merchant Center and we'll associate your website information with Search Console through your Google Account. If you're familiar with Google Search Console and have already verified your website URL, you can easily claim it in your Merchant Center account.

Note: The links that you provide in your product data must match the URL, including the top level domain (e.g. .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.

Steps to verify and claim your website URL

  1. Enter your website URL in your account

    You'll verify and claim the website URL entered in the General Settings tab of your account. If you did not enter your shop's website URL when you created your Merchant Center account, you can enter one at any time in the General Settings tab. Find out more about the requirements for this URL.

  2. Verify and claim your website URL

    New URL verification

    If you've already verified a website URL with Google using Search Console, please see the section below on claiming a verified URL.

    During account sign-up and from the Website Verification tab, you'll see four options to verify and claim your website URL. Follow the instructions for the option that works best for you:

    • HTML file upload (most common method): You'll upload a 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.
    • HTML tag: Add a meta tag to your home page. 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.
    • Google Analytics: Add the Google Analytics code that you use to track your site. To use this method, you must be an administrator of the Google Analytics account and you must be using the asynchronous tracking code. The Google Analytics tracking code is only used to verify your website URL ownership. No Google Analytics data will be accessed.
    • Google Tag Manager: Add the Google Tag manager container snippet to your website. You must have "View, Edit and Manage" account level permission in Google Tag Manager. The Google Tag Manager container ID is only used to verify website ownership. No Google Tag Manager data will be accessed.

    Claim a URL that you've verified before in Google Search Console

    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. Alternatively, you can add a Google Account that is an existing Owner in the Search Console account as a login to your Merchant Center account.

    Once you're using 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 just need to claim the website URL either during sign-up for an account or from the Website Verification tab by selecting the option to "Claim website".

Additional information about website URL claiming

While more than one person can verify the same website URL (verification), Google Merchant Center requires that only one account holds the right to upload product data for this URL (claiming). Below you'll find more information about reasons why you may be unable to claim your website URL and how you may lose an existing claim.

You cannot claim your website URL

There are two main reasons why you may be unable to claim your website URL:

  • Your website is not verified: You can only claim a website URL to your Merchant Center account after you've verified the URL. Take a look at the section above on website URL verification to ensure that you've completed this step.
  • The URL has been claimed at a higher level: If you're seeing an error that your URL has been claimed at a higher level, another Merchant Center account has a claim that is taking precedence over yours.

    Let's say that you've entered and verified ownership of the website URL http://www.example.com in your Merchant Center account, and another Merchant Center account has already claimed the domain http://example.com. This claim is at a higher level in the domain path, preventing you from claiming a URL that's part of the same domain. To resolve this issue, you can enter and verify your website URL at a higher level in the domain path.
Following the steps above to verify your website URL at a higher level will cause the other Merchant Center account to lose their existing claim and the ability to upload product data. You'll see the email address of the Merchant Center user that will lose their claim.

You've lost an existing claim on your website URL

  • If another authorised owner of the website in question verifies and claims the website URL successfully, you will lose the claim and will be notified by email. We'll let you know who the clashing account belongs to in order to allow you to resolve the situation yourself, where possible. If unsuccessful, you can choose to try to take the claim back, verify and claim a different URL or contact us.
  • If you lose the verified status for your website, you'll also lose your website claim. You can lose your website verification, for example, if you remove the identifying meta tag or HTML file from your site. If you've lost your 'verified' status, you will need to follow the steps above to verify and claim your website URL again.
  • If you enter a new website URL in the General Settings tab of your Merchant Center account, you will lose the claim for your previously verified and claimed website URL. Follow the steps above to verify and claim your new website URL.

Multi-client accounts

Multi-client accounts allow merchants 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, e.g. http://example.com. Each sub-account will then automatically inherit the claim and will be able to submit products for that domain.

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

Find out more about verifying and claiming website URLs for multi-client accounts.

How helpful is this article:

Feedback recorded. Thank you.
  • Not at all helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Very helpful
  • Extremely helpful