Onboarding guide

Verify and claim your website URL

Before you can start using certain programmes in Merchant Center, you need to 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.

How it works

If you have never verified your website URL with Google before, you need to start by verifying your website. To do this, you'll choose one of four ways to allow Google to communicate with your website. These methods add markers to your site so that Google can find your site and confirm that you are the authorised 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 need to claim your site. This means that you're reserving the URL that you've verified for use with your Merchant Center account. Note that only the user who verifies the website will later be able to claim it.

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

Bear in mind

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 be processed successfully.

Instructions

Step 1: Enter your website URL

You can verify a URL at any time using these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. From the navigation menu, click the tools icon 
  3. Select Business information under 'Tools'.
  4. Enter your URL. Learn about the requirements for this URL.
  5. Click Save.

You can also access this page by clicking on Provide your website URL in the setup pages for Shopping ads and surfaces across Google.

Step 2: Verify and claim your website URL

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 can 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 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.
  4. If the file has uploaded correctly, you'll receive a confirmation in your browser.

HTML tag

Add a meta tag to your home page. You need to 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. Click the tools icon  and then click Business information.
  3. Click the Website tab.
  4. Under 'Alternative methods', select HTML tag.
  5. Copy the meta tag generated for your account.
  6. Paste the tag code into your site's home page. It should go in the <head> section, before the first <body> section.
If the tag code is not pasted in your site's home page, you may be taken to the URL redirect path, which will take you to another web page.

Google Analytics

If you're already using Google Analytics, you can add the existing Google Analytics code that 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 only used to verify your website URL ownership. No Google Analytics data will be accessed.
  1. Sign in to 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 the 'Administrator' role on Google Tag Manager account level. The Google Tag Manager container ID is only 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 'Business information' 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 that 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 just 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.
After your URL is claimed, you'll need to refetch your feed. If you use the Content API, you'll need to re-upload your feed so that it can be re-crawled.

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.co.uk. 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 more about verifying and claiming website URLs for multi-client accounts

Integrate with third-party e-commerce platforms

If your shop website is hosted by a third-party e-commerce platform, there may be additional options for verifying and claiming your website provided by the platform. Check with your platform for more information.

Related links

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