While more than one person can verify the same website URL (verification), Google Merchant Center requires that only one account hold the right to upload product data for this URL (claiming). This article describes some of the reasons why you may be unable to claim your website URL and how you may lose an existing claim. You can also view a complete list of available ownership verification methods as well as common verification errors. Learn more about the verify and claim process
Reasons you may be unable to claim your website URL
1. You haven't verified your website
- You can only claim a website URL for your Merchant Center account after you’ve verified the URL. Make sure you've verified your website URL.
- If your Merchant Center account has multiple users, only the user who has verified a site will be able to complete the claim on it.
2. Your URL has been claimed at a higher level
- If you receive an error stating that your URL has been claimed at a higher level, another Merchant Center account has a claim that's taking precedence over yours. For example, you'll not be able to claim "http://shop.example.com" if another Merchant Center account has already claimed "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.
- However, if you've claimed the website with "www" (http://www.example.com) and the sub-account doesn't have "www" (http://shop.example.com), the URLs won't be considered in conflict and a sub-account would be needed to raise a separate claim.
- To resolve this issue, enter and verify your website URL at a higher level in the domain path.
If you claim your website URL at a higher level, this might cause other Merchant Center accounts to lose their existing claims and their ability to upload product data. You'll be asked to confirm your claim if the claim affects other accounts.
3. Website tags have been incorrectly placed or modified
If you’ve made modifications to the tag or if you’ve incorrectly placed it in your HTML code, you won't be able to complete website verification. For example, if you’re using an HTML tag, be sure the meta tag is inserted into the
<head> section of your site's home page before the
<body> section. For specific tag implementation instructions on each of the 4 verification methods, learn about verifying and claiming your store’s website.
4. There isn’t an owner set in the Search console
If you already have a Search Console account, the verification will be set if the Search Console owner matches a user in the Merchant Center. If the users are different, you’ll need to make sure the user who’ll be verifying the website is added to both.
5. The person trying to verify does not have edit permissions
It’s required that the Google Analytics user has edit rights for the Google Analytics account used by that page, and they must also be a user or admin in Merchant Center. If the users are different, you’ll need to make sure the user who’ll be verifying the website is added to both.
6. Your e-commerce platform requires you to use a different verification method
E-Commerce platforms may have preferred options to help you verify your website with Google Merchant Center or Google Search Console. Check with your platform for more information.
Reasons you may lose an existing claim on your website URL
1. You've changed your website URL
- If you enter a new website URL in the website section of your Merchant Center account, you'll lose the claim for your previously verified and claimed website URL.
2. You've lost the verification for your website URL
- If you lose the verified status for your website, you'll eventually lose your website claim if you don’t re-verify your website. For example, if you remove the identifying meta tag or HTML file from your site, you can lose your website verification.
- In some instances, you may find that your account has no verification, but still has a claim. This can occur if your previously verified and claimed website loses its verification.
- If you lose your verified and claimed status, you'll need to verify and claim your website URL again.
3. Another account has claimed a conflicting website URL
- If another verified owner claims the same website URL or a URL at a higher level, you'll be notified by email that your claim has been lost.
- If the other account claims the same website, you'll be able to claim your website back, invalidating the other account's claim. If this happens, you can make sure the other account loses its verification. Once this is done, the other account will no longer be able to claim your website URL.
- If the other account claims your website at a higher level, you might be able to reclaim it if you can determine their verification method and remove it.
Website verification and claim FAQs
1. If I own a multi-client account (MCA) how do I verify and claim the website for each sub-account?
- We recommend MCA owners verify and claim a website URL with the parent account login email of the advanced account setup. Typically, the parent MCA needs to verify and claim the top-level domain, for example: https://example.com.
- After the parent MCA setup has verified and claimed a URL, each sub-account can automatically inherit the claim and set its website URL to any sub-host or path under the claimed URL tree.
2. As the owner of a sub-account under an MCA, how do I verify and claim a website?
- If the parent account shares the same top-level domain, and it has been verified and claimed in the parent account, you should automatically inherit the claim. If you inherit the claim, you’re able to set your URL to any sub-host or path under the claimed URL tree.
- If there are multiple websites across sub-accounts, learn how to verify and claim if the sub-accounts span multiple websites.