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Verify your site ownership

What is verification?

Verification is the process of proving that you own the site or app that you claim to own. We need to confirm ownership because once you are verified for a site or app you have access to its private Google Search data, and can affect how Google Search crawls it.

What is a property?

property in Search Console represents a site or app that you own. You can request actions on your property such as requesting a recrawl, or view Google Search data for your property, such as Google Search statistics or crawling errors.

Verification associates a specific user with a specific property. Every Search Console property requires at least one verified owner, though it can have more. 

Note that you could add any site or app as a property to Search Console, but until you verify ownership of it (or an owner grants you rights on it) you can't use it in Search Console. For example, you could add www.wikipedia.org as a property to your Search Console account, but you couldn't access it until a Wikipedia developer helped you prove ownership (or a Wikipedia Search Console property owner added you as a user to the Search Console property).

 

Verify ownership of your site in Google Webmaster Tools

 

Verify a website

  1. Either add a new site or click Manage Property > Verify this property on the Search Console home page next to the existing property that you want to verify.
  2. Choose one of the verification methods listed below and follow the instructions. Not all verification methods are available for all properties; the verification page will list which methods are available and recommended for your site.

Multiple people can add and verify a site separately, using the same or different methods. If you use the same method, just be sure that you don't overwrite any verification tokens of any other owners.

Verify a mobile app

See Verify your mobile app

How long does verification last?

Google periodically checks if your verification is valid in a way appropriate to your verification method (for example, by checking for the presence of an HTML tag on your site). If verification can no longer be confirmed, your permissions on that property will expire after a certain grace period.

If all verified owners expire for a property, all delegated owners (owners added by a verified owner), users, and associates for the property will lose access to the Search Console property. 

Data is collected for a site from the time that you first add it as a Search Console property. Any gaps in verification do not cause any gap in data collection.

Changing your verification method

If you need to change your verification method you can change it by following these steps:

  1. On the Search Console home page, click the site you want.
  2. Click the gear icon , and then click Users & Property Owners.
  3. Click Manage property owners, and then click Verify using a different method.
  4. Verify your site again using the new method.
Verifying subdomains and subdirectories

You can create separate Search Console properties for different subdomains or subdirectories; in fact, we often recommend it, to be able to segment your data into useful groups.

If you are verified for a site, you are automatically verified for all subdirectories under that site. If you are verified for a domain, you are automatically verified for all subdomains of that domain, as well as all sites and subsites.

Here are our definitions of domain and site. These definitions are specific to Search Console verification:

  • http://example.com/ - A site (because it includes the http:// prefix)
  • example.com/ - A domain (because it doesn't include a protocol prefix)
  • puppies.example.com/ - A subdomain of example.com
  • http://example.com/petstore/ - A subdirectory of http://example.com site

If you delete the property for a parent domain or directory, you will still be verified for all child domains or directories.

Verification methods

HTML file upload

You can verify ownership of a site by uploading a special HTML file to your site. This file is tied to a specific user. Follow the instructions on the verification details page. Removing your verification file from your site can cause you to lose verification for the site.

To verify ownership using a HTML file, choose the HTML file upload method on the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown.

Errors:

The following specific errors can occur, in addition to the common verification problems:

  • Your verification file was not found.

    Please download the verification file provided on the Verification page of Search Console, and upload it to the specified location without any modifications. If the file name or content does not match the HTML file provided, we won't be able to verify your site ownership.

  • Your verification file has the wrong content.

    Search Console checks to see if your verification file has the same filename and content as the file provided on the Verification page. If the file name or content does not match the HTML file provided, we won't be able to verify your site ownership. Please download the verification file provided on the Verification page of Search Console, and upload it to the specified location without any modifications.

  • Your verification file is empty.

    Search Console checks to see if your verification file has the same filename and content as the file provided on the Verification page. If the file name or content does not match the HTML file provided, we won't be able to verify your site ownership. Please download the verification file provided on the Verification page of Search Console, and upload it to the specified location without any modifications.

  • Your verification file returns a HTTP status code of XXX instead of 200(OK).

    If your server returns a HTTP status code other than 200(OK) for your HTML verification file, Search Console will not be able to verify that it has the expected filename and content. More information about HTTP status codes.

  • The download request was redirected too many times.

    If your site directs traffic to another site, we recommend using the meta tag verification method instead.

  • Your verification file redirects to a disallowed location.

    Googlebot will not follow redirects for verification files; if your site redirects all traffic to another site, we recommend using meta tag verification. Redirects within a single site—for example, from http://example.com/ to http://www.example.com/—are allowed.

Domain name provider

You can verify your site via your domain name provider. To use this method, you must be able to sign in to your domain name provider (for example, GoDaddy.com or networksolutions.com) and either add a new TXT or CNAME record.

Choose the domain name provider method on the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown. Depending on your domain registrar, you will be offered one of the following methods:

  • Directly in Search Console. Some domain registrars enable you to verify your site directly from Search Console. This is the easiest way to verify your site, and it’s currently available for GoDaddy, eNom, and a few others.
  • Adding a DNS TXT or CNAME record. If your registrar doesn’t enable the verification tool, you can verify by adding a DNS record. The verification tool provides instructions for this, and where possible, these instructions will be specific to your registrar. By default, we’ll show you instructions for adding a DNS TXT record. If this method isn’t available, we’ll show you instructions for adding a CNAME record.

Errors:

The following specific verification errors can occur, in addition to the common verification problems:

  • DNS not found

    Your verification TXT record was not found.

  • Your verification TXT record has the wrong content.

    Search Console checks to see if your DNS record matches the record details provided on the Verification page. If it doesn't, we won't be able to verify your site ownership.

  • DNS wrong TXT

    Your verification DNS record has the wrong TXT. Show found TXT.

  • DNS resolve permanent error

    We encountered a permanent error looking up your verification DNS record.

  • DNS resolve error

    We encountered an error looking up your verification DNS record.

HTML tag

You can verify your ownership of a site by adding a <meta> tag to the HTML of a specified page. We'll verify that the meta tag exists in the correct location. If we can't find the tag, we'll give you information about the error we encountered. This tag is tied to a specific user.

To verify ownership with an HTML tag, choose the HTML tag method on the verification details page for your site and follow the instructions shown.

Errors:

The following specific verification errors can occur, in addition to the common verification problems:

  • We couldn't find the verification meta tag on your home page. The verification meta tag must be within the <HEAD> section of the page.

    If you see this error, check the following:

    • Is the meta tag on the correct page? We look for it on your site's home page. This is the page that your server returns when someone requests your site (such as http://www.example.com/). This page is often named index.html or index.htm, but could be named differently, depending on your server's configuration.
    • Is the meta tag in the correct place on the page? We look for it in the page's HEAD section. An example of correct placement is shown below.
      <HTML>
      <HEAD>
      <TITLE>Your Title</TITLE>
      <meta name="google-site-verification" content="String_we_ask_for">
      </HEAD>
      <BODY>
      
    • If you're using a web editor or a WYSIWYG editor to edit your page, make sure you've selected the 'Edit HTML' option or are editing the source code of the page.
  • Your meta tag is incorrect.

    We found the verification meta tag, but the contents were incorrect. To avoid errors, copy and paste the meta tag provided on the Verification page of Search Console.

  • Your home page returns a HTTP status code of XXX instead of 200(OK).

    If your server returns a HTTP status code other than 200(OK) for your home page, Search Console will not be able to verify that it contains the expected meta tag. More information about HTTP status codes.

Google Analytics tracking code

If you use Google Analytics to track your site's traffic, you can verify your site using the Google Analytics tracking code associated with the site. To do this, you must have "edit" permission for the web property whose tracking code is used by that page. Also, your tracking code must use the new asynchronous snippet.

To verify ownership using Google Analytics, choose Google Analytics in the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown.

When copying Google Analytics code:
  • Put the tracking code in the <head> section, not the <body> section, of your page. If you do not, verification will fail.
  • Use the code exactly as provided; do no modify it. If you modify it, verification will fail.

The Google Analytics tracking code is used only to verify site ownership. No Google Analytics data will be accessed.

Note: when using the tracking code in this way, other administrators of your Google Analytics account will also have access your site's data in Search Console.

Google Tag Manager container snippet

If you have a Google Tag Manager account, you you can verify ownership of a site using your Google Tag Manager container snippet code.

To verify ownership using Google Tag Manager, choose Google Tag Manager in the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown.

When copying Tag Manager code:
  • You must have "View, Edit, and Manage" account level permissions in Google Tag Manager.
  • Place the Tag Manager code immediately after the opening <body> tag of your page. If you do not, verification will fail.
  • You cannot insert a data layer (or anything other than HTML comments) between the <body> tag and the tag manager code. If you do, verification will fail.
  • Use the code exactly as provided; do no modify it. If you modify it, verification will fail.
Google Sites

New Google Sites pages that you create should automatically appear and be verified in your Search Console account. If your site doesn't appear automatically on the Search Console home page, click Add a site. Your site will be verified automatically.

Older sites or sites with a custom domain URL should be verified using the HTML tag method.

Note that your site must be created using the same Google Account you use for Search Console.

Blogger

New blogs that you create in Blogger should be added and verified automatically in your Search Console account. If your blog doesn't appear automatically on the Search Console home page, add the property and it should be verified automatically.

Older blogs are not automatically verified, and should be verified using the HTML tag method.

Be sure to use the same Google Account for both your blog and Search Console.

Common verification errors

In addition to any method-specific verification errors, the following verification errors are possible in most verification methods:

  • The connection to your server timed out.

    We were unable to verify your file because we received a server timeout. This could be because your server is down or is busy and responding slowly. Make sure that your server is responding and try again.

  • We encountered an error looking up your site's domain name.

    We tried to access your verification file, but were unable to access your domain due to a DNS error. This could be because your server is down, or there is an issue with the DNS routing to your domain. Make sure that your domain is resolving correctly and try again.

  • The download request was redirected too many times.

    Check the URL for potential issues, such as an infinite loop.

  • Your server returned an invalid response.

    This can happen if your site is requires password authentication, or if we cannot access it for other reasons.

  • We were unable to connect to your server.

    Make sure that your server is not down, and that your domain is resolving correctly, and try again.

  • An internal error occurred.

    If this problem persists, check the Webmaster Central Help Forum for updates.

 

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