Ownership verification

Verify your ownership of a property

What is verification?

Verification is the process of proving that you own the site 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 Google Search data, and can affect its presence on Google Search.

Verification confirms whether a specific user has control of 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 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 YOUR PROPERTY

What is a property?

A 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.

Verify a website

  1. Either add a new site or choose an unverified property from the property selector bar.
  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.

Add additional verification methods

You can add additional verification methods in the verification page. You might do this in case one of your existing verification methods fails (for example, someone changes a template on your website and your Analytics tag vanishes, or for some reason your HTML verification file can't be accessed).

To add an additional verification method, visit the Settings page for the property and click Ownership verification.

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 lose access to 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. 

When will I start to see data?

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

We lost our site owner!

If the verified owner of your site leaves, or you're not sure who the verified owner is, verify another site owner. The new owner will be able to see the list of all owners and users verified to that site, as well as the verification methods for each owner. You can then optionally unverify previous owners by removing their verification token (for example, removing the HTML tag from the site, for HTML-tag-verified owners). See Add or remove owners for more information.

 

Verification method details

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 this verification file from your site will 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.

The user agent that performs file upload verification has the user agent token Google-Site-Verification and the full user agent string Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google-Site-Verification/1.0)

 

Potential errors:

The following errors can occur with HTML file upload verification:

  • Common verification problems listed below.
  • 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.
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.

The user agent that performs HTML tag verification has the user agent token Google-Site-Verification and the full user agent string Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google-Site-Verification/1.0)

 

Potential errors:

The following verification errors can occur with HTML tag verification:

  • Common verification problems listed below.
  • 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 here:
      <HTML>
        <HEAD>
          <TITLE>Your Page Title</TITLE>
          <meta name="google-site-verification" content="your verification string">
        </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 either the analytics.js or gtag.js snippet.

To verify ownership using Google Analytics:

  • Choose Google Analytics in the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown.
  • 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.
  • Other administrators of your Google Analytics account will be granted access to your site's data in Search Console.

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

The user agent that performs Google Analytics verification has the user agent token Google-Site-Verification and the full user agent string Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google-Site-Verification/1.0)

 

Potential errors:

The following verification errors can occur with Google Analytics tracking code verification:

Google Tag Manager container snippet

If you have a Google Tag Manager account, 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.
  • You must have View, Edit, and Manage container-level permissions in Google Tag Manager.
  • Place the <noscript> portion of 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.
The user agent that performs Google Tag Manager verification has the user agent token Google-Site-Verification and the full user agent string Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google-Site-Verification/1.0)

 

Potential errors:

The following verification errors can occur with Google Tag Manager verification:

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.

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:

  • 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.

 

Potential errors:

The following verification errors can occur with domain name verification:

  • Common verification problems listed below.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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