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Verify your site ownership

What is verification?

Verification is the process of proving that you own the property that you claim to own. Search Console needs to verify ownership because verified owners have access to sensitive Google Search data for a site, and can affect a site's presence and behavior on Google Search and other Google properties. A verified owner can grant full or view access to other people.

 

VERIFY YOUR PROPERTY

Verify a website property

  1. Either add a new property or choose an unverified property from your property selector.
  2. Choose one of the verification methods listed below and follow the instructions. The verification page will list which methods are available and recommended for your site.

Using multiple verification methods

You can add multiple verification methods in your property's verification settings page. You might want to add more than one verification method in case one of your existing verification methods fails (for example, if you verified using a Google Analytics tracking code, and someone changes a template on your website that omits the tag).

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

Multiple people can verify ownership of the same website property, using the same or different verification methods. If you use the same verification method, just be sure that you don't overwrite the verification tokens of any other owners.

Verifying child properties

Once you have verified a property, you can create and verify child properties very easily with the same verification method with little additional work. That is, if you have verified ownership of example.com using the HTML file upload method, any child properties that you create will be auto-verified using the same method.

How long does verification last?

Verification lasts as long as Search Console can confirm the presence and validity of your verification token. Search Console periodically checks if your verification token is still present and valid (for example, by checking if your HTML verification tag is still present). If verification can no longer be confirmed, you will be notified. If the issue is not fixed, your permissions on that property will expire after a certain grace period.

If all verified owners lose access to a property, all users with full view permissions will then lose access to the Search Console property.

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)

When will I start to see data?

Data is collected for a property as soon as anyone adds it in Search Console, even before verification occurs.

We lost our site owner!

If the only verified owner of your site leaves your team, or you're not sure who the verified owner is, you (or someone you know) should verify ownership to maintain (or regain) access to the property.

If you are taking over a site from another owner, after you verify ownership you can 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.

 

Choosing a verification method

Search Console supports several different verification methods. See the table below to help choose a method that works best for you.

Method Notes
HTML file upload Relatively simple, but requires the ability to upload a file and publish it on your site at a specific URL. Might not be possible on a site hosting platform.
HTML tag Relatively simple, but requires the ability to edit the HTML source code of your site's homepage. Might not be possible on a site hosting platform.
Google Analytics tracking code Simple, if the page already has a Google Analytics tracking code for a Google Analytics account that you can access. If the page does not have a tracking code, you must must add one (which may require creating a Google Analytics account if you don't already have one).
Google Tag Manager Simple if the page already has a Google Tag Manager snippet for a Google Tag Manager account that you can access. If the page does not have a snippet, you must must add one (which may require creating a Tag Manager account if you don't already have one).
Google Sites, Blogger, or Domains account Use the recommended method for each platform.
Domain name provider More complex, but is the only way to verify a Domain property. If your domain provider is listed in the verification wizard, then this is a simple process. Domain properties are useful because they include data for all protocol (http/https) and subdomain variations of your property.

Verification method details

Sites that use a website hosting platform
If you use a website hosting platform like WordPress, Wix, or SquareSpace, you might be limited in which verification methods are available to you. Or, conversely, your platform might provide a special plugin or setting to verify your property on Search Console.
If you're using a CMS, try these steps before trying one of the verification methods listed on this page:
  1. Search your site host's documentation for Search Console verification information. For example: "Wix Search Console verification" or "Weebly Search Console verification".
  2. Search for plugins on your platform that can handle verification for you. For example, Site Kit for WordPress can handle verification for you, and also provide simplified views of your Search Console data. Note that Site Kit is the only plugin that is officially sponsored by Google, so do a little research on any plugin before you install it.
HTML file upload

HTML file upload for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

You can verify ownership of a site by uploading a special HTML file to a specific location on 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.

⚠️ Requirements

  • The file cannot require authentication. The directory where you upload your HTML file must be available to non-logged-in users. You can test this by trying to visit your file in an incognito window in your browser.
  • You must be able to upload a file to the root directory of your website, where it will be available to web browsers. If you do not have permissions to do this, try another verification method. If you are using a website hosting platform, you might need to search your service's help pages to see if this is possible.
  • HTML file upload can be used for URL-prefix properties, but not Domain properties.

Steps

To verify ownership using an HTML file:

  1. If you are using a website hosting platform, search your service's help pages for custom instructions to verify your site on Search Console. If you don't find any information, then continue on to the next steps.
  2. Read the requirements for this verification technique.
  3. Choose the HTML file upload method on the Ownership verification page for your property.
  4. Download the provided verification file. This file is unique to you; it cannot be used to identify anyone else, and is associated with your Gmail account.
  5. Upload the verification file to your website so that it will be exposed in the location that was specified in the verification details page. This is typically the root directory for your property. (That is, if you defined your property as https://example.com, and the file provided is named 1234.txt, then the file should be saved and browsable at https://example.com/1234.txt.) Search Console does not follow redirects when looking for this file. You can add newlines at the end of the file body, if required, but do not otherwise modify the file name or content.
  6. Confirm that you can see the file by visiting it in your browser in the location specified by the Search Console verification wizard. If the file isn't available to your browser at that URL, Google won't be able to find for verification purposes. TIP: Use an incognito window in your browser to confirm that you don't need to log in to access it.
  7. Complete verification by clicking Verify in the verification details page.
  8. If verification fails, see Potential errors below to troubleshoot the issue.

Potential errors

The following errors can occur with HTML file upload verification:

  • 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.
  • Hacked verification file.
    Your verification attempt failed in a way that indicates that your site might have been hacked. Learn more about detecting and fixing hacked sites.
  • Your verification file redirects to a disallowed location.
    Google will not follow redirects to another domain for verification files. Redirects within a single site—for example, from http://example.com/ to http://www.example.com/—are allowed. If your site redirects all traffic to another site, we recommend using HTML tag verification instead.
  • Additional common verification problems are listed below.
HTML tag

HTML tag for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

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. Search Console will periodically check for the presence of this tag.

⚠️ Requirements

  • Your homepage cannot require authentication. The site homepage must be available to non-logged-in users.
  • You must be able to edit the HTML source code of the site's homepage directly. Specifically, you must be able to insert a tag into the <head> tag on your homepage. If you do not have permissions to do this, try another verification method. If you are using a website hosting platform, you might need to search your service's help pages to see if this is possible.
  • Can be used for URL-prefix properties, but not Domain properties.

Steps

To verify ownership using an HTML tag:

  1. If you are using a website hosting platform, search your service's help pages for custom instructions to verify your site on Search Console. If you don't find any information, then continue on to the next steps.
  2. Read the requirements for this verification technique.
  3. Choose the HTML tag method on the Ownership verification page for your property.
  4. Copy the tag from the Search Console verification wizard into the <head> section in the HTML of your site's non-logged-in home page (see note). Example:
    <head>
      <title>Example.com homepage</title>
      <meta name="google-site-verification" content="......." />
    </head>

    This tag is unique to you; it cannot be used to identify anyone else, and is associated with your Gmail account.
  5. Save your page. Confirm that the tag is present in your live page by visiting the page and looking for the tag in the page source code. (Press Control + F then search for "google-site-verification" in the page source to find the tag.)
  6. Complete verification by clicking Verify in the verification details page.
  7. If verification fails, see Potential errors below to troubleshoot the issue.

Potential errors

The following verification errors can occur with HTML tag verification:

  • Meta tag not found/in the wrong location. The verification meta tag must be within the <head> section of the page. If you see these errors, 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're editing the HTML of the live page, not just the local copy on your computer.
  • 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. If another user's verification tag was already present in the page, you might get this error; confirm that the exact tag given to you in the Search Console verification wizard is present in the page HTML.
  • Additional common verification problems are listed below.
Domain name provider

DNS record for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

Domain verification is required to verify a Domain property, but can also be used to verify a URL-prefix property. This verification method involves submitting a record into your domain name provider's record list. This method may require you to be comfortable with a little bit of technical knowledge.

You can verify ownership of subdomains or root domains. Verifying ownership of a root domain verifies ownership of all subdomains, but verifying ownership of a subdomain does not verify ownership of a parent domain. For example: verifying ownership of m.example.com also verifies ownership of pets.m.example.com, but does not verify ownership of example.com.

⚠️ Requirements

  • You must have a custom domain name, or control your domain name.
  • You must be able to log into your domain name provider.

Steps

To verify ownership via your domain name provider (the company that you purchased your domain name from):

  1. If you are using a website hosting platform, search your service's help pages for any custom instructions on verifying your site on Search Console. (Tips for finding your DNS provider, if you don't know who it is.) If you don't find a custom solution on your provider's page, then continue on to the next steps.
  2. Choose the Domain name provider method on the Ownership verification page for your property in Search Console. (This will be chosen automatically when you create a Domain property.)
  3. See if your Domain name provider is listed in the provider names dropdown list:
    1. If it is listed, choose your provider and click Start verification and follow the instructions provided in the dialog box. You will be required to log in to your domain provider, after which verification should occur immediately.
    2. If it is not listed, choose Any DNS provider and follow the manual domain name provider instructions below.
      Manual domain name provider instructions
      If your domain name provider is not listed in the Domain name verification dialog, you will need to manually add a DNS record. This DNS record is a name/value pair provided by Search Console. Let's get started:

      Determine which DNS record format to use. You must use either a TXT record or a CNAME record, depending on how your site is configured. To determine which format you must use:

      1. Open the Google Admin Toolbox in the CNAME tab
      2. Enter your property's domain name. This is the part between "https://" and the path: For the property "https://www.example.com/" the domain name would be "www.example.com".
      3. Look at the output:
        • [Most common case] If you see "Record not found!" then follow the TXT record instructions.
        • If a CNAME record appears, and the Target value is a parent domain of the domain that you entered, then you should follow the CNAME record instructions.
          Test results for a domain with no value after the phrase "IN CNAME". Use TXT record instructions
      TXT DNS record instructions
      1. Generate a unique TXT verification record: When asked to verify your property in Search Console, choose the Domain name provider method and Search Console will give you a string value TXT record to use in the next step.
      2. Add your DNS record to your domain provider: Add the TXT record that Search Console gave you in the previous step to your domain provider's records by following these steps:
        1. Find the Google Workspace documentation for your provider.
        2. Ignore Google Workspace step 1 (Get your unique verification record) because you already generated your TXT record in Search Console.
        3. Sign in to your domain host (typically Google Workspace Step 2).
        4. Add your Search Console TXT record to your domain's DNS records (typically Google Workspace Step 3):
          • For the Host/Name propertyeither leave this blank, or set as "@", as described in the documentation for your DNS provider.
          • For the Value property, provide the Search Console TXT record string that you generated earlier.
        5. Ignore Google Workspace step 4 (the verification step) and continue with step 4 below.
      CNAME DNS record instructions
      1. Generate a unique CNAME verification record
        1. Open Webmaster Central. Don't use the TXT record from Search Console. You'll need to use Webmaster Central to generate a DNS record.
          • If your property is in the list on Webmaster Central:
            1. Select the property.
            2. Click Verify using a different method
          • If the property is not in the list on Webmaster Central:
            1. Click Add a property in Webmaster Central, above the property list.
            2. Enter your bare host name (that is, example.com, not http://example.com).
            3. Click Continue.
            4. Select Alternate methods
        2. Select Domain name provider.
        3. Choose your provider from the list, or select Other.
        4. Click Add a CNAME record to generate your DNS CNAME record.
      2. Add the DNS record to your domain provider:
        1. Find the Google Workspace documentation for your provider
        2. Ignore Google Workspace step 1 (Get your unique verification record) because you already generated your CNAME record in Search Console.
        3. Sign in to your domain host (typically Google Workspace Step 2).
        4. Add your CNAME verification record to your domain's DNS records (typically Google Workspace Step 3using the record you got from Webmaster Central. Provide both the record name and record value in the appropriate fields on your DNS provider's site. You can use the default TTL value suggested by your provider.
        5. Ignore Google Workspace step 4 (the verification step) and continue with step 4 below.
  4. Complete your ownership verification by clicking Verify in the Search Console verification details page. IMPORTANT: For manually installed records, it can take up to two or three days for your provider to start serving the record. If you have followed the Manual domain name provider instructions above and verification fails, wait a day or two and try again. See the Potential errors section for troubleshooting, or to learn how to see whether your domain name provider is serving your record yet.
Important: To stay verified, don't remove the DNS record from your provider, even after verification succeeds.

Troubleshooting and potential errors

To see which records are served by your domain name provider:

  1. Visit the Google Admin Toolbox
  2. Type your domain name into the box at the top, without the protocol or any slashes (that is, enter example.com, not https://example.com).
  3. Click either TXT or CNAME, depending on what record type you are using for verification. (Most sites use TXT records for domain verification.)
  4. All DNS records of the selected type found on your provider will be shown at the bottom with a label describing the record type (typically, either CNAME or TXT).
  5. Look in the list of records for the DNS record issued to you by Search Console.
    • For TXT records, a Search Console verification record looks something like google-site-verification=<<some number>>.
    • For CNAME records, the verification record is a name/value pair where the name includes your property domain, and the value includes dv.googlehosted.com.
    Your record should match exactly the verification record values given to you by Search Console. (You can look up your Search Console DNS record values by following the manual verification steps again to the step where you generate a verification record.)
  6. If you don't see your credentials listed, wait a day or two, then try again.

To see your DNS record after you've verified your property using the DNS method:

  1. Open Webmaster Central
  2. Click your property name in the list of properties to see a list of verification methods for the property.
  3. Next to either DNS TXT record  or DNS CNAME record, click Details to see your record value.
  4. If you like, you can also see all records being served by your domain name provider using the Google Admin Toolbox as described above.

The following verification errors can occur with DNS record verification:

  • Your verification DNS TXT record was not found
    Your verification TXT record was not found. It can take a few minutes or even days after posting the record for it to be visible to Google; wait a day or two then try again.
  • Your verification record did not match
    No verification records on your DNS provider matched the value given to you by Search Console. Be sure to use the record provided by the verification page. For a TXT record, you should leave the name/host field blank and use your TXT string in the DNS record's value field. For a CNAME record, you are given a name/value pair to use in your DNS record's name/value fields.
  • Additional common verification problems are listed below.
Google Analytics tracking code

Google Analytics for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

If you use Google Analytics to track your site's traffic, you can verify your site using the Google Analytics tracking code used in your Search Console property.

⚠️ Requirements

  • Your homepage cannot require authentication. The site homepage must be available to non-logged-in users for verification. Additionally, any pages that require authentication to reach probably won't appear in Search often, and so they won't accrue significant Search data.
  • You must have "edit" rights for the Google Analytics account used by that page. In Google Analytics 4, the verification code is associated with a Google Analytics stream. For earlier versions of Google Analytics, the verification code is associated with a Google Analytics Web Property.
  • You must use the same Google account for both Search Console and Google Analytics.
  • Your non-logged-in homepage (see note) must contain either the analytics.js or gtag.js snippet. The tracking code must be in the <head> section, not the <body> section, of your page. To confirm the presence of this tag, visit the page in your browser, view the page source, and search for the snippet.
  • Use the code exactly as provided; do not modify it. If you modify it, verification will fail.
  • Can be used for URL-prefix properties, but not Domain properties.

Steps

To verify ownership using a Google Analytics tag:

  1. Open Search Console using the same Google account that has edit access in Google Analytics.
  2. Read the requirements for this verification technique.
  3. Choose Google Analytics in the verification details page for your site and click Verify.
  4. If verification fails, see Potential errors below to troubleshoot the issue.
Note
  • The Google Analytics tracking code is used only to verify site ownership. No Google Analytics data will be accessed.

Potential errors

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

  • Snippet not found
    Did you put the snippet in the right location of the home page? Does the non-logged-in homepage contain your snippet?
  • Malformed snippet
    Be sure to use the snippet exactly as provided.
  • Wrong snippet found (old Google Analytics snippet)
    Search Console supports only the latest version of the Google Analytics snippet.
  • Wrong snippet type (Tag manager/third-party tag manager)
    Be sure that you are using your Google Analytics snippet.
  • Snippet in wrong location
    The snippet must be in the <head> section of your home page.
  • You don't have a Google Analytics account / Insufficient permissions
    You must have a valid Google Analytics account and you must have Edit permissions on that account.
  • Additional common verification problems are listed below.
Google Tag Manager container snippet

Google Tag Manager for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

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

⚠️ Requirements

  • Your homepage cannot require authentication. The site homepage must be available to non-logged-in users for verification. Additionally, any pages that require authentication to reach probably won't appear in Search often, and so they won't accrue significant Search data.
  • You must have Publish permission for the Google Tag Manager container on the page.
  • You must use the same Google account for both Search Console and Google Tag Manager.
  • Your non-logged-in homepage (see note) must contain the correct tag in the correct location. The <noscript> portion of the Tag Manager code must be placed immediately after the opening <body> tag of your page. If it is 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. To confirm the presence of this tag, visit the page in your browser, view the page source, and search for the snippet.
  • Use the code exactly as provided; do not modify it. If you modify it, verification will fail.
  • Can be used for URL-prefix properties, but not Domain properties.

Steps

To verify ownership using a Google Tag Manager tag:

  1. Open Search Console using the same Google account that has edit access in Google Tag Manager.
  2. Read the requirements for this verification technique.
  3. Choose Google Tag Manager in the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown.
  4. If verification fails, see Potential errors below to troubleshoot the issue.

Potential errors

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

  • Snippet not found
    Did you put the snippet in the right location of the home page? Does the non-logged-in homepage contain your snippet?
  • Insufficient permissions
    You need Publish permission on your Google Tag Manager container.
  • Wrong tag
    Be sure that you are using the proper tag associated with the account used to sign in to Search Console.
  • No tag manager container
    You haven't created any containers in your Tag Manager account.
  • Tag not found / wrong location
    Be sure to put the tag on the proper page and location, as described above.
  • Additional common verification problems are listed below.
Google Sites

Google Sites ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

⚠️ Requirements

  • Your Google Site must be created using the same Google Account you use for Search Console.
  • You must be logged in to Search Console with the same account used to manage your Google Site.

Steps

Blogger

Blogger for site ownership verification - Google Search Console Training

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.

⚠️ Requirements

  • Older blogs are not automatically verified, and should be verified using the HTML tag method.
  • Be sure that you are logged in to Search Console with the same account used to manage your blog.
Google Domains
If you've registered a domain with Google Domains, any property that you register on that domain should be verified automatically when you add it to Search Console.

Where should I put my verification tag?

If you are using a tag-based verification method (Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or the HTML <meta> tag methods), Search Console will look for your verification tag in the page to which a non-logged-in user is redirected when visiting the URL that defines your property.

Example

If you define your property as https://example.com, and any non-logged in user who types that URL in their browser is redirected to https://example.com/home, then Search Console will look for your verification tag in the page https://example.com/home.

For other verification methods, such as the file upload method, redirects are not followed.

Common verification errors

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

  • Incorrect tag/snippet/file errors
    Be sure to use the exact tag, code snippet, or file provided to you when beginning verification.
  • 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.
  • Timeout
    Either your site or the domain server stopped responding to our requests (depending on the verification method used). Confirm that your site is responding, and then try again.
  • Could not find your domain
    We tried to resolve the site URL that you gave us, but it is unknown to the DNS service. Check that you are providing the correct URL for your property.
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