The Google Console tool is the brain box for optimizing a website on Google search engine and several other online search platforms.
It is a powerful tool every site owner should always take advantage of.
Google has made this tool totally free, not minding the fact that people are ready to pay thousands of dollars for it. Isn’t it amazing?
The reason why Google made this free is to ensure a high level of accuracy using its search results.
If it’s to be paid for, most websites and blogs will not have the privilege of getting verified, therefore available indexed data will be less on Google search.
Over 70% of the world’s internet users use Google search as their default search engine.
Therefore it will be a very big mistake if you don’t optimize your blog with the search console.
Most internet users don’t memorize domain names based on the niche of their searches, they simply use the search engine to search for the keywords they are looking for.
This is why you have to make sure that your blog or website is ranking high on the search engine reporting page (SERP).
After adding your domain to the Google console, Google will first have to verify you as the owner of the domain.
This is where lots of people are finding it difficult, the verification.
Steps to get verified on Google Console
Sign in to Google Console (Google Webmaster) Tools verification page https://search.google.com/search-console/about with your Google credentials (if you don’t have a Google account please create one before you can proceed further)
If you already added a site in the past, you will have to click on Click “Add Property” to open the popup.
There are two methods to verify your site. The domain verification and the URL prefix verification.
I recommend using this method, although it may be a little bit more technical than the other.
But once done correctly, it goes across all URLs and subdomains, be it HTTPS or HTTP, with this you don’t have to perform several verification parameters.
To achieve this method DNS verification is required.
All you need to do is to enter the domain name you want to add, domain name should not include “www” “http://“, the domain should be a root domain.
After you enter the domain name, click on Continue to proceed.
On the next page, copy the TXT record into the DNS configuration of your domain.
After adding it, click on VERIFY, in some cases it may take up to 3 hours after adding the record to verify.
Alternatively, it can also be done on your cPanel using the Zone Editor. The video below explains how to add TXT Record in cPanel.
URL Prefix Verification
Unlike the first method (domain verification) which will cover all the properties related to the domain which includes subdomains.
In the URL Prefix method, you have to create a property for each domain variable, which may be so inconvenient.
This method provides several verification options, Google recommends the use of the HTML file upload method.
HTML File Upload method
This method has 4 steps as shown in the image below
- The first thing to do here is to download the HTML verification file by clicking on “Download this HTML file“.
- After downloading the file, upload the same you downloaded to your main site folder.
- After the upload, you will have to confirm by visiting “http://www.yoursite.com/theUploadedFileName.html” (Note: Do not alter the file name, upload it exactly as it was downloaded. Just as shown in the image above, Google will provide the URL to locate the uploaded file.)
- If successful, then click on “Verify“, you will get a notice confirming your verification immediately.
Note: After verification, you are expected to leave the uploaded HTML file on your site folder to remain being verified.
The Alternate Method
The alternate method has 4 options,
HTML tag (meta tag)
Domain name provider
Google Tag Manager
For the purpose of this post, I will explain the meta tag option.
Even though Google recommended the HTML file upload, the meta tag still remains the most used. The reason because it is the meta tag that most SEO plugins make use of.
To apply the meta tag option, simply copy and paste the “meta tag (meta name)” to your site Index file (home page).
In the index file, the HTML tag should be pasted in the “head section” before the “body section”.
But if your site index file uses “include” or “required” to echo its header, then you may need to paste the HTML tag right before or after the header is ‘echoed’.
If it didn’t work then you may need to locate the “header file” and embed the HTML tag into it.
You can confirm if it is successful by clicking “Verify” after pasting the HTML tag.
WordPress Google Console Verification
For WordPress, with the use of most SEO plugins, you will not have to undergo the above process. From your SEO plugin’s settings or dashboard, you will see an option asking you to paste the Google Webmaster HTML tag (meta tag).
The meta tag will be pasted in a provided box, after pasting it, save the SEO settings and click on verify on Google’s webmaster. If done correctly, you will receive a verification success notice immediately.
Recommended WordPress Free Plugins Which Function Includes Site Verification
There are many other WordPress plugins that can also be used for site verification, the 3 plugins I listed are those I’ve used and it worked fine for me.
If you have more than one plugin which can be used for site verification on Google webmaster, you don’t have to verify with all the plugins, verifying with a plugin will do the job.
Finally, deactivating or deleting a plugin used for site verification on WordPress may or may not end the verification.
While some plugins may wipe all data the added at deleting point, some may keep theirs. To get this information you may need to consult your plugin documentation.
To be on the safe side, try to perform the verification process again if you deleted the plugin you used for verification.