Google Search Console verification made quick and easy

Google search console verification is the process of making sure you own the site you want to add to your account.

It can be a bit fiddly to do because you’ll need access to change the files for the site you’re trying to add.

Thankfully there are a few different options on how to verify your site with Google search console and I’m going to walk you through the easier ones here.

Why do you have to verify your site with Google search console?

The reason Google want to make absolutely sure that you own the site before they let you add it to your account is because you get access to all the site’s Google search data.

You’ll be able to see lots of different reports showing things like where your pages rank in search results and you’ll be able to make changes that could affect it’s appearance in search results too.

This could make or break a business so it’s important that Google make 100% sure that the site belongs to you.

Adding different versions of your URL

Before I get stuck into the verification methods I want to quickly mention the different versions of your URL.

I’m talking about your domain name with and without www. before it as well as http and https.

If your site has a SSL certificate, which it should (if you need help setting one up check out this blog post), you should have 4 versions of your URL.

Mine are:

  • http://thebloggenie.com
  • https://thebloggenie.com
  • http://www.thebloggenie.com
  • https://www.thebloggenie.com

Unles you decide to use the domain name provider method (which I’m not going to go through in this blog post), you’ll need to add each of these properties to Google Search Console.

Each one will need to be verified indivisdually but, once you’ve verified the first one, verifying the others will be the click of a button.

Google search console verification methods

There are 5 different ways to verify your WordPress site with Google search console.

HTML file upload

This is the easiest and most reliable way to verify your site with Google Search Console.

You’ll be prompted to download an HTML file, which you’ll then need to upload to your website.

Google Search Console Verification screenshot
Prompt to download HTML file

Once you’ve downloaded the file, login to your host and access your file manager.

Google Search Console Verification screenshot
CPanel view using my host SiteGround
Google Search Console Verification screenshot
Choose the document root for your site
Click upload

Upload the file to your public_html folder in your file manager.

Choose the file you downloaded from Google Search Console
Your new file should appear in the list

Once the file has finished uploading, head back to Google Search Console and hit the verify button.

Verify Your Site With Google Search Console screenshot
Click Verify

You should now see a green tick next to your chosen verification method.

HTML tag

To verify your site using a HTML tag you’ll need to copy some code into your website header.

If you’re not familiar with the file structure of a child theme then it’s best for you to use a plugin that lets you add code to your website header.

Insert Headers and Footers is a decent plugin and the one I’ve used to demonstrate here.

Copy the code that Google Search Console gives you, as shown below.

Verify Your Site With Google Search Console screenshot

Head into WordPress, hover over the Settings menu item and choose Insert Headers and Footers from the menu.

Verify Your Site With Google Search Console screenshot

Paste the code that you copied from Google Search Console and put it in the text area labelled Scripts in Header as shown below, then click save.

Google Search Console Verification screenshot

Then head back to Google Search Console and click Verify. You should then see a green tick.

Verify Your Site With Google Search Console screenshot

Google analytics tracking code

If you’ve already got your site set up with Google Analytics via the gtag.js code in your site header you can verify straight away.

Google Search Console Verification screenshot

Just click Verify, and it will verify there and then.

Other methods

There are a couple of other methods that you can use for Google Search Console verification but I would say that they’re for more advanced users.

The domain name provider method will verify all versions of your URL in one go e.g. http://thebloggenie.com, https://thebloggenie.com etc.

But it involves adding DNS records to your domain name, if you’re interested you can find more info on how to do it here.

The Google Tag Manager method is similar to the Google Analytics method but you’d need to be using a Google Tag Manager container snippet. You can find more info on how to use this method here.

Google search console verification – verdict

You can’t add a website to your Google search console account until you’ve verified you’re the owner.

This is to make sure that the wrong people don’t get access to a site’s Google search data as well as access to make changes that could affect a site’s search ranking.

There are 5 different methods to verify your site with Google search console. In this blog post I walked you through the 3 easier methods.

The easiest and most popular ways are uploading an HTML file to your site, adding some code to your site header and using your Google Analytics verification (if you used gtag.js).

I prefer to use the file upload method, because once it’s there you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s going to be overwritten.

You may also enjoy:

Do you need a sitemap for WordPress? Absolutely

The Beginner’s Guide to the Google Analytics Dashboard

How to set up google analytics in 3 easy steps

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