The Google Webmaster tools is the brain box for optimizing blogs on Google search engine. It is a powerful tool every site owner should 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. The reason why Google made this free is to ensure a high level of accuracy using its search engine. If its to be sold most websites and blogs will not have the privilege of getting verified, therefore available data will be less on Google search.
After adding your domain to Google Webmaster, Google will first have to verify you as the owner of the domain.
Follow the steps to get verified on Google Webmaster
1. Sign into Google Webmaster Tools verification page https://www.google.com/webmasters/verification with your Google credentials (if you don’t have a Google account please create one before you can proceed further)
2. Once signed in, Click “Add Property” and enter your domain in the box and click “Continue”
3. After which, “Verify Your Site” page will be next with two section of verification (Recommended Method and Alternate Method) of which you are to choose just one.
Google recommend the use of HTML File Upload method.
This method has 4 steps as shown in the image below
i) First download the HTML verification file by clicking on “Download this HTML file“.
ii) After downloading the file, upload the same you downloaded to your main site folder.
iii) 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 on image above, Google will provide the URL to locate uploaded file.
iv) 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,
a) HTML tag (meta tag)
b) Domain name provider
c) Google Analytics
d) 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 remain the most used. 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, HTML tag should be pasted in the “head section” before the “body section”.
But if your site index file used “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 of “Verify“after pasting the HTML tag.
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 Google Webmaster HTML tag (meta tag).
See image below for WordPress Yoast SEO
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 Functions Includes Site Verification
There are many other WordPress plugins which 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 save side, try to perform the verification process again if you deleted the plugin you used for verification.