Verify Your WordPress Website in Google Webmaster Tools

by on February 3, 2010 · 388 comments

Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most powerful free toolkits at your disposal for making sure Google can crawl your website properly.

Google Webmaster Tools - How to Verify Your WordPress Website
In order to use Google Webmaster tools for your website, you need to verify it with Google to prove that you own the website.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Uploading a special file to your website
  2. Adding a Meta Tag to your website.

With WordPress, it can be confusing how to do this. This video shows you how to verify your WordPress Website in Google Webmaster Tools using the Meta Tag method.

Once your site is verified, you can use Google Webmaster Tools to do all sorts of diagnostics on your site. For example:

  • Submit an XML sitemap for your site (I use this WordPress Plugin to automatically update my XML sitemap)
  • Discover any problems Google might have crawling your site
  • Discover any duplicate content issues on your site
  • See what keywords people are using to find you
  • See what sites are linking to your website
  • Check your Page Load Speed
  • And a TON more.

Trust me, this is an indispensable tool and you’ll want to set it up for your website.

Update: Google has added a third and easier verification method now. If you already have Google Analytics installed on your site, Google Webmaster Tools can use it to verify your site – no need for meta tags or file uploads!

Google Webmaster Tools - verify using Google Analytics

Update 2: If you are using WordPress.com (rather than self-hosted WordPress.org), you can verify your blog with Google Webmaster Tools using this method.

Please rate my video and leave me comments below!

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Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, the SmallBiz WordPress Theme and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 281 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 388 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariana Abeid-McDougall June 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Thank you so much! Finally, a video that explains how to do things for someone who has no idea what she’s doing! Very helpful.

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Huw Griffiths July 2, 2012 at 1:02 am

amazingstuff really clear and accurate. Thanks so much.
Huw

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Deedee Ann July 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Many thanks to you from me, too. For those of us for whom “a little knowledge is dangerous”, it’s great to have someone understand that we’re trying to learn, but in order to do that you need someone willing to teach.

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mark d July 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm

thankyou very much, was really at a loss, this video really helped me out – cheers

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sadhna July 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

thanks a lot for such a great explanation. really helpful!

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Ray July 19, 2012 at 1:38 am

Thanks for thee advice mate, quite helpful. How do I write a code for my users to download music from my website, been struggling to do this mate. Using PHP – how do I add meta tags?
Thanks a million

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Christine July 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

AWESOME directions! Thank you so much I’ve been trying for days to figure this out!!

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Robert Hearns August 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Dan,

Thanks. Very professional. Clear. Concise. Exactly what I was looking for.

Regards,

Robert

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Joe Lando III August 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thank you very much for your help! Great website and very helpful video!!

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Natalie Willis August 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Hi there, this video is great, except that when I get to the step where I go to my Wordpress Dashboard, and click on Appearances, and then click on Theme, there is NO option to click on Editor … in fact I cant see an Editor option on this page or any other areas …

Appreciate your ideas,

kind regards,
Natalie Willis
w: aihnewzealand.org.nz

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Don Campbell August 9, 2012 at 6:48 am

Hi Natalie,
That probably means you are using WordPress.com for your WordPress site instead of self-hosting WordPress. WordPress.com does not allow you access to the Editor function. See this post for the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

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Jessica August 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

There is a way to do this on WordPress.com, too. Go to Dashboard > Tools, and there is a section to paste in the meta tag for Google Webmaster Tools verification.

Great tutorial video!

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Don Campbell August 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Thanks Jessica – it’s great to know they have finally added that for WordPress.com blogs!

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Liesel August 14, 2012 at 6:16 am

Thanks so much, what a help!!

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Amani August 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

Very clear explanation! Thank you very much! You helped me a lot!

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Kori August 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hooray! This was wonderful. Looking forward to the Webmaster Tools video tour you mentioned… Do you have a link yet?

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Lacey Carroll August 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

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Amrit August 27, 2012 at 6:37 am

i have no editor option in my site tell me what can i do ?

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Anu August 28, 2012 at 6:37 am

Very helpful! Thanks!

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gina September 25, 2012 at 3:01 am

Thank you so much, its very useful, thank you…..

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Rickie October 3, 2012 at 1:51 am

is there any way to verify my wordpress.com blog with the webmaster tools?

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Heather October 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Thank you so much for making something that seemed so complicated so easily completed! HTML is scary for the uninitiated but you made it painless. Thanks and good luck in your endeveaors!

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Shaun October 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

thanks so much ^_^

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Andriana October 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks so much for this! Worked perfectly!

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Adrienne October 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thank you! I have been trying to figure this out for days. I got verification with a minute.

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Alexa November 9, 2012 at 7:38 am

Thanks so much! This saved a lot of time since we already had the codes in for Google analytics.

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SGarland November 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm

What do you suggest for a joomla website for SEO?

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Don Campbell November 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

Sorry SGarland – I don’t know anything about Joomla.

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Matt November 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

Thanks Don – that’s been bugging me for ages! Finally sorted : )

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Lindsey November 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

The video made everything seem so clear, but Wordpress seems to have updated the dashboard since this was created and there is no “Editor” button for the theme now. Do I need to spend the $30 to get the “CSS” version? This sounds like it’s getting pretty technical for me. Would love your advice on this.
I’m having difficult embedding the GA tags on wordpress as well.

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Don Campbell November 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Lindsey,
Which theme are you using? If you are on WordPress.com you will not get the Editor button. That is only available on self-hosted WordPress Sites. See this article that describes the differences.

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Lindsey November 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thanks. You’re right. I’m using .com. Oh well. Thanks for your help. I’ll be sure to check out your other videos. This format is perfect for me.

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Don Campbell November 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Lindsey – it looks like WordPress.com has an easy way to verify your site with Google Webmaster tools. See this article: http://en.support.wordpress.com/webmaster-tools/

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Ron November 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Excellent work, Don. Thanks for making it plain and simple.
The only thing you could do to improve is to just zoom in a bit when you actually place the tag in the header. Pause there, and give a good zoom.
Anyway, great work!

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Don Campbell November 19, 2012 at 12:19 am

Thanks for the feedback Ron – I’ll keep this in mind for future videos.

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4ftphotography November 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

there is no “edit” section in the wordpress admin area

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Don Campbell November 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

4ftphotography – if you are using WordPress.com you will not be able to edit your theme. But you can verify you site in Google Webmaster tools using this link: http://en.support.wordpress.com/webmaster-tools/

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Justice Bapadile November 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

Thank you thank you very much for the video.I have been struggling with this thing for more than 2 hours, but with you tutorial video I did it with minutes.Cheers

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Jacquie November 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for this post. It was easy to understand and worked right away for me.

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bgalitz November 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Getting my feet wet with hosting a site and using WordPress. Thanks for the tutorial!

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nofa December 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

thanks don, nice info.

I have a problem, I changed the theme of my website. then google would not index my site again.

when I search for my website on google with “site: mywebsite.com ‘, then I see the feature ‘preview ‘(the arrow to the right of the search results), the image shown is a picture of my website with the old theme.

then i check google webmaster, it is my website indexed with the old theme.

Can you give me advice? Thank you very much

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Don Campbell December 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm

How long ago did you change your theme? It can take days for Google to re-index your site, depending on how often you update it. So chances are Google has not re-indexed your site yet, and that is why you are seeing a preview of your old site.

To speed things up, create a new blog post and Tweet about it or Like it on Facebook or +1 it on Google+.

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nofa December 9, 2012 at 1:17 am

About 1 week ago, and I have update my post recently.
Hopes its work.
Thanks alot Don, I appreciate it..

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Ian Forster December 15, 2012 at 3:02 am

Really helpful and so much better than Google’s video.

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Rachel December 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Hi Don,

Thanks for the video tutorial – it made it easy to know what to do.

How long does site verification typically take?

I entered the meta tag in the header section, have triple-checked the location and accuracy of the tag, and it’s been about an hour and verification failed because “We couldn’t find the verification meta tag.” I’ve inserted the meta tag multiple places in the header section and tried multiple times.

I’ve also tried the google analytics method by inserting the tracking code script right before the end of the header. Both the meta tag and google analytics tracking script are visible in the source code for the page, but I still get an error from google that the meta tag cannot be found, and the analytics tracking code cannot be found.

I am using a custom theme on Wordpress.org called Fotos if that makes a difference.

Thanks for any help.

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Rachel December 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Update: I also tried the Doman Name Server Verification method – through godaddy.com. No luck here either.

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Don Campbell December 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Hi Rachel, I took a quick look at the code behind your home page, and the Google Verification code snippet is not showing.

I’m not sure how you are adding it in there – but check with your theme provider and ask them how to add this kind of code to your site. Most good themes have a box in the options panel that will allow you to add these codes easily.

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Rachel December 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Hi Don,

The theme provider recommended a plugin, but after your feedback I figured out I needed to clear my cache – well, I figured I should try it, and I did and it worked. So many of these things are still new and mysterious to me :)

Thanks for your prompt response and for tipping me off to your view of the code!

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Don Campbell December 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

That’s great – I’m glad you got it sorted out Rachel. I noticed you were using WP Super Cache – that will fool you a lot of times when you make changes, they don’t show up for a while…

john December 22, 2012 at 2:07 am

Thanks for this post, for those who are not familiar with accessing FTP, it explains the easiest method for verifying websites.

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Bronson January 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

Tried with other plugins and did not work! Im so glad you created this video!!!

Awesome, now I can continue! Thank you

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Helga Bannert January 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

thanks for the information. Now I can change the code and it works

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Hans-Jürgen Bannert January 18, 2013 at 7:02 am

I missed this information to the successful installation of the code yet. I will install immediately. Thank you for the valuable information.

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jess mcd January 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

Wow, thanks so much! your video really helped me.
Jess

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Yvonne January 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

excellent and easy to follow vide0! Thank you so much!!

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Kristine J February 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thank you … this was very helpful. As with all of your tutorials I find them to be very informative and easy to follow.

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Srikanta Kundu February 2, 2013 at 3:33 am

Thanks friend.Very informative content for WordPress beginners like me.I put Google verification code in my WordPress blog.Specially the video tutorial.Thanks once again.

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Jill February 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hi Don, Your video is great and very helpful but I am still unable to verify my website. I put the meta tag in the section (I moved it around a couple of times in the section and tried to verify each time to see if that was a problem) but it isn’t working. Is there something that I am missing or something in my website that may be blocking it?? I am very new to WordPress so I am not sure what I am doing. If you could help, I would appreciate it.
Thank You!

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Don Campbell February 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

Jill,
What is your website URL?

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Jill February 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Jill February 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi Don,
Would you be able to look at my website?
Thanks,
Jill

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Jean February 6, 2013 at 7:36 am

This is extremely helpful. Fortunately, WP.com has developed an easier way for this. Thanks again.

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Asad February 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

Well, in my opinion the Google Webmastertool is one of the must-haves to track the important information about your website(s). Well, the installation took me a day to understand, because you had to import a file to the server to let Google know that you’re the genuine owner of the website. After that, I had to wait a week to get the important data about the traffic, indexing, backlinks etc.
I just recommend this to all webmasters to use it!

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Miks February 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Thanks dude! This is a BIG help!

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jorgemariaperez February 14, 2013 at 11:26 am

I am following your instructions in how to enter google verification code to the wordpress blog, but for some reason when I enter the verification code after I click “save” it is saving but removing the follow:

only what is in the middle is left and google does not find the code.
Why wordpress is doing it?
thank you

Reply

michaela February 16, 2013 at 1:49 am

Thankyou so much, your video was easy to follow and helped us out loads!

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Jessica Korteman February 24, 2013 at 6:27 am

This video was incredibly helpful. Thank you!

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Jess Gaunt March 4, 2013 at 1:47 am

Thank you so much! I just used this for verifying my website on Pinterest, have spent about 4 hours trying to search and find a solution to this and finally a solution!! Thanks again.

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Kipp McLeod March 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Thanks so much. I have other websites that I was able to get verified, but apparently I’m the last person in the world to figure out Wordpress, and this was a brick wall for me for awhile. Really appreciate the tip!

Reply

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