How do I verify my site with Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools)?


One of the most powerful tools a website owner has at their disposal is Google Search Console (previously known as WebMaster Tools). This is a free service that Google offers to help domain owners optimize their sites for search engine rankings as well as detecting issues and unknown errors that may be present on the site.

When you add your domain to Google Search Console, Google first needs to verify you as the domain owner. This is to ensure they are giving you analytical information properly for your proper domain.

This article will assist you with verifying your site with Google.

Google Search Console

  1. Sign into Google Search Console, (or create an account if you do not have one already.)

If this is your first time setting up Google Search Console, you will need to enter your site as a "Property." During the set up process, you will be asked to select a property type by choosing one of the following:

  • Domain
    This property type requires a DNS change to verify ownership.
  • URL Prefix
    This property type allows for more flexible verification methods

If you have access to (and are familiar/comfortable with) DNS changes on your domain, you may choose the Domain property type. The Google Search Console interface will provide you with a TXT record that needs to be added to your domain's DNS record.

If you are not familiar with DNS changes, then the URL Prefix property type is your best option. It offers alternative domain verification methods which may be easier to use including the method outlined in this article. However, if you select this one, be sure to enter your domain's FULL URL including the http/https prefix used by the storefront.

For the purposes of this article, we will outline the steps for the URL Prefix method. To continue:

  1. Under URL Prefix enter your Shift4Shop store's full URL. Be sure to include the http or https prefix for your home page.
  2. Then, click continue

You will now be taken to the "Verify ownership" portion. This is where you will be able to select the verification method to use. Google gives you five options, but the most common is HTML tag - which we will be concentrating on here. With the HTML tag method, Google will provide you with a code that will need to be placed on your site's main header. When you verify the site with Google, they will look at the site and reference this specific coding to complete the process.

  1. Choose the HTML tag verification method by clicking on it.
  2. Copy the code provided. Make sure that you select and copy everything in the box:

Adding the code to your Shift4Shop site

Now open up a new browser window and perform the following:

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Marketing >SEO Tools
  3. At the top of the page, look for and click on the "Google Tools" tab
  4. Scroll down to the "Google Webmaster Tools Verification Meta Tag" section
  5. Add your code there and click "Save" at the top right of the page.
  6. Next, go to Settings >General >Store Settings
  7. Once there, click on the "General" tab at the top
  8. In the "Performance" area, click on "Clear Cache"
  9. Now, go back to Google and click on the "Verify" button in the HTML Tag method to verify your site.

Your store's URL is added as a property to Google Search Console.

Additional Information
Please be aware that it will take some time for the Google Search Console to gather and report data on the property. Therefore, you may not see reporting right away. Typically, data will be viewable on the Search console after about 24 hours.

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