Google Search Console: how to add site and verify ownership

How to add a site to Google Search Console: step-by-step instructions

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Signing up for Google Search Console is a necessity. And in this article, we’ll help you understand why. How does Google index your site? How does the site perform in search? What information is there about your resource online and how can it be used? You can get the answers to these questions by adding your site to the Google Search Console.

What are webmaster tools from Google and why add it?

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that gives site owners the ability to check how a site is performing on Google. It shows not only how the site is performing, but also how the search engine sees it. With GSC you:

  • see information about keywords and queries that bring traffic;
  • find out what meaningful search results the site’s content has earned;
  • understand how the mobile version works;
  • You can check if Google has access to your content.

We believe that there are enough arguments to understand that Google Search Console is necessary for your site. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use it.

How do I add a new site to Google Search Console?

  1. Sign in to your Google or Gmail account.
  2. Specify in your browser: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home.
  3. Enter or paste the URL of your home page next to the box labeled “Resource,” then click “Add Resource:
Add property to add your site to GSC
Add property in Google Search Console
  1. Specify your domain resource in the window that appears:
Domain or URL prefix types property
Select property type in GSC

Next, the system will ask you to confirm the rights of ownership of the resource. There are currently four ways to confirm rights:

  1. Confirmation by adding an HTML file to the root of the site.
  2. Confirmation via HTML tag in the code of the main page of your site.
  3. Confirmation with Google Analytics.
  4. Confirmation via Google Tag Manager.
  5. Confirmation by adding a DNS record in the domain configuration.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover all the ways to add a site to Google’s webmaster tools.

Let’s start, perhaps, with the easiest way to confirm rights, which the search engine itself recommends.

1. Confirmation via HTML file

In the menu that appears after specifying a domain name, choose confirmation through an HTML file: download the confirmation HTML file to your computer.

Download HTML file to verification
Verify ownership using HTML file

The downloaded HTML file must be placed in the root of the site. To do this, install the FileZilla program and log in with an FTP connection after installation.

  1. Create a new connection.
  2. We add our resource.
  3. Connecting via FTP-protocol.

After correctly filling in the fields, click on the “Connect” button and see the content of our resource. The downloaded HTML file is added to the root directory of the site by dragging it with the left mouse button.

  1. After the HTML file has been downloaded, it is necessary to confirm the download.
  2. After confirmation, your site will be successfully added to google webmaster.

To access the site, you have to go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home and select it from the menu.

2. Confirming permissions with HTML tag

To confirm the rights of the site owner with an HTML tag, you need to select the appropriate option in the menu.

Use html tag verify if you know how
HTML Tag verification type in Google Search Console

Next, the system will offer you a meta tag, which should be added to the website template in the head section.

To do so:

  1. Create a new connection.
  2. Open the “File” tab of the same FileZilla program mentioned above, and go to “Site Manager”.
    Add our resource.
  3. Fill in the fields: FTP connection protocol, host, user name and password.
    Connect via FTP-protocol.
  4. After correctly filling in the fields, click on the “Connect” button and see the content of our resource. The downloaded HTML file is added to the root directory of the site by dragging it with the left mouse button.

Add the meta tag.

Go to the content of your site and add the code to the appropriate template. As an example, in the screenshot below we’ve shown exactly where to insert the code for CMS WordPress sites: choose the WP-content folder > Themes > Header. Open the file in “view/help” mode and add our meta tag. In case you have a different CMS – the path to the file will be different. In most CMS it is called the same “header.php”.

After completing all the actions you must confirm the operation.

Important! delete the meta tag from the site, proof of ownership of the site will also be lost.

3. Confirmation with Google Analytics

To confirm site ownership rights using Google Analytics, you must select the appropriate option in the menu.

For this option to be available, the Google Analytics tracking code must be placed on all pages of the site, and must contain analytics.js or gtag.js snippets. To place snippets, you need to:

  • sign in to your Google Analytics account;
  • select your site by clicking “Administrator”;
  • select the desired account;
  • select the desired site in the resource menu;
  • click on the “Tracking” field;
  • select “Tracking code”.

In the screenshot below, we showed where the tracking ID is contained.

To find the path to the desired file, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new connection using FileZilla: open the “File” tab and go to “Site Manager”.
  2. We add our resource.
  3. In the window that appears, you must fill in the fields: FTP – protocol connection, host, user name and password.
    Click the “Connect” button and you will see the following files.
  4. Select wp-content/themes/themes/theme name and find the header file.
  5. Right-click on “View/edit”. The example is for a WordPress site. If you have a different CMS – the path to the file will be different. In most CMS it is called the same “header.php”.Copy the tracking code.
  6. Place the code in the head section of your page.

We can now view data from Search Console in Google Analytics reports. This code confirms the rights to your resource.

4. Registration in the tools for webmasters with Google Tag Manager

To confirm the rights of the site with Google Tag Manager, you need to select the appropriate option in the menu.

You must have a Google Tag Manager account with container-level access permission to have the option visible. How to add a site to GTM is described in detail here.

This code is broken into two parts.

This code must be embedded on all pages of the site. To do this, you need to:

  • Create a new connection in FileZilla;
  • connect to your project;
  • go as follows: wp-content > themes and find the header file;
  • right-click on “view/edit”;
  • copy the tracking code;
  • place the code in the head section of your page.

5. Confirmation with a DNS record

DNS is a domain name system by which an IP address is mapped to a symbolic domain name. DNS works and functions according to the principle of hierarchy: it uses an arbitrary number of domains, separated by a dot. Each country has its own two-letter domains. To find any resource on the network, the system uses DNS-servers that contain a database of the type “IP-address – domain name”.

To confirm the rights of the owner of the site with a DNS record, you need to select the appropriate option in the menu.

Verify your ownership via DNS
DNS provider method of verification

For such an option to be visible, you must have access to the domain registrar’s system and the ability to add DNS records. Example:

DNS verification using TXT entry
Adding an entry to domain

Conclusions

  1. Adding a site to the Google Search Console is a necessity at the start of project promotion.
  2. Registering your site to google webmaster will help you understand how the search engine indexes your site and what it knows about it.
  3. Search Console is configured via the web resource ownership confirmation panel. You can confirm this right in one of the following ways:
    • place the HTML file on the server;
    • add an HTML tag;
    • specify the domain name provider;
    • Connect Google Analytics;
    • add the Google Tag Manager.
  4. Installing Filezilla will help you log in via an FTP connection and confirm ownership of the site in one of the ways. 
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