Google webmaster tools verification of my website using file upload method.
I recommend verifying your website in google webmaster tools to take advantage of important information and insight that webmaster tools will give you about your website.
It will tell you which keywords visitors use to reach your site. You may discover some keywords that you hadn’t considered before which you can target to bring more visitors to your website. Google webmaster tools will also tell you any pages that google could not reach. Once you know then you can fix them.
I received a question from someone who was getting a verification failed message. As I have a google account that I have not verified my site against yet, I have used it as an example for verifying my website using the file upload method and posted the steps I took here. If you don’t have a google account then sign up, it’s free.
Here, step by step, with pictures is how I verified my website in google webmaster tools using the alternative HTML file upload method.
I log in to my google account at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ and see my site is not verified for this account.
I click the verify this site button on the right hand side of the screen and am presented with the verification failed screen.
The upload HTML file webmaster tools method
Rather than using the google recommended Google Analytics verification method. I am going to use an alternate method in this example. I click the alternate methods tab on the verify ownership verification failed screen and then select the ‘Upload an HTML file to your server’ option.
Following the on screen instructions I download the HTML verification file and save it on my computer.
Next I switch to my FTP program to upload the file into the root directory of my site:
I’m going to need to alter the permissions on this file to allow google to read it. But in this example I’m going to proceed without altering the permissions to illustrate the error that you might experience and how to fix it.
Dealing with webmaster tools verification permissions error
I attempt to visit this file to confirm the upload by clicking on the link in the webmaster tools instructions.
I did not change the permission so I get the following Forbidden you don’t have permission to access google.html on this server error message.
To fix the permissions error I log on to my host server using cPanel that my host provides and go to the File Manager (most if not all hosts should have this facility available).
In the File Manager I navigate to the google html file I uploaded
I see the permissions on the file are set to 600 which means read and write allowed for the owner i.e. me but no one else, hence a ‘public’ read of the file in my web browser produced the permissions error.
I choose change permissions from the toolbar and change the value to 644 which gives read access to anyone including google.
Having set the permissions on the google verification html file to 644 I can now access the file in my browser.
Now I have sorted the permissions problem I can return to the webmaster tools menu and click the verify button.
Now I get the success message, yeeha!
I click continue which takes me to my webmaster tools dashboard which has all sorts of useful information that I can use to improve my website.
The google webmaster tools successful verification dashboard
If you have been following along, you now have access to a whole wealth of information you can use to improve your site. Let me know how you get on in the comments.
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