If you run a website you should register for Google Web Master Tools (GWT) because they provide a wealth of useful statistics and diagnostic information that you can use to improve your site. Anyway when you register with GWT you have various options for verifying your ownership of the your website. My preferred option is to add a special DNS entry against the domain name. I like this approach because its much less likely to be undone by a software update or someone tidying up files on your website. The GWT verification screen gives you all the options and if you select DNS then asks you which registration company is responsible for your DNS records, they then talk you through step by step you to enter the special DNS record. For various reasons I mainly use 123-Reg.co.uk for registrations and DNS and Google didn’t provide a walkthrough for this company so I had to select Other from the list and then workout what was needed. Incase you also need to verify ownership of a site for Google Webmaster Tools using 123-REG.co.uk the steps involved are:
- In GWT select verify ownership, DNS and then Other
- They will now give you a unique string which will look something like “google-site-verification=tfUN8-Fj_jy6n2c76IZXXXXXxwpdqEmHsRLXXXXEvE”, highlight this and copy it to your clipboard.
- Login to your 123-Reg account
- Select the domain name you want to verify ownership of
- Under the advanced domain settings select Manage DNS (A, MX, CNAME, TXT)
- Scroll down the page until you get to Add New Entry
- You should now see 3 input fields
- in the first field enter an @ sign
- in the middle field select TXT from the dropdown list
- in the third field paste in the id string Google provided
- Scroll down a little further and click on Update DNS
- Wait a few minutes for the DNS change to propagate
- Go back into GWT and now click the Verify Now Button – if this does not work give it a little longer for the DNS changes to propagate. It can take up to 24 hours but its usually much faster these days.
- If it still does not work exit 123-Reg and then go back in and make sure it saved your changes. I’ve occasionally found that changes fail to commit the first time.
Finally the health warning, if you don’t understand DNS entries then be warned that making DNS mistakes can easily knock out your website, so if you’re not certain what you are doing get someone else to do it for you.