A lot has changed since the good-old-days when you could just send your website URL to Google for review. These days you have to verify the ownership of the website first, and then submit it to Google.
How to verify your domain | Google Verification Code
There are actually a lot of different ways to verify the ownership of your domain and they are all detailly explained on the actual verify property page. However, for this tutorial, I’ll talk about these four methods:
- Adding Google Verification Code to Yoast SEO Plugin
- Adding Google Verification Code in your theme header
- Verifying ownership via Google Site Kit plugin (Recommended)
- Verifying ownership by uploading a file to the root folder
As I’ve already said in the intro, to submit a website to Google you will have to verify that you are indeed an owner of that website. So let’s start with that first.
Verify ownership on Google
The first step is to go to the Google Search Console and log in with an existing Google account or create a new one. After you log in, you should see the following screen:
After you do that a new screen will pop up showing the different verification methods and instructions for each one of them.
Verifying ownership by uploading a file to the root folder
This is the recommended method that is opened by default and the process is pretty simple:
- Download the verification file google**********.html
- Upload the file to your domain either by FTP or from cPanel’s File Manager
- and finally, click on the verify button.
Adding Google Verification Code to WordPress
Another method to verify your domain ownership is to add a simple line of code to your website and in WordPress, you can do that in various ways:
- Add the code to your theme header
- Add the code in the Insert Headers and Footers plugin
- Add the code in the Yoast SEO plugin’s settings
Adding Google Verification Code in your theme header
This is probably the easiest method to verify your domain ownership but I don’t recommend it cause you are adding the code directly in your theme’s code so when you switch your theme in the future you will have to copy the code again to the new theme’s header. So I don’t recommend this method.
Add your code between the <head> </head> tags and click on the update file to save changes.
Now simply go back to the Google Search Console and click on the Verify button.
Not working? If you followed the instructions above but still get the message that the code was not found on the website by Google, temporarily disable all caching plugins and purge cache from your CDN provider.
Adding Google Verification Code to Yoast SEO Plugin
If you already use the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site, this might be an option for you. Simply navigate to Yoast’s webmaster tools by going to SEO > Search Console.
Then just paste the verification code in the field, save it and then go back to the Google Search Console to verify.
Add the code in the Insert Headers and Footers plugin
Insert Headers and Footers plugin is a simple plugin that lets you add custom code to your website’s header or footer. The great thing here is that the code is not actually saved in the theme files but in the plugin itself so you can switch themes without worrying about accidentally deleting the code.
For a step-by-step guide on how to add the Google verification code via Insert Headers and Footers plugin I recommend this great tutorial by Kinsta: How to Add Code to WordPress Header and Footer
Verifying ownership via Google Site Kit plugin (Recommended)
Back in 2019 Google released the official Site Kit plugin for WordPress that lets you monitor all sorts of date directly on your wp-admin dashboard, from Google Adsense and Analytics data to your website Page Speed.
How to submit a website to Google
Oy now that you’ve verified the ownership over your website it’s time to submit the website to Google for indexing.
On the next screen, you will see if your website is already indexed on Google or not. To submit your site to Google for indexing click on the REQUEST INDEXING link in the bottom right corner.
Congratulations, you’ve just submitted your website to Google! Within a few days, you will get an email from Google notifying you that your website’s been indexed and if there are any problems on your site that you have to take care of prior to indexing.