Google have recently changed their Search Console verification process, and it stumped my assistant so I thought I’d turn our conversation into a quick video.
To be honest, what they’ve done has made it better for technical people to get a better view of your website traffic, but they’ve made it harder for the average user to get into the search console and claim ownership.
So if you’d like to be a fly on the wall and learn how to get around the new version of Google Search Console then here you go!
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! How are you going?
So Google has recently changed their Search Console Verification. To be honest, what they’ve done is made it better for technical people such as SEO and website people to get a better view of your website’s traffic but they’ve made it harder for the average user to get into search console and claim ownership.
So in this video — it’s actually a conversation between myself and my team member as I’m showing them how to work through the new user interface.I thought it would be helpful for you as well. So please be a fly on the wall and I’ll show you how to get around the new version of search console.
Petra: You said this is the first and then it just went…?
Team Member: First, yeah, really warm day of the year so…
Petra: Oh wow! Yey!
Team Member: We’re all really excited.
Petra: Actually, do you know what, it’s getting colder for us but today it was 34 apparently.
Team Member: It’s 14 here so…
Petra: A little bit different but…
Team Member: Yeah.
Petra: Sounds like a celebration though. Alright, okay, so I — they’ve completely changed this verification in search console and I can understand why they’ve done it but as Google tend — Google never tends to do things nicely like everything’s always complicated and then they don’t really do a good job of explaining things anyway.
Team Member: Yeah and…
Team Member: It’s even, it’s even really hard to like find tips online because it is brand new…
Petra: Yeah. This is brand new, yeah, you know obsolete. So, can you see my screen?
Team Member: Yeah. I can.
Petra: Okay, alright! Looks like they’ve got this new thing where they have two different ways to verify the ownership. And I can understand why because essentially, the way that the search console worked before was every top-level domain had their own search console. So HTTP www was one search console. HTTPS www was its own search console and then HTTP without the www, HTTPS without the www. Basically, four different search consoles for each domain because the top-level domains were not being aggregated. So now they’ve got this one which is “verify domain ownership via DNS record” and that one enables all four top-level domains to be aggregated into one domain.
So this is actually the best way to do it because it’s actually set at the DNS itself and it’s like it’s literally, how do I describe this — like it’s, it’s basically aggregating all of them together so we know that it’s going to be the most accurate. The problem with doing anything with the DNS is that it’s more complicated for the average person. Most people have no idea what this even means like what is the TXT record and what is the DNS configuration. Like this isn’t something that even makes sense to anybody so…
But look, they’ve given this option where it says, “For more verification methods, try a URL prefix property instead.” See that one?
Team Member: Yeah.
Petra: So I’ll click on that one and then it lets you switch over to the previous way of doing it which was… We have this in here…
Team Member: Oh, it’s on the same window but I selected the domain one.
Petra: Yeah. And you know what these pictures are so not helpful for anybody other than technical people.
Team Member: Oh yeah, but now that you explain it, now it makes sense.
Petra: So, this one here is a picture of the top-level domain and it’s showing you can aggregate all of the sub-domains but a lot of people wouldn’t know that their domain is actually a sub-domain of a top-level domain and is new. But they’re now making this the standard one.
And then what they’re calling the URL prefix is actually the domain but without the top-level. Well, you have to include top-level domains in there which means that it’s gonna be one of the four.
Honestly, looking at these graphs, I understand what it means because I am technical in this field. But the average person is not going to have a clue. But to fix this we need to click over the URL Prefix. We need to go to the clients’ website and we need to open up and copy the URL and then open up a — here’s one I prepared earlier —open up a notepad and it will automatically add in the correct top-level domain. The top-level domain isn’t always showing in the browser so it’s important to paste it in. In this case, we can see that the correct top-level domain is actually HTTP www.
Team Member: We can actually just check Confluence because we already — we already have pasted it before in Confluence.
Petra: Yeah yes. It’s just fine. If we already got it in Confluence then that’s fine. And then we just paste that in here, click continue and then it will — once it’s finished, it will then give us the option to add a meta tag. Oopps…
Team Member: Could you please paste the meta tag in Slack, please?
Petra: Yeah yeah, of course, I can. I’m going to have to change our video for how to add search console cause I always say that they added a new level of complexity and I just made it even harder which makes me laugh because search console was already an area where it was really hard to understand and so…
Team Member: And also there is the document that we created. Should we update that one as well?
Petra: Yeah, unfortunately, yes. Not that there’s anything wrong with updating it but just everything is going to have to change because of the fact that it’s defaulting to that DNS one. I don’t think that many people are going to want to mess with their DNS so it will definitely become more confusing especially since they haven’t made it really obvious that it’s optional.
Hopefully, that was helpful. I’ve just shown my team member how to switch over to a single domain search console which is the way that it has been up until now.
However, if you want to use the new DNS method which is the new default way then what you’ll need to do is to go to your actual internet service provider. So your internet hosting provider and they will have a tool in there called DNS Editor or something along the similar lines. That would be in the cPanel and you’ll need to go to that and it will say, “What type of records do you want to change?”, it will say, “TXT” and there’ll be various other but that’s the one that you want to search for. And you can add the DNS level search verification settings in there if you choose to.
That’s not a requirement though. If you want to use the search console the way that it was set-up before, you can still verify using Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, uploading your file to a website or with a Meta Code and what I showed my team member in that video was using a Meta Code.
I hope you have a wonderful day! If you want more of these tips you can do so by going to www.petramanos.com and clicking the subscribe button.
Hopefully, that was helpful. I’ve just shown my team member how to switch over to a single domain search console which is the way that it has been up until now. However, if you want to use the new DNS method (the new default verification method) then what you’ll need to do is to go to your internet service provider and change your DNS settings there.
Take care and have an awesome day!