Problem verifying site for Google Webmaster Tools



My google analytics is all sorted; and I thought by Webmaster Tools was too. (It’s been working for about 1-1/2 years). I hadn’t checked it in a month or two, and I found, today, that the site was no longer verified.
I’m not sure why.

So one of the ways in which you can apparently verify a site is to drop in a bit of code via an .html file into your main directory: e.g. “” folder

So I did so, and when I went through the verification process, I was greeted with this message:

I used the webftp to u/l the google .html file to the main directory, though the directory was simply called rather than

Don’t know if this distinction between and is is a factor or not?

I tried every alternate method and they either didn’t work (like going through google analytics – apparently because I’m not using the asynchronous method - from what I understand this is an updated Analytics standard? And maybe when my google analytics was set up, I didn’t have this method?) or because I’m just ignorant of how to do it, I suppose.

Any suggestions on how to proceed? Anyone know what I’m (probably) doing wrong?

PS. One of the alternate ways to verify a site is to modify the “DNS Record”. But I don’t know what that is or where it is.


Did you read the error message? It explains what is wrong. All Google does is request the HTML file and compare it to what it gave you to put in it. Since that is not different than browsing to the file and comparing the source yourself, you may want to do that first.


Thanks. I compared the file to what google stated would be in there, and they matched; but when google gave me the error message, they stated something else entirely was in the file. But a manual check indicated this was not so (i.e. I opened up the file and it had in it what google said it was looking for, which is one line of alphanumeric characters).

So maybe I’m dropping it in the wrong place or google is going somewhere else to read it.

I’ll check it out again and report any specifics.


Then check the HTTP logs to make sure Google is requesting the right file.


Google also provide a one-click way of checking that the right file was uploaded to the right place.

Looking at the page where there is a “verify now” button, you should find something like:

  1. Download [hyperlink for downloading file]
  2. Upload the file to
  3. Confirm successful upload by visiting [hyperlink for checking upload]
  4. Click the verify button below

at least that is how it was in 2009, see

So what happened in your case at step 3?

The other thought which occurs is that maybe some extraneous newline characters got added to or subtracted from the file while you were downloading and then uploading it; one would hope that google’s verification algorithm is not affected by this kind of minor difference, but if something goes wrong, that would be one thing to check.


It might be, if www and non-www don’t redirect to the same place.

Can you get to and