Google Advises Newer Meta Tag and the File Format for Site Verification in Webmaster Tools

In a blog post today, Google guides webmaster to use the right "site verification" or "site ownership" method when claiming their website(s) using Webmaster Tools. "To help you keep verification simple & reduce its maintenance to a minimum, especially when you have multiple people using Webmaster Tools, we've put together a small list of tips […]

In a blog post today, Google guides webmaster to use the right "site verification" or "site ownership" method when claiming their website(s) using Webmaster Tools.

"To help you keep verification simple & reduce its maintenance to a minimum, especially when you have multiple people using Webmaster Tools, we've put together a small list of tips & tricks," google wrote. Adding, "If you want to be sure that changes on your side don't result in an accidental loss of the verification status, you may even want to consider using two methods in parallel," google said.

First Google suggests to use the updated format of the verification meta tag called "google-site-verification." And, second to use the newer file format that "contains just one line with the file name."

If multiple people need to access the site, Google recommend using the "add users" functionality in Webmaster Tools that makes it easier to maintain the access control list without having to modify files or settings on servers.

And, as a good policy, Google suggests "to only allow users with email addresses from your domain." By doing that, "at a glance you can verify that only users from your company have access. Additionally, when a employe leave, access to Webmaster Tools is automatically taken care of when that account is disabled," google adds.

Adn, "when removing users' access in Webmaster Tools, remember to remove any active associated verification tokens (file, meta tag, etc.). Leaving them on your server means that these users would be able to gain access again at any time. You can view the site owners list in Webmaster Tools under Configuration / Users," explains Google.

Google also notes, that webmaster must consider using "restricted" (read-only) access where possible.