Become your own webmaster

Do you know how Google see your website? If your answer was “No” then you’ll want to read on… You can use Google Webmaster Tools to find out all kinds of information about your site like:

  • Google’s crawl rate
  • crawl errors
  • Links to your site
  • Subscriber stats
  • Keywords leading to your site

To get started log in to your Google account or create a new account. Then go on over to Google Webmaster Tools and click on “Add a site” and enter the domain name of your site:

Click on continue and you’ll be presented with options to prove that you own your domain. Just claiming that you are the owner isn’t enough, which you’ll appreciate in a few minutes, considering that you don’t want your competition to lay claim to your domain. The 2nd (metatag) and 3rd (html) options are best suited for smaller sites because they are simple and can be completed in a few minutes. The 1st option (DNS) is better suited for a larger site but more on that in the details to follow.

Metatag

Choosing the metatag option will reveal a snippet of code that you need to copy and paste into your home page.  Once you’ve published that change on your site push the verify button and Google will check your site to confirm you as a webmaster!

HTML file

This option is comparable to the meta tag option but it’s probably easier to manage multiple webmasters this way. Each webmaster will get a unique file that verifies them as a webmaster.

DNS record

The DNS record option is certainly the most technical of all the options. But if you have a corporate website that needs to promote through Development, QA , Staging and  Live environments then you will appreciate this option. The keys that Google generates are tied to the fully qualified domain (i.e. qa.example.com and  staging.example.com would need different keys) Multiple that by each Google account that wants to be webmaster and you’re into a key management nightmare with the metatag or file options.  With the DNS option your code is free of keys so packaging and deployment are easier. You’ll need to get the team that manages your DNS involved but you can pretty much copy and paste the “Other” option instructions into an email to them and you should be all set.

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