How to Use Google Webmaster Tools in WordPress

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Google has recently started offering more information regarding how they search your site. It is quite helpful. Here is how you go about it.

  1. Go to the Google Webmaster Tools page
  2. Sign in to your Google/gmail account (If you need gmail, just email me and ask and I will send you an invite).
  3. Click “Diagnostics”
  4. Click on “Verify”
  5. Click that you want to add the HTML file
  6. Google will give you an HTML filename to upload
  7. Copy that filename to the clipboard
  8. Go to your wordpress dashboard
  9. Click “Manage”
  10. Click the “Pages” tab
  11. Click “Create New Page”
  12. Name it the name that google provide in step 6 by pasting the name you copied above into the Page Title blank
  13. Click “Publish”
  14. Go back to the google webmaster page and click that you have upoladed the HTML file
  15. Have fun exploring the google webmaster tools

A few things google offers:

  • See what errors the google search bot has encountered
  • Control the frequency that google scans your website/blog
  • View statistics on what search queries have been used to access your site
  • See how many people have subscribed via Google reader, iGoogle, and Orkut (Google’s social networking tool)
  • See who has linked to your site
  • etc

0 Responses

  1. If you WordPress install has already modified your .htaccess to redirect all traffic, Google does not accept WordPress’ response of a 200 when it encoutners a 404. So it’s impossible to verify a site once this is in effect.

    What I did was rename .htaccess file, run verify, the file is found, and then return .htaccess file to original name.

    I believe once verified they never need to verify again.

  2. not work for me. i dont know why
    it just :
    when i crete “googleecfb8ef6732559ea” with no html extension

    when i create “googleecfb8ef6732559ea.html” with html

    see.. so google cant find ->

  3. Banditoz,

    Not really sure why that wouldn’t work. Check Ted’s comment above. That may fix it.

    You do have to reverify it from time to time.

  4. You’re a mad scientist! Thanks for this hack — it worked great. I was trying to figure out some odd-ball javascript, but this works perfectly!

  5. Banditoz & Vikram – follow Matt’s step 12 very carefully. Yes, the URL of the page ends up having no “.” before the “html”. But the page title does. At first, it wasn’t working for me either, because I was trying to force a “.html” into my WordPress page’s permalink. But I went back and followed Matt’s instructions exactly, it worked like a charm. Thanks!

    1. Roni,

      Being a year and a half old, this info is probably out of date by now. Thanks for the update! I am sure that will help someone.

  6. Yes, thanks for this! Mine is a hosted blog, not hosted by me, and it seems like a lot of info I find out there applies to the latter, not the former.

    So, I was getting hung up on the fact that since I don’t host it, I can’t just upload an HTML file nor add META tags, like the instructions on the Google Analytics page says to do.

    And, like Dave Smith, said above, I was also trying very hard to force the .html into the permalink.

    After seeing these instructions & comments I realized I didn’t really have to force the .html extension at all. After creating a new page per the instructions here, my permalink looked something like this:

    I was not sure that would work without the dot. But for kicks I just tried substituting the dash with a dot, and removing the trailing forward slash, like this:

    And lo and behold, that link worked in my browser too! Probably has something to do with Matt’s step 12, making the title of the page exactly googleSpecifiedFileName.html

    Regardless, no need to worry if the URL doesn’t have a .html, try it anyway and it should work.

    Thanks again!

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  8. I have a and this is not working for me. The code google webmaster tool gave me is not like the ones in the previous post or instructions. Please forgive me, I’m very much a beginner.


  9. hi i am using google webmaster tool for own wordpress website . when we change our parmalink structure in wordpress admin area. my webmaster account show a lots of cowl 404 not fount error . i think all of this url are old. google webmaster tool does not update automatic sitemap .xml file. how we can remove all these old url ?

    please help me?

    1. Alan,

      I am not so sure with hosted blogs. Read Gayle’s comments above and that may help you with part of your problem. Other than that, I am not sure what to say!

  10. Grete post I love the query tool from webmaster tool as well. It really gives good insight on rankings. However, I can”t seem to have access data from more than 5 weeks before current date??? Am I the only one?
    Potentially the previous version of the tool was better for ranking trends over time.

    1. I haven’t used in recently enough to know. There are a few subscribers to this thread so maybe someone will read this and have an answer for you. Wish I could be of more help.

  11. Hi
    i am facing a problem in Google webmaster tool. my WordPress blog tags feed are not properly indexes in Google webmaster tool. webmaster tool show Crawl errors 404 not found, it takes tag title in URl , while actual URl of tag feed are slug .

    webmaster takes URl is — performance/feed

    its take tag title in URl field

    while actualURl is high-performance/feed

    ie slug of tag

    please help me how we can correct this in webmaster tool.

  12. HI —
    I’ve tried every which way to get my WP site verified — all failed. I tried creating new page in WP with code — didn’t work.

    I tried uploading the .html page on my FTP — got error message.

    I considered inserting verification code in my home page source code — don’t know how to do that.

    Thanks for any help you can give.


  13. I installed the plugin called “Google Sitemap XML” on my wordpress site, it builds my sitemap.xml file and tells me that Google, Bing and Yahoo are now notified of my website. Do I still need to follow the instructions above, or has this plugin done the job for me?

    1. You may still want to access google webmaster tools. It gives you some great data like which search terms are getting people to your site among many other things.

  14. Didn’t work for me, is there an update on this subject? I tried pasting the code in a new page as a title and on the page but it doesn’t work for me. I have a site and can’t edit the metatags, can someone please help me?

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