May 6, 2016

How to Verify Your Blog in Webmaster Tools (and Set Your Preferred Domain)

Don't compete with your own site in the search rankings! Here is how you can verify your blog in Webmaster Tools and set up a preferred domain for double the google juice!
Last week I explained how to generate a sitemap and submit it to search engines in order to ensure you content was all being crawled. I mentioned that my preferred method of submitting site map was through the Webmaster Tools Sitemap tool.  After that post I had a few people ask about how to establish a Webmaster tools (which is now officially called “Google Search Console”) account for a Blogspot blog.

Because it does require inserting some code into your template, and because it turns out that you should actually be setting up accounts for multiple URLs, I thought it was worth an entire post.

How To Verify Your Site In Webmaster Tools 

The first thing you need to do is log into your Google account.  And next you want to go to the Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools).

At the top right you want to click on the “Add Properties” buttonAdding property to webmaster tools
In the pop up box you need to add your blog’s URL. You actually are going to eventually add both your full domain ( and your naked url (, so chose one to start with.
Naked url add to webmaster tools
Hit continue and this menu will open:

You can use ANY of these methods to verify your blog, but I am going to show you my favorite way.   It is with HTML code installation in your template. It can be found under the “Alternate methods” tab:
How to verify blog on webmaster tools
Under the “Alternate methods” tab, select “HTML Tag”

This will automatically generate a verification number for your account.  You want to copy the entire line of code and then go to your blogger dashboard.  (Open it in another tab or window!)
Adding tag
Open your template HTML  (under Template >> Edit HTML)

Click INSIDE the Code window and hit “command-F”   DO NOT JUST SEARCH THE ENTIRE PAGE. THAT WON’T WORK!!

You want to search for the following code:

Search code

You will see the code highlighted.   Immediately AFTER that line, paste in the code from webmaster tools and hit “Save”
Head insert code
Now go back to the Search Console window and hit “Verify”

You should get this confirmation message.
Now repeat the process with the other URL (in my example I would have to repeat the process with You won’t have to add the code to the HTML template the second time.  It will automatically detect it.

Once you have both URLs verified they should appear on the Search Console home page:

Both urls in webmaster tools

How to Set Your Preferred Domain

Wait a sec!  You are NOT finished.  Now you want to tell Google which domain is your “favorite.”   You do this because search engines actually see full and naked domains as independent.  So incoming links to and your are considered separate entities. You are basically competing with yourself!  If you choose a preferred domain, it clarifies that they are the SAME. You are combining your link power!

Setting a preferred domain is super straight forward.   On the search console home page, you need to select your site.  Click on the gear and select "Site Settings"
Next choose Preferred domain and choose the domain name you want to use.   (Remember you need to do this twice.. once for each version of your URL.)

Which Is A Better Preferred Domain: WWW or no WWW? 

There have been many discussions about which version is ‘better’ for SEO.  Google has come outright and said IT DOES NOT MATTER. What does matter is that you always use the same version when linking to yourself and when sharing your url for other’s to use.    I personally use the www. version for all my sites.   I just believe that people think of websites that way. We are trained to think that URLS start with www.  (So is my url where is my site name).   But if you have been using the naked URL this whole time.. then go with that one.

Preferred domain

Remember to choose the preferred domain in both URLs!  And remember when submitting your sitemap and looking at crawl, search traffic and indexing data, you want to always use the preferred domain.  The other domain will not record data.

Now that wasn’t too bad was it?

Of course, if you have trouble with this tutorial, or want to learn more, here is all the information about preferred domains directly from Google.


  1. This was SO helpful! Thank you so much!

  2. So helpful! Of course, now it's one more thing on the blogging To Do list! ;) Visiting from DIY Sunday Showcase party.

  3. thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning and tweeting.