Things they are a changin' in Seattle, and we aren't just talking about our new offices. The Google Webmaster Central team has been hard at work developing new features and making things easier for webmasters everywhere.
One of the largest complaints I personally have had about Google Webmaster Tools has been addressed finally, multiple user verification. No longer do you have to load multiple verification files, or clutter your homepage with meta tags. There are two new, more convenient options in WMT.
What - you have other issues you want Google to address in WMT? We aren't going there today ... patience. At least that is what I'm telling Rob.
Google Webmaster Central announced the DNS verification feature at the end of March 2010.
There are detailed instructions over there and a nice tutorial here; I want to cover why this is awesome, and some of its drawbacks.
- Doing DNS verification allows you to verify every site under that domain. All subdomains, www and non-www.
- No extra stuff on your homepage or GET requests from Googlebot.
- You get to show off your mad webmaster skills. I mean, really, who verifies by meta tag anymore anyway?
Not Cool, Mr. Google, Not Cool
- Another user noted that your hosting provider could be verifying everyone, but if that were the case, you would be able to see the verification. Google alerts everyone on the account when there is a new verification by another user. (Then you out them to the point that they have no more clients)
- If you are having an issue adding a file or meta tag, this is not going to be easier.
- It takes time for DNS to propagate. Be patient.
So my personal favorite is the ability to add someone else to your already verified site without the need for another verification file. This is a blessing for all companies, agencies, and consultants that have had to explain why they want their clients/IT teams to add another file to the server.
When running a test on this new feature, we came across some tricky things that we think you should know. Again, if you want to know how to do this, check out the official release post from Webmaster Central.
- When you add someone, the site is listed on their Verification Home, not their Google Webmaster Tools Home. The new user needs to add the site to their Webmaster Tools page still.
- You can remove them at anytime, just like in AdWords. Just note that as things change over time in your organization, there always needs to be at least one person that has actually verified the site on the account.
- They have to have a Google account already, and you can't restrict their access. So be careful who you add to your account. They get the data immediately, there is no delay when the account has already been verified.