I'm trying to verify a client's subdomain in Google Search Console but I get a 404 error even after uploading the HTML file that Google gives me. The customer's site is actually available only at example.com/login.

How can I verify this this site? Could I 301 redirect the Google verification file to example.com/login?

  • Would the following error be preventing SC from being able to verify. From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1: 10.4.5 404 Not Found Aug 14 '17 at 19:18
  • Yes. Is that after uploading the file? Aug 14 '17 at 19:37
  • Correct, when you visit the root domain address you get that error. So for example if you visit "example.com", that is the error message you get. Which I had assumed was preventing SC verification. Do you know of a workaround/solution? I don't believe its a result of the file. Aug 14 '17 at 19:47
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    It sounds like they have some web application software installed that doesn't use the normal file system for URLs. That isn't uncommon. Just choose one of the other 7 verification methods. Aug 14 '17 at 19:51
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    @inguyen What are you using GSC for if you don't have any public-facing pages? Aug 15 '17 at 9:48

The customer's site is actually available only at example.com/login.

Let's make an assumption that Google isn't advanced as we thought it would be.

Your link suggests to me that the default page on your server when someone uses example.com is a 404 page (or HTTP/1.x 404 Not found header to the browser). This alone (to 99% of the world population) would likely indicate that your domain isn't properly working because when most people are interested in a particular website, they normally go to www.example.com, not www.example.com/specialfolder.

How can I verify this site?

When using HTML verification, the normal method is to download an HTML file from google that has a filename of a bunch of hexadecimal characters with the HTML extension and the file size is several bytes. This should be saved to the document root folder of your sub-domain that you are trying to verify. It should then be accessible via subdomain.example.com/xxx.html where xxx.html is the html file you downloaded from google.

This alone should allow you to pass Google's verification tests. For even better results, have at least some sort of index page so that there is something for the public when guests access your domain.

Could I 301 redirect the Google verification file to example.com/login?

No. Google wants that specific html file it gave you stored in your document root folder and it will check that file every now and then to make sure it exists. As soon as it does not exist, then Google will label your domain as not verified.

There is no sense on trying to verify URLs that are restricted to only authorized individuals or that produce pages that have no value to the general public.

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