I am trying to verify my website with Google webmaster tools. I have uploaded the Google html file to my webhosting for example.com and that site now says that it is verified.

But the www.example.com version is still saying "not verified".

Google says this: "You may need to verify ownership of both the www and non-www versions of your domain. Because setting a preferred domain impacts both crawling and indexing, we need to ensure that you own both versions. Typically, both versions point to the same physical location, but this is not always the case. Generally, once you have verified one version of the domain, we can easily verify the other using the original verification method. However, if you've removed the file, meta tag, or DNS record, you'll need to repeat the verification steps."

I'm stuck - I'm not sure why the www version is not verified.

  • 1
    If you access the www.my-domain.com via browser, does it redirect as expected to my-domain.com? Reason I ask (and this will sound mind boggling), I have seen some really sucky site hosts in the past that have not acknowledge the www version of a domain, they actually expected someone to pay extra to also additionally register the www version of the domain name ..and then they also had no method for redirection to the preferred one.
    – Bronwyn V
    Apr 1, 2018 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


I've had this happen to me as well. I think multiple times actually. I had a site setup as the preferred version of http://example.com. When I tried to switch to http://www.example.com it wouldn't verify ownership. I had the txt file in the root directory but it wouldn't accept it.

I found that I had to delete my site from search console. I then added it again with the www version and search console accepted the verification. The site that I deleted in search console was new so losing the data wasn't that problematic for me. I'm not sure if deletion and reentering causes loss of data or if the data is retained. You may want to look into that first if you decide that this is your best solution.

I think this error is likely due to some kind of a glitch on the webmaster tools' system.


First, have you verified your www version? Go through the same steps as you did for your primary domain name. The message sounds like Google did not "automatically" find www.mydomain.com. It's best to repeat the process to make sure Google really verified both. (Poor Google, they want to be all powerful, but their tools fall short. ;-) )


The most effective way to ensure verification for all versions within webmaster central is by adding the cname and txt record to your domain using your domain registrar's dns settings. This also affords you the most protection, as it makes it harder for someone to attempt to highjack your site by hacking in and changing, for example, the meta verification, or by simply uploading the html file.

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