When changing a site domain name with Google Webmaster Tools, how can I verify both sites?

Google seems to require that both sites are simultaneously validated (by the same method) but with different meta tag codes. This is obviously impossible to achieve. I can't seem to to use the "change of name" function as even if I put both meta tags in the header at the same time (which allows me to validate both sites) the transfer fails as Google then seems to re-check the meta tags and finds the wrong one for one of the sites.

Am I doing something wrong?

All that's happened is that the domain name has changed, so it's not possible for me to use different meta tags on different sites. Is there a way I can tell Google about the domain name change?

  • Can't you just verify by another means like uploading the file to the server? – zigojacko Jan 28 '14 at 17:18
  • I can't - Google requires that both sites are validated by the same method :( – NickG Jan 28 '14 at 17:18
  • 1
    Select a different validation method for both then. Neither have to use a meta tag for verification. – zigojacko Jan 28 '14 at 17:19
  • Oh I see what you mean. Let me try that... – NickG Jan 28 '14 at 17:20
  • Hmm, now it wants me to verify the root URL (without the www.) which I have no (easy) control over so I think I'll have to give up. Thanks for your help anyway. – NickG Jan 28 '14 at 17:50

The easiest way to verify for domains where you don't have a live site is via DNS. Go into Alternate Methods and Google Webmaster Tools will provide you with a TXT record that you just need to add to your domain, regardless of whether you have any content on it.

See this from Google Webmaster Tools for more info: Verification: Domain name provider


If the above does not work then you have to use the header validation. You can put that along with an HTML redirect on a page and try that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.