Ok, so I have site abc.com that I've moved over to xyz.com

All my redirects are working fine and the last step of the move is to file a 'Change of Address' in Google Webmaster Tools.

The problem I'm having:

  • Google requires that all redirects be working from the old site to the new site

  • They also require that the old site is verified, however, it can't be verified simultaneously through almost all available methods when everything is being redirected.

For example, the meta google tag is present on the old site, but Google can't see it, because that page is getting redirected. Ditto for my google analytics, html file upload etc. I even added an exception to my redirect rules to not redirect the one google .html file, but then the 'redirection' check failed and still couldn't do the change of address.

This leaves only one option, namely, adding the TXT record to the DNS. My question, how are these options available when it's not possible to complete them and the redirection simultaneously? Am I just missing something? Can someone let me know? Thanks

2 Answers 2


Google will verify a site that is redirecting properly. I just verified a domain name that redirects to my main domain name to test it. I used the "upload file" method:

  • example.com is my main domain name
  • example.com/google0123456789abcef.html has been uploaded to the site
  • example.net redirects to example.com
  • example.net/google0123456789abcef.html redirects to example.com/google0123456789abcef.html

Google Webmaster Tools allowed me to verify example.net because the verification file redirects appropriately. You should be able to verify your old domain as long as every page on the old domain is redirecting to the corresponding page on your new domain.

  • Ahhh, so I would need to upload the HTML verification file to BOTH example.net AND example.com. I guess that makes sense now. It just wasn't clear when I was doing the Change of Address. Thanks for the reply. Apr 6, 2015 at 16:07
  • You will only need to upload it to your new site. Google will then allow you to verify your old site as well because it is redirecting to the new site (as long as you have implemented the redirects properly.) Apr 6, 2015 at 16:53

Not everyone's situations is the same. So the redirect validation happens after you have selected verification type. Also,there are two options available if you have a 301 set on your domain: TXT record or a www CNAME record.

  • Google performs both the Redirect and Verification validation simultaneously and both have to pass simultaneously or else I can't perform the Change of Address. It's not issue of doing one before the other. I'm wondering in what scenario I can possibly verify my website through a meta tag/ google html file etc and have the redirect check pass at the same time. Mar 26, 2015 at 22:39
  • @OllieMurphy Its not because your meta tag/ html file will be on the site that gets redirected. Google now does redirect verification first. Why cant you just use TXT or CNAME record?
    – dasickle
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:03

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