Webmaster Tools Verification

All three of the major search engines offer some kind of website service. The most popular being Google Webmaster Tools. Yahoo offers Site Explorer and Bing has Webmaster Center. All three require that you verify your site and offer various methods to do so. This plugin uses the meta option and inserts a meta tag in your sites section of your site.

If you’ve used WordPress.com then this will look familiar since it’s based on that tool.

Installation is simple:

  1. Download the plugin from WordPress.org.
  2. Copy it to the wp-content/plugins directory of your blog.
  3. Enable the plugin in your admin panel.
  4. An option for Webmaster Tools Verification will appear under Settings.
  5. Enter the verification code for each service you wish to use


  • Where do I get the verification code?
    Go to either Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, or Bing Webmaster Center, find the option to add/verify a new site then select the meta option. You be provided with a piece of code and instructions to add it to your site.
  • What do I do with the code once I have it?
    All you need is the actual content= code, the plugin will automatically format the meta tag when it inserts it.
    Ex.: Google will give you a piece of code like this: <meta name='google-site-verification' content='dBw5CvburAxi537Rp9qi5uG2174Vb6JwHwIRwPSLIK8'>
    You want to copy the code: dBw5CvburAxi537Rp9qi5uG2174Vb6JwHwIRwPSLIK8 and paste it in the input box for Google.
  • I’m using WPMU but I don’t want the plugin automatically activated for each site. Can I just put it in the wp-content/plugins directory so each blog owner can choose whether or not they want it activated?
    WPMU is no longer supported but the plugin should work fine with WordPress in network mode.

If you like this plugin and want to support me, leave a comment or check out my donations and support page!

55 Responses

  1. mydealcracker January 1, 2010 / 4:16 pm

    Your plugin looks like it should be very easy to use but it still did not verify my blog. What really happens after you put in your codes and hit “save changes”? At that point my codes disappear, is that suppose to happen?

    • James January 1, 2010 / 4:32 pm

      After you add your code a meta tag should be placed in your header before the . Check that and let me know if it’s putting it there.

      If your code is disappearing then your not entering the correct code. You want just the number between the single quotes in content=’xxxxxxxx’.

  2. mydealcracker January 2, 2010 / 9:53 am

    Google is finally seeing my code but it is saying that the code is wrong. I have tried with various little adjustments but it is still saying that : “Verification failed. Your meta tag is incorrect. Show found meta tag”. Unfortunately, I had stop concentrating on yahoo and bing codes and the spaces are filled with backstrokes “\\\\\” and I can not get them deleted. In addition, I am now unable to save any changes to google code section because now when I press save it just stays in the loading phase and never completes.

  3. James January 2, 2010 / 10:20 am

    I looked at your source and I’m not real sure how you ended up with all those slashes. Regardless do this. Delete these 3 keys from your database using something like phpMyAdmin.

    DELETE FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘verification_services_codes[google]’;
    DELETE FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘verification_services_codes[yahoo]’;
    DELETE FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘verification_services_codes[bing]’;

    This should get you back to the blank form. Your Google code is still wrong (as it says). It should be just this code: xyERUGbd0dSVf9jNcCbb6DkJDmczB0VFaUVDt8JMh6s

    In the code Google gave you there is a line content=”xyERUGbd0dSVf9jNcCbb6DkJDmczB0VFaUVDt8JMh6s” you want just the alphanumeric string between the quotes. The same goes for Yahoo and Bing.

    Try that and report back.

  4. mydealcracker January 3, 2010 / 12:38 am

    Thank you, I finally got google to verify my site. It was easy after I did what you said. Unfortunately I am still failing with yahoo and bing.

  5. James January 3, 2010 / 7:44 am

    I just tested Yahoo and Bing. Bing worked right away and Yahoo says it could take up to 24 hours for them to verify, so keep checking them. I looked at your source again and it looks correct now.

  6. Andryan January 6, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    Error… Google can’t find the code. Please help me.

    • James January 6, 2010 / 10:42 pm

      Looking at your source the code looks correct. However, you have this in your robots.txt file:
      User-agent: *

      Which I believe is blocking all spiders and probably Googles. Remove it and try again… let me know what happens.

  7. Rebecca January 9, 2010 / 8:39 am

    Thank you for such a clear and easy to follow set of instructions! I’ve been trying to work out how to do this for about an hour and couldn’t follow other advice I found. You have saved me from potentially hours more frustration!

    • James January 9, 2010 / 8:53 am

      Great Rebecca, glad it helped you out.

  8. Andryan January 10, 2010 / 12:52 am

    Where I can find and edit that robots.txt?

  9. Dan February 12, 2010 / 9:18 am

    Nice – thank you!

    The only problem is the plug-in gives me a 400 Error when I try and save changes – but I think this is a server problem rather than a problem with the plug-in.

  10. Dan February 12, 2010 / 5:11 pm

    Got it working… Web host needed to ass mod_security exclusion rules. Awesome plug-in!

  11. James February 15, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    Great, glad to hear you got it working Dan.

  12. Scott February 27, 2010 / 11:34 am

    Hey James!

    I’m having the same problem as mydealcracker…I’m getting backslashes when I hit submit, which gives me an error when webmaster tools goes out to verify. Here is the code:


    I checked the options folder in phpmyadmin and there was nothing in there regarding verification codes for google, bing or yahoo.

    Any thoughts?


  13. Ray March 9, 2010 / 10:41 am

    If I install this on WPMU, will each site owner then need to change the Google/Yahoo codes or will Google, et.all assume that it is just a single site?

  14. Matty@multieffectspedal March 14, 2010 / 8:13 pm


    Thank you for your article I just installed the plugins and google, yahoo and bing says my sites are varified.
    Can you tell me, once my sites are varified how long does it take for my site to get index and ranked in Google?

    also do you have any recommended plugins to help my site rank better?

  15. nikhil April 6, 2010 / 9:33 am

    Thanks James.. Your plugin works without any problems. I was struggling for the last one week to verify my site.. Thanks a ton..

  16. nikhil April 6, 2010 / 9:40 am

    Works great..
    THanks a ton..I was struggling for the last one week..

  17. Dervm May 5, 2010 / 5:50 am

    I tried the plugin on several blogs but it isnt working for example (bedrijfs oprichting . nl )Can you please help me?

  18. mike May 5, 2010 / 9:54 am

    I have been trying to get this thing to work. It will not verify even though I followed your instructions. Please help

  19. mike May 5, 2010 / 10:06 am

    It is working now. Sorry. This is great.

  20. shane May 8, 2010 / 7:02 am

    I have your plugin installed on all my websites. It works great and I have had nothing but success with it. Thank you

  21. OurSharedEarth April 2, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    Your plugin was recommended to me by Andy Jenkins. You may see an increase in installs because of it. I used Google Tools on another site, but installed your plugin for my new site (Just went up a month ago.) Looking forward to seeing stats from all three. Awesome idea and thanks for the easy install info.



  22. Stephen April 6, 2011 / 7:47 pm

    Downloaded your plugin and copied just code content:

    When I click the verify button I get:
    Verification failed. Your meta tag is not formatted correctly. Copy the meta tag exactly like the example in the instructions below.

    Tried a dozen times – how long does it take or am I missing something?

  23. divya August 1, 2011 / 7:52 pm

    Hi I cant get this to work. I have entered in my verification code, but it doenst reformat it after I hit save…not sure what to do next.

    • James August 5, 2011 / 7:59 am

      Hmm.. wow, seems you caught me with my pants down. I thought I’d uploaded 2.0 of this already. NOT!! Let me do a once over of the code and I’ll get it posted. Sorry.

  24. James August 27, 2011 / 8:10 pm

    Updated version has been posted to the SVN.

  25. jon September 12, 2011 / 1:15 pm

    Hi thanks for your plugin its a great idea only problem is its not working for me, I installed it fine can see where to enter the code I enter the following then click veify zyu2i-3tKdxq-Ju99sY5zOS7mhCjJHWU3pEGsekHKco but just get Verification failed for http://www.slick-kicks.co.uk/ using the Meta tag method Please help 🙂

  26. Gillian September 23, 2011 / 5:14 am

    James, have downloaded the app, but when I go to activate it I get the message “The plugin does not have a valid header.” I tried removing it and downloading again and got the same message. It is also not showing up in the plugins menu. Can you help.

    • James November 3, 2011 / 9:38 am

      What version of WordPress are you using?

  27. myra November 2, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    Hi, I need expert help, if you don’t mind. I’ve been trying to use your plugin for months now unsuccessfully. What can I possibly be doing wrong, I see it works for everyone else.

    Thank you.

    • James November 3, 2011 / 9:33 am

      Not real sure Myra. What version of WordPress are you using? Can you give me the steps you are doing and what is/isn’t happening, aside from it just not working? Thanks

  28. myra November 3, 2011 / 11:09 am

    Hi, thanks for replying! I’m using 3.2.1, the Suffusion theme. I tried adding the code first into the html but I don’t see where in my html editor I’m supposed to add it. I finally just now went to header.php and I see it says the html for head and body, so I pasted the code for yahoo, and still won’t yahoo won’t authenticate it.

    I tried your plugin a few months ago, put the proper codes in for Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but they still won’t verify me.

    I woke up this morning to my site down, it’s finally back up, so I have to try again. I don’t know what I can possibly do differently.

    Then again, I don’t know much about computers either. I hope you can help me.

    • James November 3, 2011 / 11:46 am

      Well I thought I had fixed this but I just tried it and apparently not. You’ll get a string something like:

      Copy/Paste just the code portion..
      (ie: Kzo3qdcpBTVKwx6vT3ReBn7mzzOED1tmGRsPD4qigmI)

      Paste that into the appropriate field and it should work.

  29. myra November 3, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    Okay, I’ll try again. I’ll let you know. Thank you.

  30. myra November 3, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    Google and Yahoo went through, I’ll so Bing later. Thank you!!!

  31. myra November 3, 2011 / 6:55 pm

    Okay, what do I do now? Bing won’t verify me even though I did the exact same thing.

  32. myra November 4, 2011 / 11:51 am

    I tried again just now and Bing went through!

  33. Tammy November 13, 2011 / 9:37 pm

    I’ve been trying to get Bing to verify but no luck. Followed the instructions you gave yet Bing still doesnt recognize. You mentioned an update to this plugin??? I Just downloaded from this site but it shows v1.1 Where can I find a newer version?

    Any ideas why I can’t get Bing to verify?
    Your help is greatly appreciated!

  34. Dawn Rupersburg November 14, 2011 / 7:51 am

    Hi James: I’m on version 3.2.1
    For some reason when I hit save on the plugin it will not save the meta tags. I use your plug in on another WP blog I have and I have no problems. The difference is the one that works is hosted by WP and the one that doesn’t work is hosted by hostgator.

    Any ideas?

  35. Tammy November 14, 2011 / 8:00 pm

    This is for anyone having problems with Bing verification… as you can see from the above comment, I was having difficulty getting Bing to “see” my site.

    Depending on how your site shows on the internet ( www or non www) it can affect whether Bing verifies your site or not.

    Being in the habit like most NEWBIES I just typed in http://www.mysite.com when asked for my website address…. not paying attention to the fact that my site is set to non-www.

    Hope this helps anyone that may be making the same mistake I did.

    • deb January 19, 2012 / 6:05 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! i made the same mistake. got Google to verify, but still not sure about Bing. There was no confirmation.

  36. David Allen December 20, 2011 / 9:32 am

    I’ve installed the plugin and gone to the settings page called: ‘Webmaster Tools Verification ( v.1.1 )’
    It shows:
    ‘Google Webmaster Tools’
    ‘Yahoo Site Explorer’
    ‘Bing Webmaster Center’
    each one followed by some code.
    There is no place to paste code on this settings screen.
    I’ve gone to the Google Webmaster Central site and selected the ‘alternate methods’ option and then selected ‘Add a meta tag to your site’s home page’.
    I’m then asked to ‘Copy the meta tag below, and paste it into your site’s home page. It should go in the section, before the first section’ followed by some code.
    How do I access the section of which you show the screenshot above? What do I paste where?

  37. Ann-Louise January 6, 2012 / 1:59 am

    Sorry James when I copy & paste the Google meta tag into the text field nothing is appearing at all. Google is naturally saying it can’t verify my website. I’m using WordPress version 3.3.1 I was sucessful with Bing just not Google. Can you please help?

  38. Stephen Allison January 11, 2012 / 7:25 am

    Hi James,

    Thank you very much for the plugin. I have just downloaded the update. Do I need to go back through the process with the search engines again and fill in new details?


    Allison Architecture

    • James January 11, 2012 / 3:46 pm

      Stephen, only if they’ve changed for some reason.

  39. Paul Davis January 11, 2012 / 11:05 am


    I have the same issue as the user in the previous post (David Allen). I’m using your Webmaster Tools Verification ( v.1.1 ) plug in with Word Press 3.3.1 with a Pro Photo version 3.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated.



    • James January 11, 2012 / 3:48 pm

      I’ve published an update that should fix the problem. It should be available in the plugin library any time.

  40. Aaron January 12, 2012 / 10:41 am

    Great Plugin!! Just wanted to let you know that Yahoo Site explorer is now merged with Bing. Just happened a bit ago. Just so you could update your site with the links too. And for any new users.

  41. Georgie March 12, 2012 / 8:36 pm

    Hi there,
    I have downloaded your plugin. It is appearing under plug ins but not under tools. When I click to import it under tools it is not on the list of options to import. Please help. I am really stuck.

  42. Georgie March 12, 2012 / 8:41 pm

    found it – please ignore previous email. Sorry!

  43. Mitch July 31, 2012 / 10:29 pm

    Is there any plans to update this plugin according to WordPress plugins section it has not been updated in over 2 years. You have the best plugin and hate to see it die.
    Please Keep this Plugin alive its the only one that used to work before all the updates and Bing and yahoo merge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *