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When you’re creating a website, it’s best to submit your website on Google Search Console before optimizing your posts for ranking using on-page SEO. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add website to Google Search Console in case you haven’t claimed yours yet.
Adding your website to Google Search Console is actually a way that Google associates who the owner or who manages the website. If you’re looking for a way how to ensure that Google indexes your content (or helps your website appear on Google Search) then it’s for another article about submitting a sitemap.
Why You Can Include All Domain Versions
The most common SEO practice is only submitting the HTTPS version of a website to the Google Search Console since Google released the Domain Property verification last 2019. But did you know that Google doesn’t mind if you include your domain’s HTTP, WWW, and Non-WWW versions on your Search Console?
The discussion below can be a bit technical, you can skip it.
This is especially helpful if your website has different subdomains under it.
In the search console, the domain property (the website name i.e., thisisthedomainname.com) captures every data of all the domain versions under it (HTTPS/HTTP, WWW/Non-WWW, and other subdomains). And makes it easy for consolidating and monitoring the overall performance of your website.
Domain versions (HTTPS/HTTP, WWW/Non-WWW, and other subdomains). may typically show different metrics when compared to the domain property.
But in case a website has no subdomains, the HTTPS or the HTTPS://WWW. version will show the same metrics and data as the domain property.
Adding other domain versions can also help you discover the HTTP links that were served whenever your SSL has expired/changed.
You may find that your website’s HTTP domain version will have traffic even if you only initially submitted it on the HTTPS version.
This is also a common error on WordPress websites built by Elementor after they have gotten an SSL.
While there are ways of fixing these, having the HTTP and http://www. version on your Search Console can help you on being vigilant whenever there are both HTTP and HTTPS URLs on a website. Chrome Console and SEO tools might flag this occurrence as “Mixed Content”.
Should I add my other domain versions then?
What if I only have the HTTPS/HTTPS-WWW version submitted on my Console?
Well if you have a small website, without any subdomains and you don’t have any problems regarding your SSL then, by all means, it’s alright to not include your other domains on Search Console.
Does adding other domain versions affect my SEO?
Most SEO specialists may think that it may affect canonicalization. But the truth is it won’t as long as you are serving your URLs on your preferred version (HTTPS or HTTPS-WWW) and you only submit your sitemap in ONE of those domain versions.
As a general practice don’t submit your sitemap on your HTTP or HTTP-WWW versions and monitor your HTTP/HTTPS URLs through the new HTTPS Reports rolled out by Google just this September 2022.
How to add website to Google Search Console and their domain versions
Here’s a step-by-step guide on claiming your domain property on Google Search Console, its domain versions, and subdomains.
1. Go to Google
2. Type “Search console google”
3. Click on Google Search
4. Click on Google Search Console Tools
5. Click on Start now
6. Choose the email you are using/or will use for website management.
7. Click on Add Property on the left most side.
8. Click on “+ Add property”
9. First, type in on the Domain Property type for verification
This ensures that data, issues and suggested fixes for the website’s main domain (and if there are subdomains) can be captured. ie: Type in domain.com or if you’re using a www version, type www.domain.com
10. Click on CONTINUE
11. Click your preferred verification method (TXT or CNAME)
12. Copy text area by clicking “COPY”
13. After you have added the TXT or CNAME to your DNS file wait a two minutes before clicking “VERIFY”
Try asking the help of your hosting provider for editing DNS files.
If you’re doing it yourself, you may have to wait 1-2 minutes for TXT or CNAME to be recognized. If in case it needs more time, you can always click VERIFY LATER.
14. Click on DONE
Successful domain verification will have the prompt as shown below, you can click DONE or GO TO PROPERTY.
15. Add another property by clicking “+ Add property” again like Step 6-7
16. Add the HTTPS version of your website.
Instead of doing the same as Step 9, you’ll now type into the URL PREFIX. Input the https:// version of your website. We’ll put it later on if you’re using a www version.
17. Click on CONTINUE
18. Click on DONE
As long as you have already verified the domain ownership through a successful verification on Steps 9-14, Search Console will automatically include verify domain ownership for all versions.
19. Repeat Steps 15-17 BUT type in an http:// version of your domain
For example: http://domain.com.
20. Repeat Steps 15-17 again but verify for www and non-www domain versions for your domain
For example, if your domain name is sample.org, your Search Console should be verified for the following versions of your domain:
Just like this website that I am blogging on:
21. Repeat Steps 15-17 again if you want to add subdomain to google search console
Adding your domain property on Google Search Console can help you monitor any error, its performance, and any discrepancies you may have on your website.
Learning how to add website to Google Search Console may not be enough to signal Google to index your website and thus you need also need to learn to add up your sitemap. But let’s have that discussion for another day!