Linking your online shop to Google: Search Console

11 Comments21 January 2021  |  Cate

Google Search Console

One of the most important steps to take once your new online shop is up and running is to make sure Google can see it. The quickest way to achieve this is by submitting your sitemap to them so they are aware you exist. This is done by connecting your online shop with Google's Search Console, formerly known as Webmaster Tools.

By connecting to Search Console you will be able to monitor certain areas of your website such as search queries, links to your site, mobile usability, index status and much more. It's a free service that only you as the site owner or authorized user can access for your website, so it's well worth spending a little time exploring everything.

Please note: If you are moving your site over from another platform, it is advisable not to make any changes until 48 hours after you've gone live to ensure Google can access the new site.

Verifying your website

The first thing you need to do is verify your site. You can do this by following the steps below:

Step 1 - Create a Google Search Console account

Go to and log in with a Google login. If you don't already have a Google account, such as Gmail or YouTube, then you will need to create one.

Step 2 - Add a property

Add Domain to Google Search Console

In the URL prefix section type in your domain name. Your domain name should be with the http:// at the beginning if you are not using full site SSL or https:// if you are using full site SSL. Make sure you also include the www. For example -

Step 3 - Verify your website

Google Search Console Verification

Click the Continue button and make a note of the HTML verification file name shown in the 'Download the file' line. It will look similar to one highlighted above. Don't download the file or continue on further.

Step 4 - Add verification file to website

Google Search Console Verification File

Go to your website's admin console and type the file name into General / Settings  > Integrations > Google > Google Site Verification File field and save.

Step 5 - Check the verification

In Google Search Console click on the Verify button. It will then confirm the verification has been successful.

Submitting your sitemap

Once you've verified your site you can submit your sitemap to Google. This will allow their system to crawl all of the live URLs on your website. Once this process has run through Google will be able to start indexing all of your pages.

Google Search Console Sitemaps

  • Step 1 - In the left hand menu click on Sitemaps.
  • Step 2 - Type in sitemap.xml after your domain name.
  • Step 3 - Click on the Submit button.

Once your sitemap has been submitted Google will automatically continue to crawl it to make sure it keeps up with any content changes or new pages added. This means there is no reason to resubmit your sitemap every time you make a change.

In the Coverage section of the Search Console you will gradually start to see the number of web pages on your site that have been submitted to Google and the number they have indexed.

Generally the indexed number is less than the number submitted. This can be for a number of reasons such as paginated pages controlled through canonical tags, the content of the page not being relevant, or is not considered quality content or even violates Google's guidelines.

To find out more about how to make sure your pages are indexed please read Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Rehan Khan
25 November 2017  |  3:54


Margaret Tarason
28 April 2018  |  14:19

Map is definitely there and active. At the moment Google Search console says it cannot find the sitemap on my newly activated website. Is this because the new thawte certificate hasnt kicked in yet to provide the https, I've already activated the thawte process. If this isnt the explanation how do I get the web crawlers onto my sitemap?

30 April 2018  |  10:12

I can see that you went live with the site on Saturday, which means it is a bit of a waiting game, I'm afraid. Google works to its own timetable but it should start to pick up the sitemap in the next day or two, if it hasn't done already. Please do get in contact with our support team if you have any further questions.

Donna Orme
30 April 2018  |  16:55

I have been looking at my site and for some reason the padlock sign isn't seen in the bar ???

in google console its not showing up any pages on https/www.poshgypsies etc

google seems to be looking at http/www.poshgypsies

ive tried to figure it out but how do I do it so that google points to https and not http ... ? my site map has http ?? I don't know how to change

many thanks

30 April 2018  |  16:59

Hi Donna,

It is because your SSL certificate is currently set to just appear on the necessary pages, rather than the whole site. One of our support team will email you with details of how to change this for your whole site and the implications of doing so.

Dean Bufton
30 July 2021  |  13:32

The 10 Step Checklist for Going Live guide suggests completing the Google Search Console / Google Site Verification File Name field setup prior to going live. I assume that after going live the live site URL prefix will need to be used and the html name changed accordingly? I think the timing of when to do this needs to be more clearly stated as I've not gone live yet but have completed the instructions above, have I made an error in doing so?

30 July 2021  |  13:45

If the site is brand new, there's nothing wrong with setting up everything to connect it to Google before you go live. You will need to click the Verify button in Google once the site has gone live to confirm that it can see the site.

Dean Bufton
30 July 2021  |  14:07

Thanks for the quick reply and information Cate :)

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