Note: Google Apps for Work is now known as G Suite. Most of the features, and the process for domain ownership verification, however remains the same.
The very first step to activate Google Apps Service on your website is to verify your domain ownership. To put it from Google’s perspective, in order to protect your domain from malicious usage, they would first need to ensure that you own the particular domain. Only upon successful domain ownership verification, you will be allowed to access Google Apps services, including Gmail, through your website console.
Google provides four different options to a website owner to confirm his/her claim on a particular domain. You are entitled to choose any of the four methods listed below, depending upon your convenience and expertise:
- Creating TXT Record or CNAME Record in hosting panel’s DNS Settings.
- Uploading an HTML file to your web server.
- Inserting a meta tag on your home page.
- Using your Analytics tracking code.
In this tutorial, we will explain domain ownership verification process using option 1, i.e., by creating a TXT/CNAME record in your cPanel’s DNS Settings. Two prerequisites to perform this domain ownership verification are (a) a Google Apps account and (b) cPanel log in credential.
You can sign up for Google Apps Service here. Once registered, login to your Google Apps admin console, go to ‘Verification Instructions’ and generate your security token. The security token is a string of 86 characters beginning with ‘gv-‘, followed by a randomly generated 52 character string which ends with ‘.domainverify.googlehosted.com’.
After acquiring the security token, you are now all set to verify your domain ownership by simply following the seven steps depicted below.
Domain Ownership Verification Steps Involving cPanel Interface
Step 1: Logging In To cPanel Interface
Log in to your cPanel interface using the Username and Password provided by your hosting service provider.
Step 2: Locating Simple DNS Zone Editor
Simple DNS Zone Editor can be found on your cPanel home page under ‘Domains’ section. Click on the icon to get in.
Step 3: Selecting the Desired Domain Name
From the drop-down list, select the desired domain name on which you would like to verify your ownership. Upon selecting the domain name, three new fields will load on the same interface. The second field will be for adding a CNAME record – which we will be using here.
Step 4: Adding a CNAME Record
There will be two input boxes to fill in – (a) Name and (b) CNAME. In ‘Name’ text box, input the 86 character long security token that you had earlier obtained from your Google Apps admin console, while Google’s URL, google.com (without http:// and www) should be inserted in the second input box which would read ‘CNAME’. Click on ‘Add CNAME Record’ button to add the same to the list of records titled ‘User-Defined Records’. A confirmation message will also be displayed upon successfully adding the CNAME record.
With this, you have completed the first part of domain ownership verification process. The second part will involve your Google Apps dashboard.
[Please note that it may take up to 72 hours for the CNAME record to get propagated, after adding the new CNAME record, hence Step 5 till Step -7 should ideally be performed after 72 hours]
Domain Ownership Verification Steps Using Google Apps Dashboard
Step 5: Logging In To Google Apps Dashboard
Below the dashboard menu, there will be ‘Verify Domain Ownership’ link. Click on that link and it will open a new interface.
Step 6: Choosing the Desired Verification Method
There will be a drop-down box named ‘Verify Your Domain Ownership’. Click on the drop-down list and select verification method as ‘Change your CNAME record’.
Step 7: Verifying Domain Ownership
Upon selecting ‘Change your CNAME record’ as the verification method, click on ‘Verify’ tab. Google will perform a CNAME lookup for the security token (86 character string) on your domain before stamping your ownership on that particular domain.
Once the verification process gets completed, your Google Apps Service account status will be set to ‘Active’ and you will be able to perform all the Google Apps related operations from your dashboard.