Google Sidewiki – How to Claim Your Website

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone. Even if you’re not in Canada, you can appreciate the fact that we have a national holiday.

Yesterday, just because I could, I went and posted a comment (positive) on the BBC website. I was surprised that I was the first. Of course, maybe no one will every read it but it made me proud. I was rather surprised that no one at BBC had gone in and claimed the site and written their own comments. As I mentioned in a previous post, once you’re claimed your site and posted as the owner, you comment always show up first. That means that whatever negative things people say about you will be buried just that little bit further in the stack of mentions.

How to claim your site

Be prepared to be very close to Google from now on. To get in to claim your site you need a google account.

  1. Go to Google Webmaster Tools When you arrive on the page you will see this button.
    google_claim1
  2. Once you’ve created your Google Account, login here.
    google_claim2
  3. Next, go to Add a Site. See the red arrow on the following image.google_claim3
  4. Now you have to verify your ownership of your site. If you have no HTML or FTP knowledge, then you need your in house IT person or your web designer to do this for you. It is a very simple step that takes only a few minutes, but first you need to know what you’re doing. You can verify with either an HTML file or a in the of your page.
    google_claim4
  5. To access the Sidewiki, you need to install the Google Toolbar. (Remember I said that you’d be getting very intimate with Google.) Go to Google Toolbar and follow the instructions. In the following image you can also see an example of a Sidewiki and the yellow tab that indicates there is a Sidewiki entry.
    google_claim5_toolbar

I’ve noticed that it took a day before my sites became available for writing a comment as owner of the site. I will post about the next steps tomorrow with some more details about what you should say in that first comment.

Note: You cannot claim a WordPress blog that is hosted on WordPress. You do not have access to the code to be able to verify your site.

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