Here’s how it works:
1. Sign in to your Go Daddy hosting account
Here you’ll see a new Google Webmaster Tools link. Click that link and you’ll be asked to enable Google Webmaster Tools for your Go Daddy account.
2. Enable Webmaster Tools and verify your domains
Once enabled, Google will attempt to verify your domain names. Out of the seven domains I have registered, it only successfully managed to verify five of them on its first attempt, but you can select individual domains and retry at any time.
What Go Daddy is actually doing here is creating the HTML verification file for each domain in your hosting account and uploading it to your web space, which Google then verifies in the usual manner.
3. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools
In order to use Google Webmaster Tools through the Go Daddy control panel, you’ll need to setup what is essentially a Go Daddy Google Apps account for the wmt.secureserver.net domain. Since they’re using the SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) Service, this is pretty straight forward. All you need to do is click a link, read the terms and conditions and click a button.
Don’t let the random email address shown for your login name confuse you; you’ll never need to enter this or a password anywhere as authentication is handled through the Go Daddy control panel and Single Sign-On.
4. Use Google Webmaster Tools
Once you’ve created your account, you’re able to use all the usual features of Google Webmaster Tools for your Go Daddy domains – and any other domains you choose to add to your account.
This is all made possible through a Google Apps integration. Here’s the URL – which currently redirects and causes an ASP.NET error if you’re not signed in to your Go Daddy account. I originally spotted this service was enabled in Google Apps about four months ago but Webmaster Tools still isn’t listed on the Google Apps Partners page as a feature. While it seems to be a custom integration for this pilot, the Webmaster Tools Team says they “look forward to working with other web hosting companies to add Google Webmaster Tools to their products soon.”
So, is it useful? Well, it’s useful for any Go Daddy customers who weren’t already aware of Google Webmaster Tools and who don’t want to use a Google Account to do this. Personally, I’ll continue to use my Google Account though. I guess it’s a shame that it’s not possible to just link my current Google Account to my Go Daddy account so that whenever I add a domain, it automatically gets added and verified to my standard Google Webmaster Tools dashboard.
Google partnered with Go Daddy to sell domain names almost a year ago. Earlier this year, there were rumors suggesting that Google might even acquire Go Daddy. Google is already an ICANN accredited registrar but if they were to seriously consider selling domain names and “proper” hosting themselves (i.e. not Google Pages) buying “the world’s largest hostname provider in the web hosting space” would certainly be a good start. Could this be just the beginning of something much, much bigger?
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