Google Search Console Ownership Verification Failed

by Nov 27, 2021Blogging Journal

I had an issue with Google Ownership verification which was the first step for a website going offline because of an Origin Error. And then the second error Verification Also Negotiates appeared which I need to solve.

This was another experience in my blogging journal.

Google Search Console Verification

One day I wanted to check the status of one pillar page in google search console because I was changing the content on that page.

But, then the problem appeared saying that I need to verify my ownership.

Note: I am using Ezoic for ads and Siteground as my hosting.

Google Search Console Property Access

When I opened google search console the message below appeared. Saying I do not have access to my property.

Google search console property access-1

I did not change anything on the website or on my host, Siteground, where usually DNS TXT record is set so google search console can verify the ownership.

So this was so strange so I went to the Siteground website in my dashboard and added again TXT records with google verification code.

The code I have entered was the one below when you want to verify the ownership.

Google search console- verify domain ownership via DNS record-1

Add Google Search Console Verification Code to Siteground DNS Records

In the SIteground under DNS records I have added a new TXT record.

Siteground DNS zone editor - 4

Inside the field for the code I have put google verification property code as below on the image.

You can see that on the first row I have google verification property code.

Siteground DNS zone editor -3

When I finished with Siteground I clicked to verify the ownership on google search console, but an error appeared. Google could not verify my ownership for some reason.

Error said that they could find verification token in my DNS TXT records.

They found

v=spf1+a+mx+ip4:xx.xxx.xx.xxx include_spf.mailspamprotection.com ~all

I have removed the IP address above just for security reasons.

Then one of the options was to remove google search console property and create a new one for the same website.

I have even removed property and added new, but the same process was asking ownership verification and each time I have tried it failed.

Google search console- ownership verification failed-1

Ezoic DNS Record for Google Ownership Property Verification

Then, I contacted Siteground support and they told me that I am using Ezoic DNS so I should change the DNS record on their side.

So, I have logged into Ezoic dashboard and found under DNS settings where to add google verification code.

In the list there was already a TXT record for google property verification which was strange.

It was not clear why then id does not work.

 

EZOIC DNS Records - verify ownership-1

So, I have added one more TXT record with google verification code for the property.

In the new window I have filled data that needed to be filled.

EZOIC DNS Records - New DNS TXT record - 3

After that in the list of all records under DNS settings I have seen my entry.

So, I was thinking now it should be ok. Google should see this and allow me to see my property in the google search console.

EZOIC DNS Records - New DNS TXT record - 4

Google Owner Verification Failed

But I was wrong. Google could not verify the ownership even I have added a new TXT record in the DNS settings.

Google search console- ownership verification failed

Then I emailed Ezoic support to help me find the solution because Siteground support told me that on their side they cannot do anything because I am using Ezoic DNS records.

And then the fun part started.

Ezoic and Siteground Support on DNS Issue

I have tried to get feedback on what to do and solve the issue, but Ezoic said from their side everything is ok and I should contact Siteground.

When I contacted Siteground they said everything is ok and I should contact Ezoic to solve the problem.

And that lasted for 2 days when my site went offline.

The website was not accessible from the front end and from the backend. I have mailed Ezoic and Siteground.

And the whole story lasted for a week until Siteground took over because I had changed the name server back to Siteground and everything was working ok. The site was online and confirmed that the issue is on the Ezoic side.

Ezoic and Siteground DNS Issue Ping-Pong

Here I will post our conversation between me and Ezpoc so I hope it helps you if you encounter the same issue.

This is their answers at the end on my question what has caused the whole problem with google owner verification and then website going offline:

Ezoic: Can you please send me a copy of your DNS records exactly as they appear at your host? These might be labelled ‘zone files’ and will include CNAME, A, @, www records and so on. I want to double-check that the list of entries we hold here at Ezoic, match the records at your host exactly. It’s preferable if these are sent in text format.

There was a few changes that needed to be updated with your DNS records. I have gone ahead and made these changes. Can i check if you are still seeing the issue with your Google console?

Me saying:
currently the whole website is down. And I cannot access the Ezoic dashboard also for some reason.
Siteground support told me that cannot see your DNS responding.

Ezoic:

Origin errors are typically caused by either a mismatch in DNS records or the SSL setup between your original setup and the Ezoic setup, or by the host or a security layer blocking requests going via Ezoic servers.

This means the errors are being caused by the host or a security layer blocking requests. Depending on where requests are being blocked, you can resolve this either by whitelisting Ezoic’s Ips in security plugins, or by asking your host to implement one of these fixes on their end:

https://support.ezoic.com/kb/article/how-to-fix-origin-errors

Whitelisting our IPs should bring your site back online.

Me saying:

But it does not make sense.

 
Have you checked DNS records I have sent to you? Is there any mismatch?
Whitelisting Ezoic IP was done in the beginning and that is ok from Siteground side.

 
Up to now everything was ok and the site was running fine.
What could be that it does not work anymore? And I cannot access the Ezoic account dashboard. So I was connecting these two issues together.
 
Can you please check again on the Ezoic side?

Me saying:

Siteground says to me that the issue is on the Ezoic side.

I should change DNS on Ezoic side to:
This is the message they have sent to me:
It appears that the domain is not properly connected to the SIteGround host via the Ezoic systems, please go to their DNS zone file and make sure to upgrade the name servers or A record to: ns1.siteground.netns2.siteground.net Site IP 35.207.80.181

I can confirm that those DNS records have been checked. You can confirm that they match here: https://pubdash.ezoic.com/settings?scroll=dns (are you able to log into your dashboard now by the way?)

I double checked the specific record SiteGround mentioned, and can confirm that this is correct.

When Ezoic activates, the system passes along the request via one of Ezoic’s range of IP addresses, which is why the IP address appears different in the browser. This info might be helpful for your SiteGround agent: https://support.ezoic.com/kb/article/how-does-ezoics-name-server-integration-work  – please send them that article & a screenshot of the DNS records at Ezoic. This will help them to understand that the error does not lie in the DNS records.

Origin errors are usually a matter of the host blocking requests to the domain. Please could you ask SiteGround to double confirm that they are not blocking any requests & that the IP addresses are whitelisted? https://support.ezoic.com/kb/article/how-to-fix-origin-errors

If you like, I can deactivate the Ezoic proxy in the meantime until we get to the bottom of this? 

Siteground:

I have disabled our anti-bot AI for your domain and set up an X-Forwarded-For Header in your website’s wp-config.php file, according to this guide:

https://support.ezoic.com/kb/article/using-the-xforwardedfor-xff-header

All requirements seem to be completed but the website is still showing “Origin Error” on my end. Could you please contact Ezoic and ask them to see if anything else should be done.

Ezoic:

Based on the DNS records that were sent, our team had changed the CNAME record to be:

CNAME www.domainname.com is an alias of www.domainname.com.cdn.cloudflare.net.

Normally it is correct to follow exactly what is in the records from the host. However, in this case, having your site point to CloudFlare was incorrect and was causing the issue. Matt updated the CNAME www record to:

CNAME www www.domainname.com

So that record is no longer pointing to CloudFlare.

You can find the nameservers to point your site to in the Ezoic dashboard, by going to Settings –> Site Integration –> View Instructions –> and then you should see this screen:

Variant Also Negotiates Error

And then when we all thought the issue was solved I returned back to Ezoic name servers and the website was online.

But, sometimes the website was offline for some reason.

And that lasted a day or two and then the website went offline completely. The error I have received was as on the image:

Variant Also Negotiates

Variant Also Negotiates

Again, the website was down and I have returned back to Ezoic with a message that a new problem appeared. They were messing something with the DNS records and it seems that was done by someone who does not understand the topic.

Just to back up this thinking I have received email responses from several people from Ezoic support answering on the issue I had. So, if all of them were doing on their own on this topic they all have done something.

And to add to this thinking, I have received in previous messages the same message about DNS records from Siteground which I have sent at the beginning.

But, Ezoic started again to search for what was wrong and at the same time I have returned back to the Siteground name server to keep the website online.

Variant Also Negotiates Solved

After a day, Ezoic support contacted me back with the message they have solved the issue.

Our team followed up with us and it seems that the issue now seems to be resolved. You can go ahead and point the nameservers back to Ezoic and we expect to not face any further issues after that.

It actually looks like the issue has been resolved. The issue was the www record pointing to itself. We have updated the record to point to the root record.

Addtiaonnly, SG automatically has a shortlist of our IPs whitelisted, but your site was not enabled on our end. It is now and should resolve the origin errors as well. 

You should be all set on both issues.

And, finally, the issue was solved. After that I had no problems with the website access.

But, I was curious what was the reason why all this started so I have asked them.

“We had one of the engineers implement the fix so it was in our backend and unfortunately can not be shared via pictures. I can assure you though the issue was the www record was not properly pointed to the root domain. This has now been fixed. No one at Ezoic changes the records unless there are DNS issues and/or we know the issue and have a copy of the DNS records from your host”

Then I have asked again to give me clarification what caused the problem:

Me asking:
ok. So www issue was on your side.
I have received an earlier picture where the issue was with DNS records and how your colleagues have solved that, so I would like to get an answer again with images.
 
Now, tell me. What caused the issue in the first place? Was it you on your side with DNS records or was there something else?
Again, I need to understand why google ownership verification failed and then the whole website was down.

Ezoic reply:

Our team had informed us that the origin error appearing was indeed been caused by the requests being blocked from the host. Siteground and Ezoic have already implemented a solution of automatically whitelisting IPs and it seems that for some reason your site was not enabled to be in that list.

Our team went ahead manually and enabled your site to be on this list for whitelisting so the origin error should be resolved now.

As for the error message, “Variant also negotiates”, this seemed to happen because the correct www record should be “domainname.com” instead of “www.domainname.com”.This was likely creating a loop as the www record was pointing to itself and therefore we had this message appearing.

We have manually updated this record from our end so this should be fixed as well.

I hope this will help you if you experience the same issue with Ezoic.

“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This does not cost you anything extra on the usual cost of the product, and may sometimes cost less as I have some affiliate discounts in place I can offer you”

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