View Full Version : Google 404 error confusion

Jul 30, 2009, 06:50 PM
Hi everyone,

I've just added my site to Google Webmaster Tools and I need to verify it in order to continue. When I select the HTML verification method, I get the following error:

We've detected that your 404 (file not found) error page returns a status of 404 (Not found) in the header.

I'm at a bit of a loss, as I don't know why that's a problem :confused:

Is anyone able to explain this message to me?

Thanks :)

Jul 30, 2009, 07:06 PM
Did you create a file that looks like "googleRandomhashhere.html" and place it in your root web directory? It should have told you the file name to use for this file. Also remember to upload it to the server.

Jul 30, 2009, 08:17 PM
Yes, I did.

Jul 30, 2009, 09:18 PM
I found this discussion where someone was having the same issue (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=1eb9f49ba27c5351&hl=en). Not really sure if they solved their problem though. Sounds like something on their site may have been blocking part of Google. Do you have any text inside the html file? Mine just has the string "Google Verified"

Jul 30, 2009, 10:21 PM
I found that page too but couldn't glean anything useful from it. I ended up using the meta tag in the meantime which let me add the site, but at some point our CMS is going to remove the meta tag and then Google will lose the verification next time it crawls the site.

I just wonder why "your 404 page is returning 404" is even an error. That doesn't make much sense to me!