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Inside Google Sitemaps: Site Verification

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Site Verification

This morning we learned of an issue with the Google Sitemaps tool that may have temporarily enabled users to view statistics about sites they do not own. We acted quickly and fixed the issue. To ensure the security of all sites using the Google Sitemaps tool, we will re-verify all sites added in the last 48 hours.

When we first started showing statistics a couple of months ago, we put a system in place to prevent anyone other than site owners from seeing stats for a site. We ask each site owner to place a unique file on the site and then we check to see if that file exists. When we do that check, we first make sure that the server isn't misconfigured to return a valid page when a request is made for a page that doesn't exist. We only verify sites that are configured correctly. You can read more about that process in our documentation.

Unfortunately, with our latest release, a bug prevented this process from working correctly. We fixed this as soon as we found out about the problem. We take your privacy very seriously and are currently investigating other approaches to further enhance security.

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