Inside Google Sitemaps: If you see a "we couldn't find your verification file" error when you try to verify
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When you verify site ownership, we check to see if the verification file exists on your webserver. We also make sure that your server returns a status of 404 (not found) when we request a file that doesn't exist. We do this to make sure that when we check to see if the verification file exists, we're getting the right response because it does exist and not because the server is misconfigured.
Some of you have gotten the following message when trying to verify your site: "We couldn't find your verification file. Make sure it is named correctly and is uploaded to the correct location." But when you check the file in a browser, it does exist.
We have looked into this and have found that we are displaying the incorrect error message. What is actually happening in this case is that when we request a file that doesn't exist, we are getting a response other than 404 or 200. (If we get a response of 200, we display a different error message.)
We are working to display the correct response for these cases. In the meantime, if you see this message when you try to verify and your verification does exist in the correct location, check your webserver configuration and make sure that it returns a status of 404 when a request is made for a non-existent page.
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