Continuing from my previous post:
When starting to work with Google Webmaster Tools you will be asked to verify that you are the owner of the site. In reality it drills down to a check if you can add a meta tag or a html file to the website in question. FTP access is all that is needed.
If you choose meta tag, Google will ask you to add something like this:
<meta name=”verify-v1″ content=”<some string here>” >
to your website header.
What surprized me: That meta tag is not W3C compatible. To make it W3C compatible you need to add a forward slash right before the closing >.
<meta name=”verify-v1″ content=”<some string here>” />
I reported this bug at Google Webmasters forum, will see how it turns out.
Update: Fascinating. Seven minutes after posting the question I got an explanation why it is so:
You are supposed to adapt the code to the doctype you are using.
For an xhtml doctype meta tags must get closed with /> . For non-xhtml doctypes they must get closed only with > .
It is not possible to have a single meta tag that works with all doctypes. This rule on closing the tag also applies to all the unpaired html tags ( <meta , <link , <br , <hr ,etc). For valid xhtml they must be self-closed. For valid html they must not be self-closed.
Now, why didn’t I thought of that.
Still, it leaves something to be desired. Nowadays more and more people are using xhtml doctypes. So, I “made a feature request” of sorts at a comment to the same post.
Google knows of your website: You point them to it, they can get your doctype information. It should be possible to create a verification string for your doctype on the fly.