Google Strengthens Search Console Security With Token Removal Tools

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Screenshot of the Google Search Console homepage viewed on a web browser, displaying text "improve your performance on Google Search" and including a speedometer graphic.

Google is rolling out an update to Search Console that makes it easier to manage unused ownership tokens.

These tokens, commonly called verification codes, establish website ownership across various Google products, including Search Console and Merchant Center.

Sometimes, these tokens are left behind after website ownership changes, posing risks to data integrity and access control.

Google previously rolled out improvements to the user and permissions management report to address that issue. Today’s update focuses on making the data more accurate, reflecting the actual state of unused ownership tokens.

Streamlined Token Removal Process

Under the new system, website owners can follow a straightforward process to verify and remove unused ownership tokens.

The steps involve:

  1. Visiting the Users and permissions interface within Search Console.
  2. Clicking on the “Unused ownership tokens” section.
  3. Select the tokens to be removed and confirm the action.
  4. Clicking “Verify removal” to ensure the unused ownership token has been successfully purged from the system.

By providing a dedicated flow for token removal and verification, Google is helping you minimize potential security risks from outdated or lingering access credentials.

The announcement emphasized:

“The update rolled out today lets you verify the removal of the unused verification token so that removed owners cannot regain access to the property.”

This highlights the need to maintain a secure and up-to-date access management system.

Why SEJ Cares

Google’s efforts to address unused ownership tokens demonstrate a commitment to protecting website owners.

By enhancing the management tools within Search Console, users can detect and mitigate potential vulnerabilities arising from outdated or forgotten access credentials.

How This Can Help You

The new token removal and verification process introduced by Google offers several key benefits:

  1. Improved Security: By enabling the removal of unused ownership tokens, you can revoke access from individuals who no longer require it, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  2. Simplified Ownership Transitions: The new tools help ensure a smooth transition during ownership transfers or personnel changes.
  3. Compliance and Auditing: For businesses operating in regulated industries or adhering to strict data privacy and security standards, the ability to verify the removal of unused ownership tokens can aid in compliance efforts.


What are the implications of Google’s Search Console update for website security?

The update to Google’s Search Console presents several implications for website security:

  • Improvement in managing site ownership by streamlining the process of removing unused verification tokens.
  • Enhancing security by preventing removed owners from regaining unauthorized access to website properties.
  • Supporting compliance and auditing requirements, especially in industries with stringent data privacy and security standards.

Can removing unused ownership tokens affect my website’s presence in Google’s search results?

Removing unused ownership tokens won’t affect your website’s presence in Google’s search results.

The process is strictly a security and access management measure, ensuring that only current, authorized personnel can access the site’s Search Console data.

In what way does Google’s focus on token removal underscore its commitment to web security?

Google’s emphasis on managing ownership tokens within Search Console underscores its commitment to web security in the following ways:

  • It reflects recognition of the potential risks associated with outdated or forgotten access credentials.
  • It demonstrates proactive measures to protect website owners and their data from unauthorized access.
  • Ensures that the Search Console tools evolve to meet the security needs of modern web management practices.

Featured Image: Satheesh Sankaran/Shutterstock

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