Google Hosted Apps Update

This afternoon, I was in the process of trying to set up a new Google Hosted Apps account when I discovered something had changed. Apparently, Google is selecting people at random to try out a new verification method. In the past, your choices were:

  • Add a new CNAME record to your DNS zone file
  • Upload an HTML file to your server
  • Add a meta tag to your home page and/or site template

However, a new option has taken the place of the CNAME option; and it doesn’t yet seem well supported. Instead of adding a new CNAME record, Google wants some users to add new TXT records to their DNS zone files. There are currently two problems with this, though.

  1. A lot of hosts apparently only support a single TXT record, and many users seem to already have that slot filled for other services
  2. Google’s instructions for various hosts are extremely sparse; and about half of the hosts for which they do have instructions don’t support adding new TXT records

What are your thoughts? Is this a good move for Google? What are the advantages or disadvantages of switching from CNAME records to TXT records?