What is IndexNow?

What We Know

IndexNow is an open source and open to all participating search engines. When certain content is published or updated on a website, IndexNow notifies all participating search engines, in turn this reduces the time for indexing dramatically. How it does this is by changing the content discovery to the push method where a CMS such as WordPress tells the search engines when the content is published or has been updated. This is beneficial because it takes away the wait time for search engines to try and discover the content. Instead, the search engines know about it right away and they can visit the site to grab the new or updated pages.

Why This Is Important

Search engines have been accessing content the same way for way to long. If you are not a large website with a lot of traffic, chances are it can be days or even weeks before a search engine accesses your site and indexes new or updated pages. This can cost you important traffic to competitors. With IndexNow, an open-source protocol, websites can index across search engines, updating results based upon the latest content changes, immediately. In a simpler form, a ping is sent to notify search engines that a URL and its content has been added, updated or even deleted, which improves efficiency.

How it Works

Search engines obtain data through a push and pull operative.

  1. Pull: a search engine visits your site to request web pages and gather data from the server.
  2. Push: a web publisher or content management system notifies the search engine that pages have been added, deleted, or have any other changes have been made.

Where IndexNow differs, is that it allows all URLs submitted to any indexNow enabled search engine to be simultaneously submitted to all the other search engines using the protocol.

How Do You Use It?

It is pretty straightforward when it comes to IndexNow

  1. Generate an API Key- this is submitted alongside URLs to ensure ownership of the domain. You can use an online key generator tool for this
  2. Host API Key- Your API key is hosted on the root directory in a text format
  3. Submit URLs with Parameters- You can either submit URLs individually or in bulk. Submit your key location as a parameter.
  4. Check your submissions- using the Bing Webmaster tools, you can verify which URLs have been submitted and discovered.

So Who is Using It?

IndexNow is still fairly new, at the time of publication, only Bing and Yandex were using IndexNow.

There is confirmation that Google will be testing IndexNow, they have no confirmed whether or not they will use it but just the fact that they are willing to experiment with it says a lot about its potential.

Other Uses and FAQs

  • You can provide search engines with a list of up to 10,000 URLs with a single API call.
  • The sooner your pages are indexed, the more quickly they can start competing for high-ranking search engine spots

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