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 IndexNow: new way to ping sitemap changes, or not?
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Ecommerce Template Guru

1008 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2022 :  22:10:12  
In the past you have informed Search Engines about all the pages on your website that you would like displayed in search results by:

1) Generating a "sitemap.xml" file listing every canonical URL and uploading that file to your server.
2) Add a reference to the location of your "sitemap.xml" file in the "robots.txt" file located on your server.
3) Login to both your Google and Bing Search Consoles and submit the new updated Sitemap, OR use the Ping tool to submit that Sitemap.

So what has been the problem with that?

Unless you are a large high traffic website, it may be days or even weeks before a search engine recrawls your site, indexes new pages and removes those that have been deleted. Google say requesting a recrawl multiple times for the same URL or sitemap won't get it crawled any faster. Because there are literally billions of websites today, the technical workload being placed upon Searchbot Web Crawlers is actually becoming unsustainable.

What is IndexNow?

IndexNow is an easy way for website owners to instantly inform search engines about latest content changes on their website. In it's simplest form, IndexNow is a simple ping so that search engines know that a URL and its content has been added, updated, or deleted, allowing search engines to quickly reflect those change in their search results.

With IndexNow, search engines know immediately the URLs that have changed, helping them prioritize crawl for these URLs and thereby limiting organic crawling to discover new content. This new indexing method is already supported by Microsoft Bing, and Yandex.

An API key is needed to match the ownership of your domain, along with submitted URLs. That unique API key is uploaded to your website root directory in txt format. This will help in verifying the ownership of the submitted URLs, thus eliminating anonymous spam submissions.

On 13th May 2022 Microsoft Bing removed the option to use the anonymous Sitemap Ping submission method because "it was often subject to misuse by spammers".

How do you implement IndexNow?

Read the Bing Webmaster page here >>

Visit and read the Documentation and FAQ pages here >>

Watch the YouTube video here >>
That video recommends an SEO Plugin name RankMath (which I have not personally looked into.)

There is already a WordPress Plugin for IndexNow here >>

Will Google support IndexNow?

At this point in time, the answer is no, not yet. However, Google has shown interest in adding support for IndexNow. In their own words We are currently experimenting with this protocol in an internal environment.

Personally, because IndexNow will pass website content changes to all search engines instantly and prioritize searchbot web crawler activity, I suspect it will soon become the new standard method adopted by all. What do you think?


Edited by - ITZAP on 05/15/2022 23:08:08

ECT Moderator

3933 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2022 :  09:31:04  
This is an interesting development, but

1) Google does not support it.
2) you still need a sitemap.xml file for your whole site for search engines to visit.

Other than that you are correct. IndexNow is a way to add/edit/remove single or multiple URLs, but is not recommended for whole site submissions.

This looks like it may take off, but lets see.

Mike Beebe
DataLinks Software Solutions

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