IndexNow, What is it & Why Do I Need it?

 Tuesday, August 9, 2022

IndexNow, What is it & Why Do I Need it?

Ranking in search engines requires your site and pages are indexed. Pulling this information from your site has always been a task for the search engine bots, and can take some time. With open source IndexNow, you can now push your data, speeding up the time to get your site and pages indexed.  

When you set up your website and post SEO-optimized content, you hope people will notice you and visit your site. A way to do this has been to Optimize your website for search engines to find and pull that data, indexing it. The higher the rankings, means more traffic! 

However, getting indexed by search engines isn’t a fast process. Search engines first crawl and index web pages, then the ranking begins. It may take several days, to weeks, and your patience can be tested.  

But what if you can get your content indexed faster?  

In October 2021, Microsoft Bing announced the development of a new crawling protocol called IndexNow that claims to make indexing more efficient. Even Google has confirmed the protocol’s testing.  

So what is IndexNow? Let’s uncover every bit of detail in this blog.  

What is IndexNow? 

IndexNow is a Microsoft-developed open-source protocol for instant or near-instant indexing of website pages. It allows web publishers to instantly inform search engines about the latest updates on their websites.  

Simply put, IndexNow lets you notify search engines that a URL and its content have been added, updated, or deleted. Search engines can then send bots to crawl, index, and reflect the changes to the webpage. 

How is IndexNow Different? 

There are two ways to index data - pull and push. 

Search engines today use XML sitemaps to pull data to the index. A bot attempts to visit every link it can find on your website. The problem is that it does this at random intervals. It may take days before your website is recrawled and new content is included in the index.  

The IndexNow protocol follows push indexing, where you or your CMS notifies search engines about new changes on particular URLs. You don’t have to wait for search engine bots to find what’s new. Instead, you inform them to crawl your webpage when you make changes.  

What’s more is, when you inform the IndexNow API to a participating search engine about an update, it will automatically alert the participating search engines. 


How Does IndexNow Benefit You? 

Here is how the newly introduced IndexNow protocol is advantageous -  

  • Faster indexing across all participating search engines 

  • Time is eliminated between your updates and search engines discovering them. 

  • Streamlined process of finding new content 

  • More efficient website 

  • Puts an end to bots performing explanatory crawls multiple times even when there’s no content update 

  • Reduces unnecessary site load 

  • Allows servers to work more efficiently  

How to Implement IndexNow on Your Website? 

Here are the steps to adopt the IndexNow API -  

  1. Generate an API key from Bing’s online key generation tool 

  2. Host your API key in your website’s root directory in .txt format.  

  3. Submit individual or bulk URLs when they are added, updated, or deleted. 

  4. You can check the URL status details in the Bing Webmaster Tools portal.

The process is a bit complicated if you’re not a developer. Walibu is a trusted web developer who can help strengthen your website with IndexNow protocol. 

IndexNow is the future of an open and transparent internet. It’s apparent that the web is getting smarter! 

Stay tuned for more information on the latest SEO industry trends and updates.  

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Ben Paulsen