Testing for IndexNow Protocol Set to Happen
Earlier, Microsoft and Yandex announced a new initiative known as IndexNow, but Google seemed not ready to adopt the new system. IndexNow is a protocol that requires site owners to notify search engines about any changes in URLs. Unlike the previous procedure that heavily relied on search engine spiders that have to go into the web and crawl each URL, IndexNow is a more efficient approach.
Website managers or owners only have to directly submit the URL changes and related details to the search engines. This will serve as a signal for the search engines to crawl the URLs with updates immediately. With the changes in the URL, we mean any URL with new content, updated or deleted content. Initially, it was only Microsoft Bing and Yandex following this protocol.
Google on the Move to Try out IndexNow
Google openly stresses that its crawling efforts are efficient, but it will improve its sustainability efforts by leveraging the IndexNow protocol. This comes a few weeks after the official announcement of the IndexNow protocol.
In 2020, Googlebot began supporting HTTP/2, a significant revision of the HTTP network protocol used by the web. HTTP/2 is referred to as the next generation of HTTP, a protocol utilized by the web for data transfer. However, although Google uses HTTP/2 in a majority of its crawls, no ranking benefit is attached to the change.
In a statement released by Google, Google told Search Engine Land that it follows a holistic approach to sustainability, including efforts to develop the most efficient and accurate index of the web. “We have been carbon neutral since 2007, and we’re on pace to be carbon-free by 2030 across our data centers and campuses. We are encouraged by work to make web crawling more efficient, and we will be testing the potential benefits of this protocol,” a Google spokesperson said.
What is IndexNow and How Can It Help Site Owners
We would say that IndexNow is quite fast and can help site managers stay on track with their work. It only requires them to inform search engines about the latest content changes on their websites. It is a simple ping protocol that can help search engines instantly know that a URL and its content have been updated, deleted, or added. This can help search engines instantly reflect the changes in search results.
With IndexNow, all you got to do is create a key on your server. Then post a URL to Bing or any search engine to notify IndexNow. You don’t have to do this for every search engine. By notifying a single search engine, all the participating search engines are able to see the changes. All you have to do is;
- Generate an API key supported by the protocol using IndexNow online key generation tool. An API key is required to match the ownership of the domain along with the submitted URLs but should be of not more than 8 characters.
- Host the API key in a text file named with the value of the key at the root of your website, basically on the root directory in txt ‘Tomorrow X Together’ format.
- Then submit URLs with parameters. Once your URLs are updated, added, or deleted, you can then submit a single URL or a set of them per API call.
You can find the details when you sign in to the Bing webmaster tools portal. Submitting to a single search engine, whether Bing, Yandex or Google, is enough to notify other participating search engines.
Submitted links won’t have to return a 200 status code; a 404 code can notify search engines about content changes or redirects to get the pages crawled faster.
IndexNow in SEO & How It Helps Site Owners
The SEO field frequently undergoes changes that make it better. From search engine updates, analytics to smart tools, there is a lot of innovation that facilitates efficiency. When changes like IndexNow come up, it shows how search engines are working towards sustainability. For those in the SEO sector, instant indexing means getting an assurance that their content or efforts aren’t in vain.
Imagine making content changes but then having to sit back and depend on search engine spiders to crawl your URL. The new approach doesn’t require search engines to conduct exploratory crawls to check whether webpages have been updated or refreshed. It generally reduces the time for which content is discovered and indexed.
Multinational companies like eBay, LinkedIn, Duda, Bizapedia, Wix, and MSN are already planning to utilize IndexNow or have already adopted the protocol.
My Take – The IndexNow protocol is a major unifying factor for search engines, and Google coming on board means that the digital world is taking a grand step towards solid sustenance. We also hope that WordPress will adopt the system as it is one of the lead CMSs.
With APIs like IndexNow, content discovery is faster and reliable. For those who wish to add this to their sites but don’t know how all they have to do is seek a web developer’s help.