What is it?
As Bing says “[IndexNow is an] easy to use protocol that websites can call to notify Bing whenever website contents on any URL is updated or created allowing instant crawling and discovery of the URL.”
Slower for those at the back:
It’s some web jiggery pokery that allows you to let search engines know automatically when pages on your site update or get created.
As defined on the Indexnow.org site:
‘IndexNow is an easy way for websites owners to instantly inform search engines about latest content changes on their website. In its 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 this change in their search results.
Without IndexNow, it can take days to weeks for search engines to discover that the content has changed, as search engines don’t crawl every URL often. 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.”’
Essentially, it’s a more proactive and efficient way of letting search engines know about your site content rather than the age old ‘build it and hopefully they’ll come at some point’ approach SEO has generally always had to take.
“I don’t care about Bing, is Google using it?”
Easy tiger. Bing and Yandex rolled it out first, but Google has been testing it since November 2021 and hopes are relatively high they’ll support it at some point. But, in their general vagueness they are on record as saying: “We are currently experimenting with this protocol in an internal environment.”
It’s also been adopted by 80,000 websites already, so you won’t be a guinea pig.
“How much do I have to pay some wizard SEO developer to do this?”
You don’t. You can go straight to bing.com/indexnow and sort it yourself:
Also, it was recently announced that search engines are co-sharing URLs, meaning if you add to one you add to all.
We should start rolling this out for specific clients over the next few months, especially those who might have problems with XML Sitemap generation.
Let us know if you need any help implementing it.