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IndexNow Co-Shares URLs Between Search Engines

what is the importance of website SEO optimisation

Site owners and publishers work on website SEO optimisation with the hopes of getting their content crawled and indexed by search engines faster. With the IndexNow protocol, Microsoft’s team said that search engines now co-share submitted URLs, saving many website SEO experts time and effort. This means that the URLs submitted to Microsoft Bing using IndexNow will be immediately shared with Yandex.

Co-Sharing URLs

With IndexNow, a search engine, as well as all the other participating search engines, will immediately discover any submitted URLs. Yandex and Microsoft Bing are the only search engines participating as of now, but Google has recently expressed interest in exploring this protocol.

The IndexNow protocol ensures that all URLs submitted by webmasters to any IndexNow-enabled search engine are immediately shared with other comparable search engines. Webmasters only have to notify one API endpoint due to co-sharing. By doing so, webmasters can save time and effort. It also makes the Internet more effective as it helps search engines in discovery.

According to Microsoft, sharing URLs between IndexNow and Yandex has already started, with other search engines allocating resources to build the necessary infrastructure. When this protocol initially launched, the participating search engines had not yet begun co-sharing URLs – but now, they are.

IndexNow API

One does not have to submit URLs to https://yandex.com/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key or https://www.bing.com/IndexNow?url=url-changed&key=your-key anymore.

IndexNow directly accepts URLs at https://api.indexnow.org/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key. Microsoft Bing also updated a document that helps the SEO community easily understand how to submit URLs.

80,000 Websites Submit URLs Using IndexNow

According to Microsoft, 80,000 websites are now utilising IndexNow for URL submission. The company states that these websites have already started publishing and reaping the benefits of faster indexation after submitting URLs through the platform.

Last November, they announced that 60,000 websites used IndexNow directly through Cloudflare, where Cloudflare websites can turn on this feature. Moreover, Microsoft Bing recently launched a WordPress plugin for IndexNow, making the process easier.

IndexNow: What Is It?

IndexNow allows website SEO experts to immediately notify search engines about new content changes on their sites. It is a simple ping protocol, enabling search engines to react quickly when a URL and its contents are added, updated, or deleted and reflect such changes in their search results.

How Does IndexNow Work?

The IndexNow protocol is quite simple. One only needs to make a key on their server and then submit a URL so that IndexNow-participating search engines can be informed of any website changes.

The steps include:

  • Generate a unique key that the protocol supports using the online key generation tool.
  • Host the key to a text file with the name of the key’s value at the root of the website
  • Submit the URLs when they are added, deleted, or updated. One can submit a single URL or a set of URLs for each API call.

Instant indexing is an SEO’s ideal scenario for providing search engines with the most up-to-date content on their website. IndexNow is a simple protocol, and it just takes a few lines of code to add to a site. For SEOs and site owners who care about quick indexing, this is something they should try out. Websites using Cloudflare can also enable IndexNow with just a flip of a button.

One should notice a significant improvement in the speed of their content flowing between Microsoft Bing and Yandex, as well as other search engines that would adopt this protocol in the future.

Google is Already Proactive on Crawl Efficiency

Many search engines and SEOs are hesitant to accept IndexNow and have been somewhat reliant on Google’s decision on whether they would adopt the new protocol or not. IndexNow was launched in October last year, and Google has not commented about it until November. Sustainability and efficiency are two significant issues for Google; therefore, it seems that IndexNow seems to be an excellent match.

Based on one of Google’s spokespersons, their crawling mechanism is technically very adept, and the company is continuously improving it. Last year, for example, they disclosed that Googlebot can now utilise HTTP/2, the next generation of the web’s fundamental data transfer protocol. It is more efficient than the ones before it and saves Google and websites resources. They also said they employ HTTP/2 in over half of all crawls.

It seems that Google is taking a cautious approach to the new protocol, which makes sense. The search engine’s core activity is crawling the web, so any protocol modifications should have clear advantages.

Google said they have a holistic view of sustainability, including efforts to build the web’s most accurate and efficient index. They also said that they have been carbon neutral since 2007, and by 2030, they will be carbon-free across both data centres and campuses. Any research is done to help make web crawling more cost-effective, and so they will test the new protocol out to learn about its potential benefits.

The Benefits of IndexNow to Publishers

IndexNow will lower crawling demands on the server, so search engines won’t need to conduct exploratory crawls to check whether or not web pages have been updated. It also reduces the time required for content to be crawled and indexed.

Reducing server load allows the server to perform at its best without the additional strain of redundant web pages that search engines have already indexed.

Therefore, it benefits the world by lowering crawling and indexing energy demands while also helping combat global warming.

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