IndexNow Gains Mixed Reactions From SEOs
The new open-source indexing protocol IndexNow, which promises fast indexing, has been embraced by major companies such as Wix, Duda, and Cloudflare. However, IndexNow was also met with queries from some professional SEO companies over whether or not it was necessary. Some SEO companies wondered if adopting it was worth it and were uncertain about its advantages.
What is IndexNow?
IndexNow aims to improve how search engines discover and index content to benefit both search engines and publishers. IndexNow also promises to reduce the time it takes for sites to be re-indexed after being updated.
According to IndexNow, indexing will be more energy-efficient because they will be crawling websites less frequently. For decades, the old method of surfacing web pages and indexing content has been largely unchanged. Crawlers check web pages on the Internet endlessly, regardless of whether a website exists or is unchanged.
Crawling an unchanged web page as opposed to a new one may be regarded as a waste of energy, like watering a garden during a rainstorm. IndexNow claims to solve the problem by only crawling new or updated pages.
However, some within the search community have raised concerns about every one of IndexNow’s advertised benefits, including their claim to crawl fewer pages.
SEO Experts Do Not See The Value Of Adopting IndexNow
The founder of the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, Joost de Valk, made several tweets expressing his doubts about IndexNow’s usefulness. He said that he doesn’t see the value in it, so Yoast will not be adopting IndexNow.
De Valk claimed that IndexNow is attempting to address an issue that already has a solution. According to him, XML sitemaps already provide all of the functionality IndexNow claims to offer.
Since the inception of XML sitemaps, the problem of URL discovery has already been solved. As a result, getting search engines to crawl content is not difficult for most websites. These XML sitemaps can even notify search engines when they update.
A person replied to the original tweet, saying they used the Bing API WordPress plugin for fast indexing, which was beneficial to sites they worked on, such as Groupon and GitHub. They also noted that Yoast does not need to incorporate it when Bing can create their plugin.
De Valk then replied and acknowledged those benefits, but he said that these are only applicable to bigger sites. He added that applying the new indexing protocol to 12 million websites, most of them with less than 100 pages, seemed excessive.
Duda Gives Insights On The Value Of IndexNow
Duda, a professional site-building platform similar to Wix and WordPress, is backing IndexNow. It enables web professionals to quickly set up a high-quality website without requiring any programming skills. Duda is similar to WordPress as they allow consumers to develop their widgets and embed the website builder in their applications (SaaS).
The company believes that XML sitemaps aren’t enough because there’s a delay between publishing, crawling, indexing, and displaying the content in the search results.
Currently, search engines have to recrawl all pages of a site to discover new content; they can’t just follow the schedule of a site update. The distinction is that with IndexNow, SEOs can order Bing to only crawl these updated pages and do so right away. A push method of updating data/content between several systems has long been considered a better practice instead of a pull approach.
They also added that for many sites, especially smaller ones, IndexNow may not be the most important capability to have for now. However, they feel that this approach to indexing is far superior to the traditional sitemap system and that SEOs should push content so search engines can crawl them.
Waiting for Google to Adopt IndexNow
A UK marketing expert also shared insights about IndexNow. Like the others, they were not too enthusiastic about it, saying that the indexing protocol provided little value. They said that it is not a huge deal unless Google signs up for a Bing-led protocol. If Google does join, the SEO community will have to reconsider a lot of knowledge regarding crawl prioritisation.
The professional dismissed the notion that crawling would be reduced, claiming they’d most certainly use the freed-up resources to crawl least-priority web pages that wouldn’t normally be visited. They also pointed out that Microsoft did not promise they would grab it at once – only that the content would be indexed “soon” or “quickly”.
The expert then explained that adopting the IndexNow approach will eliminate a hidden signal from Google or Bing indicating which pages they consider the most important. They also observed that one of the most significant reasons they never use submission tools is because seeing when the content is crawled on its own is incredibly handy. According to them, there’s no other way to determine “importance”.
Various factors influence how often a web page is indexed, and one of them is links. How often web pages change may also have an impact on how frequently they’re crawled.
Fast indexing is not for everyone. It’s up to the SEO companies to decide whether it’s worth it to give up seeing which pages a search engine deems important. For some experts, the expense isn’t worth it.
It’s up to the search community to choose whether or not they want IndexNow. There is some opposition and doubt about IndexNow, but many big businesses, such as Cloudflare, enthusiastically adopted the new indexing protocol.
For many in the search industry, particularly the smaller sites, using IndexNow is optional rather than required – unless Google integrates it into their system.
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