The Microsoft Bing team said that the IndexNow protocol is now at a place where those participating are co-sharing URLs submitted, meaning if you use IndexNow to submit URLs to Microsoft Bing, Microsoft will immediately share those URLs with Yandex, the company announced.
Co-sharing URLs. The promise of IndexNow was to submit a URL to one search engine via this protocol and not only will that search engine immediately discover that URL, but it will also be discovered on all the other participating search engines. Right now, that is just Microsoft Bing and Yandex, but Google is exploring using this protocol.
Microsoft said “the IndexNow protocol ensures that all URLs submitted by webmasters to any IndexNow-enabled search engine immediately get submitted to all other similar search engines. As a result of co-sharing URLs submitted to IndexNow-enabled search engines, webmasters just need to notify one API endpoint. Not only does this save effort and time for webmasters, but it also helps search engines in discovery, thus making the internet more efficient.”
Microsoft said that Bing “has already started sharing URLs from IndexNow with Yandex and vice-versa, with other search engines closely following suit in setting up the required infrastructure.”
When this first launched, the participating search engines have not yet begun co-sharing URLs – but now they are.
IndexNow API. Also, you no longer need to submit the URLs to https://www.bing.com/IndexNow?url=url-changed&key=your-key or https://yandex.com/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key. IndexNow.org is also directly accepting these submissions at https://api.indexnow.org/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key
Microsoft Bing updated this help document to make it easier to understand how to set this up at any of those URLs mentioned above.
80,000 sites. Microsoft said that 80,000 websites are now using IndexNow for URL submission. “80k websites have already started publishing and reaping the benefits of faster submission to indexation,” the company said. Last November, the company said 60,000 of those websites were using IndexNow directly through Cloudflare, which added a toggle button to turn on this feature for websites using Cloudflare.
Also, Microsoft Bing recently released a WordPress plugin for IndexNow to make this process easier.
What is IndexNow. IndexNow provides a method for websites owners to instantly inform search engines about latest content changes on their website. IndexNow is a simple ping protocol 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.
How it works. The protocol is very simple — all you need to do is create a key on your server, and then post a URL to the search engine to notify IndexNow-participating search engines of the change. The steps include:
- Generate a key supported by the protocol using the online key generation tool.
- Host the key in text file named with the value of the key at the root of your web site.
- Start submitting URLs when your URLs are added, updated, or deleted. You can submit one URL or a set of URLs per API call.
Why we care. Like we said before, instant indexing is an SEO’s dream when it comes to giving search engines the most updated content on a site. The protocol is very simple and it requires very little developer effort to add this to your site, so it makes sense to implement this if you care about speedy indexing. Plus if you use Cloudflare, it can be turned on with the flip of a switch.
Now that co-sharing URLs is enabled, you should see your content flow faster between Microsoft Bing and Yandex, hopefully other search engines will adopt this protocol going forward.