Microsoft releases IndexNow plugin for WordPress

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Microsoft Bing has published a new WordPress plugin that makes it easy to integrate your WordPress blog and site with the IndexNow protocol. The plugin was released over the holidays and is available over here in the WordPress plugin directory.

What is it. The WordPress IndexNow plugin enables automated submission of URLs from WordPress sites to the multiple search engines without the need to register and verify your site with them. Once installed, the plugin will automatically generate and host the API key on your site. It detects page creation/update/ deletion in WordPress and automatically submits the URLs in the background. This ensures that search engines will always have the latest updates about your site, Microsoft wrote.

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.

Currently both Microsoft Bing and Yandex have adopted the protocol, but Google is supposedly testing it out as well. IndexNow is used on over 60,000 sites that use CloudFlare.

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:

  1. Generate a key supported by the protocol using the online key generation tool.
  2. Host the key in text file named with the value of the key at the root of your web site.
  3. Start submitting URLs when your URLs are added, updated, or deleted. You can submit one URL or a set of URLs per API call.

The WordPress plugin makes this easier and you don’t have to go through all these steps to set it up.

How to install. To install the IndexNow WordPress plugin, follow these steps:

  • Log in to WordPress admin panel for your WordPress site. Click on ‘Plugins > Add New’.
  • Search for ‘IndexNow Plugin’ and install.
  • Once installed, click on ‘Activate’ to enable plugin.
  • Go to IndexNow admin page and click ‘Let’s Get Started!’.

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, if you have WordPress, you can follow the steps above to easily activate IndexNow.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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