IndexNow is an automatic ping that lets search engines know when a post or page (URL) on your website has been added, updated, or deleted. This allows search engines to quickly update their search results speeding up overall SEO results. Simply put, it’s instant indexing!
This is a new initiative started by Microsoft, and it’s currently supported by both Microsoft Bing and Yandex. A Google spokeperson has also confirmed that they will be testing the IndexNow protocol due to environmental sustainability.
Currently, all search engines use XML sitemaps to discover new content and updates. The challenge is that it can sometimes take days to weeks for search engines to discover new content updates because they visit your website at random intervals.
Search engine bots are inefficient due to their legacy design, and they have a high carbon footprint.
When a search engine bot visits your sitemap, it attempts to visit every single link that it finds on the sitemap as well as every single link that’s inside of each page. This is a resource intensive process, and IndexNow protocol aims to solve that.
Instead of having search engine bots randomly scan every single page on your site to see what’s been updated, IndexNow allows your website to simply ping the search engine to let them know when you publish a new post or update an existing piece of content.
This way they can quickly update their search results while helping the environment.
IndexNow is a win for website owners, win for search engines, and a win for the world.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to add IndexNow in WordPress to speed up your SEO results.
Method 1. How to Add IndexNow in WordPress using AIOSEO
AIOSEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin used by over 3 million websites. We use AIOSEO on WPBeginner to improve our SEO rankings.
In their recent update, AIOSEO became the first WordPress SEO plugin to add IndexNow support for WordPress.
First you need to install and activate the AIOSEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
For this tutorial, we will be using the premium version of AIOSEO because it includes IndexNow and other powerful SEO features. There is also a free version of AIOSEO that you can use to try it out.
Once activated, you need to go AIOSEO » Feature Manager from your WordPress dashboard to enable the IndexNow feature.
Once enabled, IndexNow is automatically configured and ready to go – no action is needed on your part.
AIOSEO partnered with Microsoft to build this integration, and they made the process beginner friendly. They automatically generate an IndexNow API key for your website and configure it for you, so you don’t have to do anything.
You can verify this by going to AIOSEO » General Settings and click on the Webmaster Tools tab. There you will see the IndexNow icon, and if you click it you’ll see that your website’s IndexNow API key is already pre-configured.
AIOSEO comes with many other powerful features to help you improve your WordPress SEO rankings including Link Assistant, redirection manager, and more.
We have a step by step guide on how to properly setup All in One SEO which also includes instructions how you can switch from Yoast, RankMath, and others to AIOSEO.
Method 2. How to Add IndexNow in WordPress using the IndexNow plugin
While other WordPress SEO plugins have begun to add IndexNow support, most don’t have it yet. If you don’t want to switch to AIOSEO, then you can use this option instead.
First you need to install and activate the IndexNow utility plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to go Settings » IndexNow in your WordPress dashboard. You will need to click on the Get Started now button, and it will automatically generate your API key and get everything configured.
After that, you will see a screen with IndexNow stats like successful URL submissions and more.
That’s all, you have successfully added IndexNow to WordPress.
Final Thoughts on IndexNow and Future of SEO
IndexNow is a new initiative and it has already been adapted by Microsoft Bing and Yandex. Google is said to be testing support for this, and we really hope they adapt it as well.
We believe that all popular website builder platforms will add IndexNow integrations with AIOSEO leading the way for WordPress, but other companies like Duda, Cloudflare, etc have all added IndexNow integrations in the recent months.
IndexNow is a great solution for both small and large sites, and it’s a SEO professional’s dream come true since it finally speeds up SEO results with nearly instant indexing.
It’s important to emphasize that IndexNow does NOT replace sitemaps. You still should have XML sitemaps, video sitemap, news sitemap, and other advanced sitemaps to help improve your SEO rankings. You should use IndexNow alongside sitemaps to gain a competitive advantage.
We hope this article helped you learn how to add IndexNow in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to do keyword research and our comparison of best push notification software to grow your traffic.