Google will test IndexNow


Microsoft Bing announced in October the development of a new crawling protocol called IndexNow that promises to make crawling and indexing more efficient. Google has, however, been silent on whether or not they will adopt it until now.

A Google spokesperson released a statement claiming that Google will test the new IndexNow protocol.

Index now

Microsoft Bing and Yandex have introduced a new open source protocol called IndexNow that allows publishers to notify search engines when a web page is updated or a new page is added.

IndexNow saves search engines from crawling websites to see if they’ve been updated, saving bandwidth and resources on both the search engine side and the publisher side.


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Major content management systems, content delivery networks and SEO companies have announced support for the new protocol.

The list of companies adopting the IndexNow protocol includes:

  • Wix
  • Douda
  • Cloudflare
  • Akamai
  • Botify
  • crawl
  • alone
  • Yext

Google is already proactive on crawling efficiency

The widespread acceptance of IndexNow depended somewhat on what Google would do and until today Google has not commented on the new protocol.


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Durability and efficiency are Google’s top concerns, so it looks like IndexNow would be a great fit.

According to a Google spokesperson:

“Google’s crawl mechanism is very efficient and is always being improved.

For example, last year we announced that Googlebot supports HTTP / 2, the next generation of the web’s fundamental data transfer protocol.

HTTP / 2 is significantly more efficient than its predecessors and saves resources for both Google and websites. We use HTTP / 2 in more than half of all analyzes. “

Google announces that it will test IndexNow

For now, Google appears to be taking a measured approach to the new protocol, which makes sense. Web crawling is the backbone of a search engine, so any protocol change should come with clear benefits.

According to Google:

“We take a holistic approach to sustainability at Google, including efforts to develop the most efficient and accurate index on the web.

We have been carbon neutral since 2007 and are on track to be carbon free by 2030 in our data centers and campuses.

We are encouraged by the work to make web crawling more efficient, and we will test the potential benefits of this protocol. “

Waiting for WordPress

The next most influential entity, behind Google, is WordPress. WordPress is still talking about it and they seem to be encouraging the development of a plugin instead of rushing to integrate it into the WordPress core itself. WordPress is also looking for a broader industry membership, which of course means Google but other search engines as well.


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A lead WordPress developer commented:

  • I’m still not 100% convinced that having WordPress ping each of the engines individually is ideal, however, it’s not the worst.
  • I’m still not 100% convinced that having an API key / verification callback should be allowed.
  • All supported providers should be set by default in the kernel, so as not to privilege a given engine

I think this should be developed as a plugin first, then offered to the WordPress core as a feature plugin, to allow its development separately, and then a suggestion to add it to the core once the feature is complete.

It would also allow site owners to choose to use it before WordPress fully implements it (which would be in WordPress 6.0 at the earliest, Q2ish 2022 at an estimate).


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Google will test IndexNow

Google’s adoption of IndexNow would be a big deal for the entire industry, perhaps enough to move WordPress to include it in their core and if not, in a plugin. It makes sense that Google is testing it. It is not known how long this test will last.


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