He made its debut in the catalog of plugins only a few days, had some minor updates and already counts over two thousand active installations and good reviews: Bing has accelerated times and released in early 2022 the first official WordPress plugin for IndexNow, the new fast and automatic indexing protocol that the search engine developed together with Yandex.

A WordPress plugin for IndexNow

Available for WordPress versions higher than 5.3, the Indexnow plugin allows the automatic sending of Urls from WordPress sites to multiple search engines without the need to register and verify your site with each of them.

After installation, in fact, the plugin will automatically generate and host the API keys on the site, detecting the creation/update/deletion of pages in WordPress and automatically sending the Urls in the background, so as to ensure that the “search engines always have the latest updates on your site,” as Microsoft writes.

From a practical point of view, the installation of the Indexnow plugin for WordPress is very simple and consists of a few steps:

  • Access the WordPress admin panel for the WordPress site, click on “Plugin > Add New”.
  • Search for “Indexnow Plugin” and install.
  • Once installed, click “Activate” to enable the plugin.
  • Go to the Indexnow admin page and click on “Get started!”.

Among the other useful functions and configuration possibilities reported by the developers there are:

  • Activation/deactivation of the automatic sending function.
  • Manually sending a URL to Indexnow.
  • Display list of recent URL submissions from the plug-in.
  • Proof of unsuccessful submissions from the list of recent submissions.
  • Download recent URLs for analysis.
  • Status on recent successful and unsuccessful submissions.

The journey of IndexNow goes now

The plugin represents a further step forward of the Indexnow project, on which Bing has been working for a long time together with other search engine protagonists.

As early as July 2020, in fact, the search engine of Microsoft had released its first official plugin for WordPress that allowed site owners to send URLs and immediately index their content, instead of waiting for the search engine to scan the site. A year later, in October 2021, was announced the start of the Indexnow API, created by Microsoft Bing and Yandex and also accepted by other Web giants (Cloudfare and over 60,000 sites that use it, but also WordPress) to allow submitting new and updated URLs for indexing in each search engine – at least in the intentions and hopes of the promoters.

In fact, what is still missing from the project is the presence of Google, the most widely used search engine in the world, which has not yet officially taken a position on the possible participation (despite an official invitation).

What the automatic indexing with the plugin is for

The plugin released these days by Bing allows WordPress sites to take advantage of this new protocol and send a notification to participating search engines whenever a content is created, updated or deleted, so that the pages of the site are indexed faster to create up-to-date search results.

The Microsoft Bing team predicts that the protocol and the Indexnow plugin will minimize the need to run an exploratory scan by search engine crawlers to check if the content has changed, thus making the Internet more efficient and allowing site owners to give a clear signal of priority on scanning certain pages. In addition, the initiative also goes in the direction of transparency and the open Web, because notifying a search engine will automatically start all search engines that have adopted Indexnow.

In particular, the Principal Program Manager of Bing, Fabrice Canel, had proposed that the core of WordPress directly integrate the Indexnow protocol, but contributors have suggested that Microsoft keep it as a plugin until it is adopted more widely by major search engines and will demonstrate that it has a positive effect on reducing the need for scanning.

Another step toward quick and automatic indexing?

Instant indexing is probably the dream of every SEO because it allows you to provide search engines with the most up-to-date content of a site without having to wait for the classic times for indexing or risk running into mistakes.

The great advantage of Indexnow lies in its simplicity, both installation and use, and therefore requires minimal effort from developers to add it to the site and can be interesting to try.

As we said, the limit of the project is in its “limitation”: until Google will also participate, which remains the main reference for SEO activities, Indexnow will still remain a stumped initiative (and immediate indexing and on request a hope).

Cover image from https://wordpress.org/plugins/indexnow/