When Microsoft Bing and Yandex introduced IndexNow in October, the question on everyone’s minds was, “what’s Google going to do about it?” Finally, this week, we got our answer. After staying quiet about the rollout, the tech giant confirmed to Search Engine Land (SEL) that it would be adopting the protocol and testing out its benefits to make web crawling more efficient and sustainable.
In case you need a refresher, IndexNow is an open-source protocol that enables site owners to inform search engines of any content updates on their website in real-time. If a web admin submits a URL to signal any content changes, the protocol instantly notifies all participating search engines of said changes. For search engines, it eliminates the need to crawl web pages to see if they’ve been supplemented, deleted or updated in any way.
In Google’s statement to SEL, it said using IndexNow is aligned with its “holistic approach at sustainability.” Google has been pushing for carbon-free initiatives, and it would seem adopting the protocol may lower energy costs for web crawling and ramp up its indexing efficiencies.
However, when asked about it, Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter the test probably won’t be happening anytime soon. He also advised SEOs to focus on existing means of notifying Google of updated content, so don’t get too excited just yet.
Still, with the search engine giant potentially in the mix, it presents exciting opportunities for website owners, who know it can take days, even weeks, for search engines to discover and reflect content updates in their index and search results.
What speedy indexing means ultimately for Google and other search engines is conservation of bandwidth and resources. For you, it means no more waiting and less server load. You get your sites indexed as quickly as possible and have more time to build your traffic. Everyone is happy.
Whichever direction Google decides to go with this, we expect that everyone across the board – SEO specialists, site owners, marketers and content management systems (CMS) – will be waiting to see how IndexNow could shape the future of web crawling and indexing.
More SEO News You Can Use
Keywords Will Remain the Backbone of SEO: Despite what naysayers say, keywords still carry a lot of weight in your SEO campaign and will continue to do so in the future. A recently published article from Search Engine Journal (SEJ) shows how keywords continue to help brands reach their market. In a time where Google and other search engines are using advanced query technologies, it’s easier for marketers to align keywords with user intent and serve the right content to the appropriate audience. Keywords can also help marketers identify or narrow down their target market by showing which keywords are working and driving traffic. (Hint: if your keyword “bags for moms” is tanking and “bags for teens” is ranking high, it’s more than likely teenagers should be your target demographic.) And of course, ultimately, it remains that keywords drive traffic. The first organic result on Google’s results page gets 28.5 percent of clicks. That means all you need is to get one keyword onto page one to start seeing significant growth.
Google Helps Verify Googlebot: Fake and spammy crawlers abound. And if you suspect some of them are crawling your site, you’ll be pleased to know Google has released a list of IP addresses it uses for crawling and accessing websites. You can make sure your site crawler is just Googlebot in action by matching its IP address with the IP addresses on the list (available in JSON file). Site owners are encouraged to check the file daily for any potential updates. If you want to block fake bots from crawling and spidering your site but don’t want to risk blocking Googlebot, this list should come in handy.
Here’s What You Didn’t Know About China’s Top Search Engine: You guessed that right – it ain’t Google. As China’s search engine of choice, Baidu amasses billions of searches every month, some of them coming from the U.S. and Japan. By the second quarter of 2021, it had registered more than 580 million active users logged on its app. But it does more than that. As a multinational tech company, Baidu also specializes in internet-related products and services and artificial intelligence (AI). One of its biggest operations is the Apollo Project, the world’s leading AI and autonomous driving program. On the SEO side of things, you will only rank on Baidu if your website is in Mandarin. You should also concentrate your efforts on boosting your homepage, as Baidu’s ranking system prioritizes homepages. Learn more about Baidu in SEJ’s viral post and you might just get some ideas for your 2022 strategy.
Ranking Internationally Boils Down to Content: Speaking of ranking in another language, this SEJ blog sheds light on effectively executing international SEO. It highlights the various factors that generally determine whether a country is the right audience for a specific website. These factors include language, hreflang tagging, URL structure, domain extension, actual content, backlinks, etc. However, in certain cases, it all comes down to creating user-specific content for that user’s language and country. This requires boosting your pages with resources that your target market would normally look for, all optimized and supported by keyword research and proper hreflang tags.
Business Luminaries Convene and Talk Marketing at Zeta Live 2021: Hosted by cloud-based marketing technology Zeta Global, the conference is set to broadcast live from New York on November 16-17. Zeta Live gathers Fortune 500 executives and market leaders for a series of conversations about the current state of marketing and predictions for the future. Sessions will cover discussions on marketing, creativity, personalization and AI over the two-day immersive experience, so be sure to register if you want some inspiration for your marketing campaigns in 2022.
Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.