Microsoft Bing Releases New IndexNow Plugin for WordPress

Microsoft Bing launched its first official plugin for WordPress in July, which allowed site owners to submit their URLs so that they can get their content immediately indexed, as opposed to waiting for the search engine to crawl the site.

Tech Radar reports that the Bing Webmasters have released the IndexNow API, which debuted in October last year, which was touted as the next evolution of the Bing URL submissions API.

The new IndexNow API, which was created by Microsoft Bing and Yandex, takes advantage of the new protocol, making it possible for websites to notify participating search engines whenever new content is published, updated, or deleted, meaning that the site is indexed faster for improved search results.

The Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools team anticipates that it will significantly reduce the need for crawling.

The API is an initiative for a more efficient internet. By informing search engines whether an URL has been changed, it allows website owners to provide a clear signal to assist search engines to prioritise crawl for the submitted URLs, thus limiting the requirement for exploratory crawling to test if the content has been changed.

In the future, search engines intend to limit the crawling of websites that have adopted the IndexNow plugin.

IndexNow is also an initiative for a more open Internet: By notifying one search engine you will notify all search engines that have adopted IndexNow.

The IndexNow WordPress plugin tracks change in content and automatically submits the URLs in the background. It comes with a few basic features and configuration options:

Toggle the automatic submission feature.

Manually submit a URL to IndexNow.

View the list of recent URL submissions from the plugin.

Retry any failed submissions from the recent submissions list.

Download recent URL submissions for analysis.

Status on recent successful and failed submissions

Supported by Microsoft Bing and Yandex, the IndexNow protocol is now being tested by Google to see if it makes sense for a more sustainable approach to indexing the internet.

Bing Principal Program Manager Fabrice Canel proposed WordPress core integrate the IndexNow protocol, but contributors have suggested that Microsoft keep it as a plugin until its more widely adopted by major search engines and proves that it has a positive effect on reducing the need for crawling.

By releasing this plugin, we aim not only to benefit right away WordPress websites adopting it but also learn, tweak as needed to someday release IndexNow in WordPress core to benefit all websites and all existing and upcoming search engines adopting IndexNow,Canel said.

There are currently over 800 active installations of the IndexNow API plugin, but it is still a way off from being proven by Microsoft that the API is effective at streamlining indexing for search engines.

If Google agrees to support the plugin following testing, the protocol may gain enough attention and momentum to attract support from other search engines.


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