Real-time IndexNow

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With ContentKing’s unique Real-time IndexNow feature, you don’t have to worry about submitting your important page changes to IndexNow, ContentKing will do that for you!

Using real-time monitoring, ContentKing tracks every change happening on your website. Each change is then instantly assessed, and if selected criteria are met, will be automatically submitted to IndexNow.

What is IndexNow

Websites can now get content changes easily discovered and indexed with IndexNow, a new protocol from Microsoft Bing (opens in a new tab) and Yandex that notifies search engines when content is added, updated or removed on a website.

Setting up Real-time IndexNow

The process of configuring Real-time IndexNow consists of two phases:

  1. Generating an IndexNow API key and verifying the ownership of the website

  2. Setting up Real-time IndexNow in ContentKing

Generating an IndexNow API key

Please follow the steps below to configure the API key and verify the ownership of the website.

1. Generate API key

API key is needed to match the ownership of the domain along with submitted URLs. The API key should be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 128 hexadecimal characters.

The key can contain only the following characters: lowercase characters (a-f), uppercase characters (A-F), and numbers (0-9).

You can generate the API key here (opens in a new tab).

2. Verify the ownership of the website

You must host a UTF-8 encoded text key file {your-key}.txt listing the key in the file at the root directory of your website.

For instance, you will need to host your UTF-8 key file at https://www.example.org/7ae1f6c10bc648c1bf556d1e51496722.txt and this file must contain the key 7ae1f6c10bc648c1bf556d1e51496722.

For more information about the IndexNow API key, you can refer to the IndexNow protocol (opens in a new tab).

Enabling Real-time IndexNow in ContentKing

To enable the Real-time IndexNow in ContentKing follow these steps:

1. Enable Submit pages to IndexNow toggle

Open the Website settings and tap on the Real-time IndexNow box. This will open the Real-time IndexNow settings screen where you can enable the Submit pages to IndexNow toggle.

Screenshot of the website settings for enabling Real-time IndexNow feature

2. Enter the IndexNow API key

Once you enable the Submit pages to IndexNow toggle a screen where you can enter your IndexNow API key will open. Add the API key which you have generated in the previous steps and tap on the Save button.

Screenshot of the box for entering the IndexNow API key

Defining what should be submitted to IndexNow

As you don’t want to waste your precious crawl budget on irrelevant changes or changes that have a negative impact on your SEO, ContentKing allows you to customize the criteria on what changes should be submitted to IndexNow with Triggers and Conditions.

For both triggers and conditions, ContentKing has smart defaults in place, however, you can customize them to fit your needs.

Triggers

With triggers, you can define which changes will trigger ContentKing to submit a URL to IndexNow. In ContentKing we have the following triggers:

Page status changes

  • Indexable page was added
  • Indexable page became redirected (URL returning a 2xx started returning a 3xx status code)
  • Indexable page became missing (URL returning a 2xx started returning a 4xx status code)
  • Indexable page was restored (URLs returning a 3xx, 4xx, or 5xx started returning a 2xx status code)
  • Pages became indexable
  • Pages became non-indexable

All Page status changes are selected by default, except “Pages became non-indexable”.

More about how ContentKing determines indexability here.

Content changes

  • Page title changes
  • Meta description changes
  • H1 heading changes
  • H2 - H6 headings changes

All Content changes are selected by default.

Custom Element changes

ContentKing gives you the possibility to combine two powerful features, Custom Element Extraction and IndexNow! If you have Custom Elements set up, you can choose which Custom Element changes will trigger ContentKing to submit a URL to IndexNow.

ContentKing will not select them as triggers by default, but you can add them manually.

Customizing the triggers

If you want to customize the IndexNow triggers, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select Real-time IndexNow in the sidebar.
  2. Tap on the change button next to the trigger that you want to customize, for example Content changes.
  3. Select all changes that you would like to trigger a submission.
  4. Click on the Apply changes button.
Screenshot of the box for configuring which content changes trigger a submission to IndexNow

Conditions

Having customizable triggers in place is not enough to ensure that only positive changes are submitted to IndexNow. What if a page becomes indexable but the page title is missing? That is where conditions come into play!

After a change triggers the page for submission to IndexNow it needs to pass certain conditions before that happens. Same as with triggers, you can also customize the conditions to your needs.

The one condition that always needs to be passed - the page needs to be indexable.

Issues blocking submission

If a page has certain issues open in ContentKing, you probably want to fix those issues before the page is submitted to IndexNow.

You can specify which open issues will be preventing the page from being submitted to IndexNow. The issue categories that you can select are the following:

  • Page title - issues selected by default:
    1. Page title is missing
    2. Page title is not unique
    3. Multiple page titles are present
  • Meta description - issues selected by default:
    1. Meta description is missing
    2. Meta description is not unique
    3. Multiple meta descriptions are present
  • H1 heading - issue selected by default:
    1. H1 heading is missing
  • Canonical link - issues selected by default:
    1. Canonical link is missing
    2. Multiple canonical links are present
  • Hreflang - no issues are selected by default
  • Robot directives - issue selected by default:
    1. Invalid robot directives present
  • Schema.org - issue selected by default:
    1. Schema element with invalid JSON-LD object present

To customize which issues will be preventing the page from being submitted to IndexNow, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select Real-time IndexNow in the sidebar.
  2. In the IndexNow Triggers section tap on the change button next to the Issues blocking submission.
  3. In the following window, choose which issues will be blocking submission to IndexNow.
  4. Click on the Apply changes button.
Screenshot of the box for configuring which issues are blocking a submission to IndexNow

Segments allowlist and blocklist

You can utilize the power of Segments to define which pages should be either allowed or blocked from being submitted to IndexNow. Segments allow you to create logical groupings of your pages based on your needs.

You can choose whether you want to use an deny-list (Allow all except) or an allow-list (Deny all except) to configure whether pages from the chosen segments will be blocked from being submitted to IndexNow.

In case pages are present in segments that are both allowed and blocked, your selection has priority.

For example, you chose the Allow all except pages in the “Least visited” segment. If a page from that segment is present in another segment, ContentKing will not submit it to IndexNow as you specifically chose to block pages from the "Least visited" segment.

To configure segments allowlist or blocklist follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select Real-time IndexNow in the sidebar.
  2. In the IndexNow Conditions section tap on the change button next to the Segments allowlist and blocklist.
  3. In the following window, select if you want to use Allow all except or Deny all except rule.
  4. Choose the segments which will be allowed/blocked.
  5. Click on the Apply changes button.

URL allowlist and blocklist

Along with using segments, you can also specify which URLs you want to be submitted to IndexNow by configuring the URL allowlist or blocklist for IndexNow.

This way you can easily allow or deny certain parts of the website from being submitted to IndexNow based on the URL patterns.

To configure URL allowlist or blocklist follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select Real-time IndexNow.
  2. At the bottom of the Real-time IndexNow section in the IndexNow Conditions section select URL allowlist and blocklist.
  3. In the window that appears, choose whether you want to use a deny-list (Allow all except) or an allow-list (Deny all except) to configure allowlist or blocklist.
  4. Define which URLs will be allowed/denied to be submitted to IndexNow using the Operator (more about the operators here) and the URL Pattern.
  5. Click on the Apply changes button.

Checking if a URL was submitted to IndexNow

If you want to check if a certain change triggered ContentKing to submit a URL to IndexNow, just follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Page Detail screen of a page that you want to check.
  2. Tap on the Tracked Changes button.
  3. Next to the HTTP header snapshot icon, you will see the IndexNow icon specifying if a change was submitted. If not, just hover over the icon and you will see a tooltip with the reason why the change was not submitted.
Screenshot of the Page Detail screen showing IndexNow submission

Need help?

In case you have any questions regarding Real-time IndexNow that are not covered by our documentation, don’t hesitate to contact us!