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How To Set Up IndexNow Using Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin

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How To Set Up IndexNow Using Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin


Microsoft Bing announced that the popular WordPress SEO plugin Rank Math is integrating the IndexNow instant indexing protocol.  A publisher doesn’t even need to have an API key or a Bing Webmaster Tools account to enjoy the advantages of instant indexing. Getting started with IndexNow by using Rank Math SEO plugin is easy, especially with these step by step instructions.

Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin

Rank Math is a popular SEO plugin that has over one million active installations. It is popular because it is easy to use and also because the plugin offers a generous selection of features absolutely free, including local SEO structured data and local search SEO optimizations, something that other SEO plugins charge extra for.

Rank Math User Interface

What makes Rank Math easy to use is that all of the features are organized in the form of a user interface (UI) that uses modules that can be toggled on or off, depending on your needs.

If you don’t require the local SEO optimization feature, then leave that module turned off.

If you want Rank Math to generate site maps for your website, then turn that module on.

Turning a module on (in order to access a feature) activates a “settings” button that when click takes you to another screen where the settings can be configured.

Screenshot of Rank Math Modules UI

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IndexNow Integration into Rank Math

The module user interface (UI) method for using IndexNow makes it easy to set up. You only need to turn the feature on then click on the settings button to proceed to the final step to finalize getting IndexNow working for your website.

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It’s a great user interface that simplifies something that is ordinarily very difficult.

Convenience of the IndexNow Module

The IndexNow feature is introduced as a new module that only needs to be turned on and then configured with a few easy choices.

Ordinarily, in order to participate in the IndexNow instant indexing program, a publisher would have to sign up on the Bing Webmaster Tools website to get an account and then obtain an API.

That’s no longer the case if  you use the Rank Math SEO plugin.

Activating the IndexNow module within Rank Math is all you have to do. Rank Math handles obtaining an IndexNow API key without needing to fuss with a Bing Webmaster Tools account.

How to Set Up IndexNow Using Rank Math

Step 1: Navigate to the Rank Math Dashboard

To get started, first select Rank Math from the left hand WordPress menu then select Dashboard: Rank Math > Dashboard.

Screenshot of Rank Math WordPress Menu

Rank Math IndexNow Step 1

Step 2: Select the IndexNow Module

The next screen shows you all of the available modules:

Rank Math Features Modules Page

 

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After selecting the IndexNow Module you will see the off/on toggle switch turn blue and a “Settings” button appear in  the bottom left of the module.

Screenshot of IndexNow Module

Rank Math IndexNow Module

Step 3: Configure the IndexNow Settings

After you click the settings button, another page will open and this will be the last page you have to deal with.

Configuration of the IndexNow module is easy. But the interface is not as clear as it could be, which is surprising considering how easy the rest of Rank Match is to configure.

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In order to access the hidden IndexNow settings you have to click the little “gear” icon that is labeled “settings” which is located on the left side.

Screenshot of Settings Button

Rank Math IndexNow Settings

Once you have clicked the Settings button, you can now begin selecting which kinds of content you want to alert Bing to crawl and index.

The choices are:

  • Posts
  • Media
  • Pages
  • Plus an option to select MailPoet Pages (if you have MailPoet installed)

For most publishers, all you’ll have to select is posts, media and pages.  That’s pretty much it.

Screenshot of Rank Math IndexNow Settings

Rank Math IndexNow Settings Selections

What Happens Next

After selecting which pages to have Bing index, the Rank Math IndexNow module will take care of the API key and you are done.

From now on the IndexNow protocol will notify Bing any time a post or page is published,  whenever a post or page is updated and any time a post or page is deleted.

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If you have opted to have your media indexed then that content will also be a part of the notification.

IndexNow Instant Indexing

IndexNow is only used by Bing and Yandex at this time. Many SaaS site builders and content delivery networks like Cloudflare and Akamai support the new IndexNow indexing protocol.

The protocol not only speeds up the indexing of content that’s new or updated, it also helps to reduce bot traffic on your site, freeing up resources for site visitors.

On the search engine side it will reduce data center resources, which is another opportunity to reduce the data center carbon footprint, which is good for the environment.

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The Rank Math implementation couldn’t possibly be any easier and frictionless.

Rank Math was already a great choice for an SEO plugin.

The addition of the IndexNow module makes Rank Math even more useful and attractive, especially because Yoast still refuses to provide IndexNow as an option.

Citation

Read the Official Announcement on the Bing Blog

Rank Math Supports IndexNow for WordPress Sites

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New Updates To Google Page Experience Scoring Revealed At SEODay

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New Updates To Google Page Experience Scoring Revealed At SEODay

In an online session at SEODay 2022, Google Search Advocate John Mueller spoke about the impact of page experience on search engine rankings and changes to how the search engine scores sites.

One of the changes revealed was that Google now bases desktop search results on a site’s desktop experience – and mobile search results on a site’s mobile experience.

He also discussed the three primary metrics the search engine uses in determining experience scores: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).

“This is not a tie-breaker,” Mueller said. “It won’t make or break your website in terms of search, but it is a factor that comes into play in regards to ranking between different results.”

Google has also added a new page experience metric, “interactivity to next page,” or INP.

Google initially announced INP at I/O 2022, and while Mueller was clear that it is not a direct rankings factor, he discussed INP  as something that may play a role in the future.

Search Console Insights Provides Easier Way To Track Search Rankings

Mueller spent the first part of his presentation discussing the benefits of Search Console Insights. Using Search Console data, alongside analytics, users can generate custom reports and get a different view of the data.

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He specifically mentioned using BigQuery and Data Studio as “a way of connecting different data sources together and creating really fancy reports.”

Google is also working on expanding its Search Console APIs, Mueller said, which will allow users to connect these APIs to code on their sites.

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Possible uses Mueller mentioned include monitoring top queries and checking to see if specific URLs are indexed.

Videos & Images Take On More Prominent Role In Search

At I/O earlier this year, Google previewed a set of video reports coming to Search Console: a response to a growing appetite for this type of media in search results.

“We see that people love videos and authentic images in search results, so we try to show them more,” Mueller said.

In this growing trend, he included web stories, a collection of pages that often have videos. To facilitate their use, Google now offers a WordPress plugin for creating them.

Authentic Product Reviews Factored Into Rankings

Ecommerce has been trending upward, with the global market expected to surpass $5.5 trillion this year. In its algorithm, Google includes what Mueller termed “authentic reviews” to accommodate digital shoppers better.

“People have high expectations of reviews they find online, so we’ve also worked specifically on updates to algorithms with regards to ranking these product reviews,” he said.

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Other Updates From Mueller

At SEODay, Mueller said Google has slightly changed its terminology, with the term “title links” now being used to refer only to the title of a search result.

The search engine giant has also added a new robots meta tag, “indexifembedded.”

Users can leverage the meta tag when embedding content on the main page and want to control the indexing of that embedded piece of content.

Mueller also said Google’s blog was the best source of information on any SEO-related topic.

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“With any kind of bigger update… it’s sometimes really tricky to tell folks what they should be looking at specifically,” he noted. “So we have a fairly comprehensive blog post .”


Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

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