This is a follow on from my last post about problems getting indexed in Google which ironically, didn't get indexed! Out of sheer desperation, I decided to try the instant index feature in Google again. It's meant for jobs but does work for all post types. I successfully got a load of pages indexed that were being ignored so I thought I'd try it on this site and blog about it.
The indexing API
It's meant for job posts that are short-lived so would be advantageous for Google to index them quickly and be able to remove them once the listing has expired.
This API allows any site owner to directly notify Google when job posting pages are added or removed. This allows Google to schedule job postings for a fresh crawl, which can lead to higher quality user traffic and job applicant satisfaction. Currently, the Indexing API can only be used for job posting pages that include job posting structured data.
For websites with many short-lived pages like job postings, the Indexing API keeps job postings fresh in Search results because it allows updates to be pushed individually. This API can be integrated into your job posting flow, allowing high quality job postings to be searchable quickly after publication. In addition, you can check the last time Google received each kind of notification for a given URL.https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2018/06/introducing-indexing-api-for-job
Accessing the API
You can write your own script to ping Google with updates but Rank Math have a plugin for it. They do have this warning
Note: Google recommends that you use the Indexing API ONLY for Job Posting and Live Streaming websites. However, it works on any type of website and many of our users have seen great results already. Please proceed with caution.
I've used it fine. I can see the worse case is that they ignore you. I can't see them giving you any type of penalty as you could get other sites penalised for it.
How to do it
You just need to install the plugin and follow the instructions on here Basically, set up a developer account and add a user to search console. It's all very straightforward.
Once you submit, you should be able to see Googlebot coming to your site
Whether you actually get indexed is another matter and so is ranking but at least Googlebot has come and spidered your content. Nowadays I think Googlebot is lazy and doesn't bother coming unless you have a lot of quality signals that a small site realistically does not have.
I think this difficulty for small sites getting indexed is why a lot of SEOs no longer blog but do Twitter threads and Linkedin posts. Why not post on a platform where you are guaranteed an audience and not have to worry about Googebot?
How long does it take?
How long is a piece of string? It could be instant, it could be never still. You still need good content and quality signals.
As of about 10 minutes after submission, nothing indexed in Google. You can see with a date filter if Google indexes anything new. I will check back in a few days. This blog is not very important. It can live without indexed pages/ blog posts. If you do rely on your site for traffic, you should probably check how often after you post, does Googlebot naturally visit. Anything longer than a few minutes is a bad sign.
You may as well use the instant indexing feature rather than going into Search Console and messing around submitting URLs that are not indexed. It's no guarantee of indexing or ranking but it can't really harm you trying if you are having problems getting content indexed.
Google did come and spider this post as soon as it went live. Maybe Googlebot is feeling better in 2022. I hope so as it was very lazy last year.
Ben has a BEng (Hons) in Computer Science and 20 years of experience in online marketing, specialising in SEO, lead generation and affiliate marketing. After spending over a decade as an igaming affiliate, he has decided to concentrate on GA4 training and SEO Audits.