Submit URL to Google: 4 Pro Ways to Request Indexing in 2022
By: Dileep Thekkethil
September 13, 2022
Table of Contents
The latest report suggests that Google has over 86% share of the overall search traffic.
Find more statistics at Statista
So, as a website owner, ignoring Google is definitely not a good idea. This is the platform your target audience uses the most.
But before all this, Google needs to index your pages.
How can you submit individual URLs to Google so that it indexes these pages as quickly as possible?
This article only talks about how to get your URLs indexed on Google. If you want to rank those pages, just contact us online or hit us on the live chat below.
Why is it Important to Have a Page Indexed?
Unless your web pages are indexed on Google, they won’t be visible in the search results.
So, even if you update your site regularly with new blog posts and articles when there’s no indexing, people won’t be able to find your content even if it matches their search query.
This means no improvement in traffic, and as a result, there will be a decreased site visibility.
So, I guess you have already made your website live.
Are you unable to find the pages on Google? That’s the last thing you want.
Don’t worry. Most new websites face the same hardship.
But this has straightforward solutions.
This is exactly what I’m going to discuss in this article.
There are two easy ways to submit URLs to Google.
Build a Sitemap
One of the most widely used methods for submitting URLs to Google is using a sitemap.
A sitemap can be created using three different formats.
XML is one of the most commonly used formats for creating a sitemap.
The abbreviation XML stands for Extended Markup Language, and it is easy to create.
You don’t even need professional help to create one.
If you are running a WordPress website, all you need to do is install the Yoast SEO plugin.
It automatically creates an error-free sitemap with all the URLs you need Google to Index.
In case you don’t want to do this, you can use any of the online sitemap generator tools to create a sitemap for your website.
Just upload the sitemap on your server, and done.
RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0 Sitemaps
If you are a publisher with a lot of content added every day, the best format for you would be these.
Google News publishers are already using this feature.
Google wants publishers to submit RSS feed URLs in the News Publisher Central so that the pages are indexed as soon as they are made live.
Plain Text Sitemaps
This is possibly the easiest way to submit your URLs to Google for indexing.
You just need to create a .txt file with each URL you want to index.
Once you have all the URLs, submit them on the sitemap section of the search console.
Keep these in mind while creating your Plain Text Sitemap.
- Use UTF-8 encoding while saving the file.
- Ensure that there is nothing other than the URLs in the file.
- There are no constraints with the file name. However, ensure that the extension is .txt
- Different Types of Sitemap Extensions
If you want to know more about sitemaps and the importance it has on SEO, read our in-depth article.
Submit XML Sitemap To Google Search Console
If you have created a new website, Search Console is the best free URL submission tool at your disposal to give a heads-up to Google that you exist.
To use the Search Console, you have to first verify your website by placing an authoritarian code.
Consider this as the first thing to do after the site launch.
Here are a few steps for submitting bulk XML URLs through Google Search Console
Step 1: Add Your Website on Google Search Console.
Step 2: Create a sitemap for your site (XML, RSS, or Plain Text).
Step 3: Upload your sitemap to Google Search Console.
Step 4: Fix errors, if any, and resubmit if necessary.
Use URL Inspection Tool
Consider that you have already submitted the sitemap on Google, and most of the pages are indexed.
You published a new page that has time-bound information.
You cannot wait for Google crawlers and need immediate crawling and indexing.
That’s when you can use yet another handy feature within the search console – URL Inspection Tool.
If you have used the old search console, it had a “Submit URL” feature.
However, when Google updated the search console in 2018, it integrated this feature with the URL Inspection Tool.
The URL Inspection Tool allows you to check whether a URL has been indexed in Google.
Additionally, you can also check for various other important details, including the Schema enhancements and indexability of the URL.
You can submit the new URL by hitting the Request Crawl button.
Steps for Submitting a New URL Using URL Inspection Tool
Step 1: Log in to Search Console.
Step 2: Selected URL Inspection Tool from the Left Navigation Tab.
Step 3: Enter the URL you want to submit.
Step 4: Request Index.
NB: The Request Index feature of Google doesn’t guarantee immediate crawl and index. It may take a few minutes before you see the new URL added to the index. Again, this feature comes to use only if you want immediate indexing. Google’s crawler does a good job most of the time by indexing pages quickly.
How to Submit an Updated Content to Google
In case you made some significant changes to the content within a URL and want Google to reflect those changes ASAP, this tool is again going to make your life much easier.
Just click on the Request Recrawl option, and your new version will get added to Google’s priority list.
Step for submitting URLs using Inspect Element tool
Step 1: Log in to Search Console.
Step 2: Selected URL Inspection Tool from the Left Navigation Tab.
Step 3: Enter the URL you want to resubmit.
Step 4: Request Reindexing.
Strategic Internal Linking
Do you know that Google has set a crawl budget for your website?
Despite Googlebot visiting your website daily, there are chances that a few pages may fail to get the much-required attention due to the crawl budget limitations.
So, how do you make Google’s crawl budget a boon rather than a bane?
It’s pretty simple.
Once you publish a new post, make sure to have it linked to the most traffic-generating posts on your website.
Want to know how that logic works? Let me explain.
The pages driving the highest organic traffic are getting the most attention from Google. That means the Googlebot is visiting them quite often.
Adding an internal link to your new article from such pages makes it super easy for Google’s bot to find and index it.
Using IndexNow Protocol (Yet to Confirm)
There are reports of Google soon joining the list of search engines that use the IndexNow protocol.
IndexNow is an open-source API that helps search engines discover new content through the push method rather than the conventional pull approach.
As soon as a website with IndexNow API integrated updates an existing content, publishes new or deletes a post, the API within the Content Management System will push this information to all search engines that are part of the protocol.
First introduced by Microsoft in November 2021, Bing and Yandex currently support IndexNow.
A website with the API integrated can push up to 10,000 URLs per day and dramatically reduce the pull indexing waiting period.
In addition to faster indexing, the new protocol saves servers from excess crawl load and makes it more energy efficient.
A Google spokesperson confirmed recently to Search Engine Land that the search engine giant might soon join the others and participate in the IndexNow movement.
However, Google is currently testing the efficiency of the new protocol to see if it helps in improving the overall sustainability efforts.
Since IndexNow is a Carbon Neutral initiative, and Google has set 2030 as the target to become a 100% renewable energy-based company, it is highly likely to adopt the IndexNow protocol.
If that’s the case, getting your pages indexed by Google will become a lot easier.
How IndexNow Protocol Works:
It’s pretty easy for website owners to enable the IndexNow API. All they have to do is:
Step 1: Create an API key from Bing and download it.
Step 2: Upload the text file to the root of your server.
Step 3: Then you can submit individual or bulk URLs to individual search engines using these URL parameters.
Bing: https://www.bing.com/IndexNow?url=url-changed&key=your-key Yandex: https://yandex.com/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key Google (yet to confirm): https://google.com/indexnow?url=url-changed&key=your-key
Microsoft and Yandex recently announced that they have decided to share the URLs submitted through IndexNow. This means once you submit the URL to either of the two, it will be immediately shared with the other one, which can save a lot of time.
Bing has even launched a dedicated WordPress plugin for IndexNow to automate the whole process. According to Bing, 80,000 websites have already been enlisted to the IndexNow project out of which 60,000 are sites that use CloudFlare, which supports IndexNow. More websites are expected to follow suit if Google joins hands for the initiative.
A Timeline of Events (Supplementary Content)
Google Request Indexing Feature is Back
Google disabled the request indexing feature in the search console citing the team is doing some incremental fixes to the infrastructure.
The feature was disabled on October 13 and there has been a lot of discussion around it, which you can read below.
The good thing is that Google has re-enabled the feature in the Search Console after 69 Days.
The official announcement about the resurrection of the Request Indexing feature came via a tweet from Webmaster Central.
“We’re glad to announce that ‘Request Indexing’ is back to the Google Search Console URL Inspection – just in time for the new year!,” the tweet read.
We're glad to announce that 'Request Indexing' is back to the Google Search Console URL Inspection – just in time for the new year! 🎆
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 22, 2020
Why did Google disable Request Indexing?
The announcement about the suspension of the Request Indexing option came on Oct 13 via a tweet from the Official Webmaster Handle.
According to the announcement, the feature was disabled to make some important infrastructural changes.
Google said that its normal indexing won’t be affected by the disabling of the Request Indexing feature.
It has to be noted that such a change has come at a time when Google executives have confirmed that they have identified a few indexing bugs within the system.
What did John Mueller say about the Request Index feature?
John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, went on to tweet that the feature was likely the most unused one inside the Search Console.
Many, including Barry Schwartz, believed that this was an indication that the feature would never come back to the search console.
On Nov 9, John tweeted again, this time it was a Google form asking the SEO community to share a few instances where they use the Request Indexing feature.
“I’ve seen folks looking forward to the URL submission tool being back. I don’t have any new news, but I’d love to find out more about why you’re missing it. Let me know which URLs you’re missing the tool for, and how you generally used it. Thanks!,” John tweeted.
Yet again, the tweet has been seen as an indicative aligned towards deprecating the tool as he refused to tell when the users can see the tool back in the Search Console.
What did the new Google form mean to the users?
When Google was having the indexing issues starting mid-September to October, webmasters were using the Request Indexing Feature as their go-to tool for a speedy indexing.
Additionally, the holiday season is back, and most of the businesses want the URLs to get indexed ASAP when they hit the publish button.
This is especially true when time-bound information and offers are being run.
Who uses the request indexing option the most?
We are yet to know whether Google will bring this feature back before Black Friday, which is when e-commerce websites (small ones predominantly) want pages to get indexed in the shortest possible time.
The request indexing feature was also widely used among websites that update content. Even we use this feature when we make incremental changes to the content on a page. This is especially true with the Google Algorithm Update page of ours.
How to Determine Whether Google Indexes a Webpage?
To check whether Google indexes a URL, you have to use Google itself.
Here is how you check if a particular URL has been indexed:
If your webpage is already indexed, you’ll see it below in the search results.
If you have several web pages that are similar to each other, then you can find some unique words or sentences within each webpage and conduct a Google search using those words or phrases within quotation marks.
In the absence of unique search terms or phrases, you can add a modifier to the above process by adding site:yourdomainname.com after the word or phrase in quotation marks.
Another way to discover indexed pages is through Google Analytics.
You can go to:
Acquisition>All Traffic> Source/Medium report and select Google/organic results.
Then set the secondary dimension to landing pages and export the report generated.
This report will show you the landing pages that have received organic traffic.
If you see that your intended URL is getting organic traffic, then you can rest assured that it has been indexed by Google already.
RIP Google URL Submit Tool! No More Bulk URL Submission to Google
The “Submit URL” option was widely used by blog managers, webmasters, and outsourced SEO experts to push pages of client websites for faster indexing.
It was easy as webmasters could save the time spent asking clients their search console details to submit URLs through the “Fetch as Google” option.
However, Google’s URL submit tool is now dead!
This was confirmed after the search engine giant pulled the plug on one of its widely used services.
Why Google Killed the URL Submit Tool?
SEO experts, who were using this tool for submitting backlinks and for faster indexing, will face the heat as they are currently left with no other option other than waiting for their links to be crawled by Google naturally.
The submission of URLs was possible even for users who didn’t have to sign in.
It is possible that Google detected webmasters using the service for adding bulk URLs for indexing, which could have prompted them to discontinue it.
“We’ve had to drop the public submission feature, but we continue to welcome your submissions using the usual tool in the Search Console and through sitemaps directly,” announced Google, through its official Twitter Google Webmaster account.
We've had to drop the public submission feature, but we continue to welcome your submissions using the usual tool in Search Console and through sitemaps directly.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) July 25, 2018
The Submit URL option was added to Google search back in 2008 and later added it to its Classic Webmaster Account in 2012, with a few minor design changes.
Since then, the feature was part of Google Webmasters and later the Search Console.
The removal of the ‘submit URL feature’ from the Google search console has globally come to effect.
Cling on to Fetch as Google and Sitemap, says Google:
With the elimination of Google’s free URL submission tool, webmasters will now have to use the “Fetch as the Google” option in the Search Console to make indexing faster. This latest move of the search engine giant has once again stressed the importance of having sitemaps. “Want to let us know about new or updated pages quickly? Use Search Console’s Fetch & Submit for individual pages, or have your CMS tell us directly with a sitemap file or feed,” Google tweeted.
What John Mueller Said About the URL Submit Tool
With this announcement, it seems like the strategic move to kill off the tool, which has allowed users to submit URLs without signing in to the search console, was well thought out.
Earlier, John Mueller, the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst – Google, had said that the URL submit tool need not be used if your content is well written with added value during one of his webmaster sessions.
He also identified a few scenarios wherein the tool might become handy for webmasters. “…The one time I would recommend using the submit URL tool is when you have, like, real issues on your website that you urgently need to fix and you will urgently need to have Google reflect that in the search results. So, for example, you removed something private that you actually published. That would be a good candidate for this tool. Maybe, you had this wrong phone number in your title in your search results and people were calling up someone else accidentally. That would be something that you’d want to get re-indexed and want it processed as quickly as possible.”
While it is a good practice to submit URLs to Google for indexing, it doesn’t guarantee that your webpage will rank in the search engine. Crawling and indexing websites are a part of SEO. To ensure that your site ranks well on Google, you have to consider other essential factors like site speed, quality of content, and keywords used. By implementing the right SEO strategies, your content will have a greater potential to rank high on Google.