IndexNow is a new protocol from Microsoft Bing that allows physicians to index their websites instantly across search engines such as Bing and Yandex (sorry, no Google, at least not yet).
When installed, IndexNow will essentially ping the search engines, letting them know that content on your site has been added, updated, removed, etc.
What Problem Does IndexNow Solve?
If you’ve had any experience waiting for your website to be crawled and indexed, you know that it can be a longer than desired process. Not only that, if your website isn’t indexed, you won’t be able to rank.
Because individual physician websites aren’t big, highly-trafficked websites such as WebMD, it can take days or even weeks before your website additions and changes are discovered by search engines.
IndexNow is attempting to eliminate the need for these traditional crawls, providing a better internet experience for both physicians and patients.
Why Bother With IndexNow if Google Isn’t Using It?
While Google certainly is the primary search engine patients use, you don’t want to ignore Bing entirely or even the up-and-comer Duck Duck Go. Generally speaking, we see Bing represent 5-7% of traffic on the physician sites we actively manage, so it’s worth trying to rank there too, especially if your patients tend to be more advanced in age.
But interestingly enough, Google confirmed that they are going to test the IndexNow protocol.
There’s no guarantee that Google will adopt IndexNow, but it’s not something to ignore if they’re testing it.
IndexNow is something that physicians should consider adopting for their websites. There’s no official WordPress plugin available (at the time of this post), so you need a little technical know-how to make it work), but it’s worth the time to consider learning how to implement it.