Google Indexing API: get your site indexed faster!

Every website owner wants to reach the top by keywords and make his web resource the most popular in the niche. Complex website promotion is achieved by a combination of efforts and methods that are applied. But now let’s talk specifically about getting into the index, in particular – about a new way to speed up the indexing of the site. We’ll talk about the tool Google Indexing API, which will prove to be indispensable.

The new API will help search engines crawl your site if not instantly, then faster than with Sitemap files. Despite the recommendations of John Mueller on Twitter, according to which he suggested using Google Indexing API only for job search sites and resources with direct translations, in practice the tool works with any type of data.

1. Benefits of the Google Indexing API tool

With the new API you can:

  • index content faster, so the site will rank better;
  • improve the quality of user traffic by keeping the information on the site up to date;
  • as a result rank higher in search results than competitors.

Let’s look at the step-by-step algorithm for its installation.
First of all, download the file (plug-in module) of the tool. The convenient way you choose.

2. Preparation: create an API project

So let’s get acquainted with the Google API console.

Google API Console

Fig. 1 – Google API Console

Click on the link and from the list of options select “Create a new project”, and then – “Continue”. If you get to the next screen, it means that everything has been successfully created.

Creating a new project on Google Cloud Platform

Fig. 2 – Google Cloud Platform New Project

Next you need to create a service account. Select the project you just created, go to the next screen and click “Create Service Account”.

Create a service account

Fig. 3 – Account creation service

After filling in the project name and description, copy the service account ID – it looks similar to email.

Name and description of the project

Fig. 4 – Project details

Click “Create and Continue”, then change your status to “Owner” and click “Continue” again:

Status change to Owner

Fig. 5 – Change account status Owner

“Done” – and now you can download the file that contains your API key. To do this, click on the three vertical dots in the “Actions” column. Select the “Manage keys.
When you go to the next page, click on “Add Key” and select the option “Create a new key”:

Creating a new key

Fig. 6 – Add key

You will be prompted for the key type, select the JSON format, which is the default. Press “Create”:

JSON Format Selection

Fig. 7 – Create key and select JSON format

If you have done everything correctly, the .json file will automatically load in your browser.
Once we’ve verified that the API key has been successfully created, we confirm ownership of the service account in Google Search Console.

Why this is important:

  1. This way you will have access to sensitive information about Google search results related to your site.
  2. You’ll also be able to influence how they look and function in search results.
  3. A confirmed owner can give other users full or read-only access to the account.

The ways in which you can verify ownership of an account are fully explained in Google Help.
When you’re done verifying your resource, you’ll need to open the Google Search Console, select your resource on the left, and click the “Settings” option, also located on the left, but below, and marked with a gear wheel.

Next, click on “Users and Permissions” – the triple dot next to the account – the top right “Add User”. A pop-up window should appear. It prompts you to enter the service account ID in the “Email Address” field. When you have given full access to the account, click “Add”.

Adding a user

Fig. 8 – Add user

The service account should appear on the screen as the new owner.
After making sure that the service account is added as the owner of all the sites in Search Console, you will be able to use one project, service account and JSON API key on several web resources. This is at least convenient.

3. Configuring Google Indexing API plugin in WordPress

There are three options for installing the Indexing API plugin:

  1. Using the WordPress admin panel:
    WordPress Control Panel → Plugins → Add New:
WordPress dashboard, add plugin

Fig. 9 – Adding a Plugin to the WordPress Dashboard

2. Unzip the zip file to your computer, and then upload the new fast-indexing-api folder to your server in the /wp-content/plugins folder.

Downloading the Instant Indexing Plugin

Fig. 10 – Plugin Instant Indexing, download

After installing the plugin, go to Rank Math in the WordPress admin, which is in the panel on the left. Select the Instant Indexing Settings sub-item. On the first tab of Google API Settings, paste the contents of your JSON file or just upload it.

You will need to select the types of messages that the Indexing API should send Google requests to crawl the website when you publish or update your posts. Don’t forget to click “Save Changes”.

Plugin Instant Indexing, settings

Fig. 11 – Plugin settings Instant Indexing

And the final step is to use the Google Indexing API. The goal is to instantly index any post or page on your site.

Find the “Console” tab at the top of the page, go to the “Instant Indexing” sub-tab and enter a URL, one or more, in the field with the same name. Press the “Send to API” button and you will see the “Done” notification at the bottom:

Instant indexing with a plugin

Fig. 12 – Alert Done, instant indexing

In fact, you don’t need to specially go to the tab and enter URLs as a list. You can do this more easily, in the “WordPress Posts” section. There’s an option there to update each post or check its status:

Indexing in the Posts section

Fig. 13 – Instant indexing option in Posts section

That’s it. Now you can index the pages of your web resource faster than usual.
To check if Google has indexed the page, you can use access logs.
It’s worth noting that this is a separate plugin that works independently of Rank Math, although the developers recommend using them together. And remember, you can only request indexing of URLs in that domain and not other websites, even if they are validated using the same account.

4. How to fix the most common bugs

It is also worth saying a few words about the difficulties that arise. At the initial stage, they occur to every user.
1. If access is denied, that is, it is not possible to confirm the ownership of the URL, you need to make sure that the service account is listed as the site owner in Search Console.
2. If the requested object is not found, you will need the API console to publish/update the page once. Then you can use the Get Status action.
3. If the Indexing API has not been previously used in the project [name] or is disabled, you will only need to copy and paste the URL into your browser. The plugin should open, select your project in the list that opens at the top and turn on the API.
4. If you get an “Error not defined” message, most likely you are trying to submit a URL from another resource for indexing. Make sure that the URLs are in the same domain as the one from which you’re initiating the indexing requests.

Let your web resource benefit from this new tool!

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