Target Alternative Search Engines through IndexNow
Reading time: 4 minutes
Targeting alternative Search engines by simply looking to search engines market number may look like a waste of time, but there is a lot of value we may miss. IndexNow Technology is here to help you with this target.
Why targeting alternative search engines at all?
Targeting alternative Search engines to Google may look like a waste of time because of the market reach Google has, but there are many reasons you may consider:
- Diversification: Relying on just one search engine can be risky, as a change in the algorithm or other factors could negatively impact your website’s visibility. By targeting multiple search engines, you can diversify your traffic sources and reduce the risk for your business.
- Reaching new audiences: Different search engines have different user bases, so targeting alternative search engines can help you reach new audiences that may not use Google.
- Increasing visibility: The more places your website appears, the more visibility it will have. By targeting multiple search engines, you can increase the number of places your website appears and potentially attract more visitors.
- Support alternative search engines: Alternative search engines may have different concepts and values like privacy and ecologic support.
There are enough good reasons to target alternative search engines to Google, but as they are so many, there should be a way to reach them without submitting your Sitemap to every search engine or ping them with new content.
Which alternative search may be interesting?
There are many alternative search engines available that you can target instead of Google. Here are a few examples in alphabetical order:
- AOL: An American search engine that was popular in the early days of the internet and still has a presence today.
- Ask: Popular search engine in the United States and several other countries.
- Bing: A search engine by Microsoft. Bing is used by a lot of alternative search engines.
- DuckDuckGo: A privacy-focused search engine that does not track or share user data. It uses Bing search index for search results.
- Ecosia: An European (Germany) search engine that donates a portion of its profits to plant trees. It uses Microsofts Bing for search results.
- Excite: A search engine that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s and is still in operation today.
- Qwant: A privacy-focused search engine based in Europe (France). It uses Microsofts Bing for search results.
- StartPage: An European (Netherland) search engine that provides anonymous search results from Google.
- Swisscows: A Swiss search engine that emphasizes privacy and doesn’t track users. It uses Microsofts Bing for search results.
As you can see, there are a lot of alternative search engines, which use Microsofts Bing to display search results. But there are even more search engines, which have their own search index, but use technology built by Microsoft to index latest content. It is called IndexNow.
What is IndexNow?
IndexNow is a technology developed by Microsoft to inform search engines regarding new, updated or deleted content. By using IndexNow or any search engine, which uses IndexNow you inform all search engines regarding updates on your website.
By sending updates to Microsofts Bing or the IndexNow.org API, you may increase the traffic on your site from alternative search engines and reach new audience.
How to use IndexNow?
How hard or easy it is to use IndexNow depents on your Content Management System (CMS). But there are some more or less comfortable solutions to submit your site updates to IndexNow.
IndexNow Plugin for Wordpress
For Wordpress there is a very simple plugin built by Microsoft, which does the most of the work for you by submitting newly created, updated or deleted pages and posts to the IndexNow API. You can try it by installing the IndexNow Plugin.
It works like expected by creating an API key, which is created and stored inside the plugin on activation. But it lakes on updating sites, where the content is displayed like the posts on start page, tags and categories, which are referenced in a post.
Using an existing Sitemap to ping IndexNow
As most of websites already have a Sitemap XML file, which should have all the updated information, you can write a script, which parses and submits all the updated sites to an IndexNow API endpoint.
But dependent of the Sitemap structure and size of the file(s), it may get really messy, and you must think about running this script after updating content on your site.
I add some links to repositories:
- Go package to notify IndexNow.
- Typo3 Extension
- Laravel IndexNow
All this repositories require some or extended technical knowledge to implement.
By targeting alternative search engines to Google you may increase your sites audience and maybe reach other markets, which you may not have thought about. By support alternative search engines you may influence the search engine market and increase diversification.