In a Webmaster Hangout, Google’s John Mueller made comments discouraging the use of Google Search Console’s URL Submit Tool. He also revealed interesting facts about how Google indexes websites. He suggests various ways to make sure that new content is properly crawled and indexed fast.
URL Submit Tool Not Generally Needed
There are many discussions on Facebook SEO groups and Google’s own product forums about Google not indexing their websites. The URL Submit Tool is a convenient way for publishers to be certain that new content is indexed. But it’s not necessary.
Here’s what Google’s John Mueller said:
“In general for most websites you shouldn’t need to use this tool at all.
…There should be no need for you as a normal webmaster to submit any individual URLs for kind of the normal day to day sites, like through the search console through the submit URL tool.”
It’s Probably Your Fault if Content is Not Indexed
John Mueller addressed the common situation of Google not picking up content as fast as a publisher wants it. He blamed the publishers for this issue. In other words, if Google is not indexing your content, it’s not Google’s fault. It’s the publishers fault if content is not being indexed and the publisher needs to diagnose the reason why it’s not being indexed.
John Mueller offered these suggestions for identifying what may be causing Google to not index content and offered solutions for making sure Google indexes it:
“If you’re seeing that we’re not picking up new content as quickly as we could I would make sure that you’re linking to it from a visible place on your website and also maybe putting it in maybe a site map file or RSS feed or anything like that.”
Best Time to Use Google URL Submit Tool
Mueller established that the URL submit tool is generally not needed. Then he elaborated on a scenario when itis needed and that’s in an emergency situation, when time is of the essence.
Google’s Mueller goes on to mention several emergency scenarios but curiously omits the situation when a website is hacked and disinfected.
Recovering from a hack event is arguably one of the most pressing emergencies because hackers add spammy links and spammy content to existing web pages and most publishers would want Google to crawl disinfected pages immediately and index the normalized content.
John Mueller explains the recommended use of Google’s URL Submit Tool:
“…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 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 on your title in your search results and people were calling up someone else accidentally. That would be something that you’d want to get kind of reindexed and be processed as quickly as possible.”
Takeaways – How to Get New Content Indexed Fast
- Link to new content from a prominent web page on your website
- Add a reference to a new page to your site map
- Make sure new content is shown in an RSS feed and that the RSS feed is accessible and not blocked from crawlers
You can watch the video of John Mueller discussing how to get content indexed here.
Screenshot by Author