Google Search Console ‘Request Indexing’ Tool Returns

Request indexing illustration
Illustration by Search Candy - Graphics source: Google / Google Maps

Just in time for the New Year, Google has at last returned the Request Indexing function tied to the URL Inspection tool in Search Console.

This comes much to the delight of SEOs, webmasters, and site owners who have dearly missed the request indexing function whilst it was gone.

What is the Request Indexing function?

Used to send a simple request for Google to come to visit then index a webpage, the Request Indexing function quickly become an essential tool for anyone that wanted to try and speed up the process of Google indexing content.

For example if you have a new article that is not yet indexed, you can use the Request Indexing functionality to ask Google to come and view the new page.

The functionality is part of the URL Inspection Tool in Search Console.

Google Search Console: Request indexing function
Google Search Console: Request indexing button – screenshot
After clicking the request indexing button – screenshot
Success! The URL has had indexing requested – screenshot

October: Request Indexing ‘Temporarily’ Removed

The request indexing functionality was removed ‘temporarily’ in mid-October, with Google having to issue a denial that it was related to indexing issues some webmasters were facing.

At the time Google stated that they expected the feature would return ‘in the coming weeks’, but webmasters were in fact left waiting just over 2 months.

Whilst the functionality was missing in Search Console many SEOs and site owners found it harder to diagnose and resolve indexing/crawling issues that may well have been easier to fix with access to the tool.

There were rumours that simply tweeting out a URL might act similarly, pushing the URL into Google’s index via their access to the Twitter ‘firehose’ of tweeted content – however in our testing at Search Candy we not able to confirm that this was an effective method of getting Google to index a URL.

John Mu did his own type of Request Indexing – asking Twitter who he needed to tell about the news.

If you need Google indexing to hear something, you might like this

Does using the Request Indexing tool guarantee a URL will be indexed?

Using the request indexing functionality does not guarantee a URL or website will be indexed.

As part of Google’s announcement on Twitter that the functionality would be returning they also issued two reminders:

1. If you have large numbers of URLs, you should submit a sitemap instead of requesting indexing via Search Console.

2. Requesting indexing does not guarantee inclusion to the Google index – our systems prioritize the fast inclusion of high quality, useful content.

Related: How to check if your website or URL has been indexed by Google.

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Colin McDermott
Colin McDermott
Colin (@ColinMcDermott) is owner and chief SEO nerd at Search Candy, with over a decade of experience building, optimising and marketing websites.