Google killed one of its most popular SEO features ahead of Black Friday

(Image credit: Future)

Google has temporarily disabled its Request Indexing SEO feature - likely for a few weeks - in order to make infrastructure changes.

The firm has sought to reassure site owners that their content can still be indexed through alternative methods. These include taking a passive approach, pursuing the active management of URLs or submitting updated URLs to Google.

The fact that the Request Indexing feature has been suspended wouldn’t normally be much of an issue, but its importance has grown of late due to a number of issues with Google’s search results. In addition, SEO managers have to navigate the change while making sure that their sites rank as highly as possible in the run-up to Black Friday.

Request denied

The Request Indexing feature is part of the URL Inspection tool within Google’s Search Console and is used to request a crawl of individual URLs. It is important to note, however, that even when a request is sent, there are no guarantees that a site will be indexed immediately, or at all.

“We have disabled the ‘Request Indexing’ feature of the URL Inspection Tool, in order to make some infrastructure changes,” Google tweeted from its Webmasters account. “We expect it will return in the coming weeks. We continue to find & index content through our regular methods.”

Site managers may feel that being without the Request Indexing feature is worthwhile if the “infrastructure changes” result in some improvements to Google's search functionality. It will take some weeks to see if this proves to be the case, however, and the clock is ticking for any site that wishes to improve its search ranking ahead of Black Friday.

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.