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Should we ask Google to re-index our pages?

Google is quite happy to receive manual requests to index pages when they’ve been added or changed. It states this quite clearly. But should we bother?

It’s worth bearing in mind that many content management systems (such as WordPress) are usually set to ‘ping’ search engines whenever pages are added. If we want to do it manually, there are services such as FeedShark and IndexNow. There’s also the ‘URL Inspection’ tool in Google Search Console, if the biggest search engine is our priority. Here we can submit a page and see if/when it was last indexed.

I don’t tend to monitor how frequently or extensively the search engines are monitoring my sites, but if the sites are mature, I assume they’re being listed and crawled fairly frequently. If new pages are in the sitemap and/or linked clearly from the home page, I think that’s largely all we need.

I tend to submit indexing requests only when drawing the search engines’ attention to a new page is extremely urgent – perhaps on some rare occasions where I’ve got some news that I’m racing to beat other sites to be the first to publish. If there’s an old page which has been updated significantly, there’s little to lose in resubmitting it, just for insurance.