Aimy Sitemap and Aimy IndexNow are two Joomla! extensions to inform search engines about new or updated content. Where is the difference and how can I use them together? We give an overview in this article.
A XML sitemap is like a table of content of your website. The location of the sitemap can be send to search engines and with a so called ping give a notification on updates. Search engines will then -in best case- visit your sitemap and crawl the URLs (again).
The ping notifications for XML sitemaps are no longer supported by some search engines, for example Bing. Bing focusses on a new way of notifications via the IndexNow protocol. That means you send new or updated URLs directly (not the XML sitemap containing the URLs) and just in time as soon as the change is public.
Easily spoken: the XML sitemap ping is for Google, indexnow.org is for Bing and other search engines that support the new protocol. By the way XML sitemaps can still be added to Bing's webmaster tools manually.
With the combination of Aimy Sitemap and Aimy IndexNow both approaches are covered. And since Aimy Sitemap FREE and PRO version 31.0 and IndexNow PRO 2.0 the extensions work together.
To use both extensions in combination please install and activate the support:
Both extensions support exclude patterns if some content should not be added to the sitemap or submitted to indexnow.org. In case you already use Aimy Sitemap, exclude patterns will be imported to Aimy IndexNow upon installation. Otherwise add patterns -if needed- to both extensions. If you do not want to add images, both extensions provide options for that as well.
Please keep the exclude patterns and options in sync on changes.
We will show you some possible setups and hints on it:
1. Setup → Aimy IndexNow notifies Aimy Sitemap
In case you are new to Aimy Sitemap: this sitemap generator is a crawler based solution. So your Joomla! website must be crawled regulary to update the index. In the index you can make individual settings like priority, change frequency or such. Afterwards the XML sitemap must be written.
If Aimy IndexNow notifies Aimy Sitemap, content changes are submitted to Aimy Sitemap's index without crawling. Additionally you can choose if the XML sitemap should be written. If you like to make changes on the sitemap entries the sitemap should not be written directly. If your default settings are perfect for your content you choose that the XML sitemap is updated directly.
This way your XML sitemap will be up to date without the need of crawling the whole website again.
Choose which extension should send notifications to indexnow.org
Aimy Sitemap If you use "Notify Search Engines" within Aimy Sitemap to inform Google and indexnow.org, we recommend to set submission in the Aimy IndexNow plugin to "Off". Otherwise notifications on the same URL are send twice.
Aimy IndexNow can send submissions directly on content save. We recommend to disable notifications to indexnow.org in the sitemap's options then.
2. Setup → Aimy Sitemap notifies Google and IndexNow
You can install Aimy IndexNow PRO just to use Aimy Sitemap like before. In this case set the option "Pass information to Aimy Sitemap?" to "No" and Submission to "Off". This way Aimy IndexNow's functionality will be used from Aimy Sitemap to send all recently changed or added URLs to indexnow.org.
If you already are a user of Aimy Sitemap, you can keep your workflow and benefit from informing more search engines than only Google.
If you notify indexnow.org from within Aimy Sitemap, no third party support is needed (Aimy IndexNow currently only supports Joomla! native content).
3. Setup → Aimy Sitemap and Aimy IndexNow seperately
Of course both extensions can be used without talking with each other. Disable support in both extensions and use Aimy Sitemap to generate XML and HTML sitemaps and inform Google on changes. Use Aimy IndexNow to send notifications on content changes immediately to indexnow.org.
We believe the combination of both extensions is a powerfull option. With maximum flexibility through several possible combinations we hope you will find a setup that fits your needs best.