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I am super sad to point out, although obvious, that the request indexing tool was not fixed prior to the holiday shopping season. Google “temporarily suspended” the request indexing tool on October 14, 2020, 55 days ago, and it is still not working.
I honestly thought it would be back a week or so before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season, but it was not. Nor is it back prior to Chanukah or weeks before Christmas.
The reason I thought it might be back before then was because Google posted advice for e-commerce sites named Best practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages and one of the pieces of advice read “Get your page recrawled. After you’ve tested your structured data for validity, ask Google to recrawl your page to get your content updated more quickly.” Google then added later “note: as of publication this tool is undergoing maintenance, but we hope to have it up-and-running again soon.”
But no, it did not start working prior to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sadly, nope, not fixed yet. I just tried it and it is still disabled:
Here is Danny Sullivan of Google being asked about it last night:
I believe the tool still provides a lot of functionality but that you’re asking about the request indexing part? That’s still not yet ready to be reenabled. cc: @JohnMu
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) December 7, 2020
I am honestly surprised how many SEOs use this tool but I guess if you want to make quick changes to your pages, like really quick, it is one way to do it and get Google to notice those changes. But to be honest, I’d say Google not fixing this tool prior to the shopping season bothers me more than the timing of the Google December core update.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Gary Illyes from Google shares his thoughts…
a scientific study(*) revealed that most people used the request indexing feature for reasons that arguably should be considered a crime against microchips.
* – by me during west coast morning coffee pic.twitter.com/d3mn8hSxDR
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) December 8, 2020