IndexNow is a quick way for website owners to tell search engines about changes on their website. It’s like sending a quick message so search engines know when a page has been added, updated, or removed, helping them show the latest version in search results.

Ahrefs.com has just added an automated way to implement and use IndexNow, making it much easier to use for you.

However, in order for IndexNow to work you need to validate the ownership of your site with a .txt file in the root of your site. But with Shopify that is not possible. The good news is, that there is a really easy workaround for this. Read below for a step-by-step instruction.

Setting up IndexNow with Ahrefs

If you have an account with Ahrefs you can now set up and use IndexNow as part of the Site Audit tool.

First you will have to go to Site Audit -> Settings in Ahrefs and scroll down to the IndexNow section. Here you click on “Generate” to generate a key.

When you do this a key is generated and Ahrefs will check if the key is uploaded to your Shopify site. But as it is not yet in place you will get an error like below. Don’t worry about that for now – we will fix it in the next steps.

(I have blurred out the domain name for privacy reasons)

Important!
Keep this browser window open. Do not navigate away from it. If you do, the generated key will be lost.

Verifying IndexNow ownership in Shopify

Ahrefs require a verifikation file to be uploaded to the root of your website. This should be a simple UTF-8 .txt file. In Windows you can make this in Notepad.

The file name should be the key and the content the key. Nothing more.

In the example above the filename should be something like this (I have randomized the actual key because it have to be kept secret):

http://YourDomain.com/s1srgp8123456789.txt

YourDomain.com should off course be your real domain and the file name whatever Ahrefs is generating for you. Just copy and paste it after you generate the key.

The problem in Shopify is that you cannot upload a .txt file – or any file for that matter, to the roof of your domain. So we need a little bit of workaround for this to work.

First you go to your Shopify store and navigate to Content -> Files and click Upload files.

Navigate to the .txt verification file file you have just created and upload it. It should end up looking something like this. Click on the Copy link icon.

The location of this file, on your Shopify store is not in the root. In this example the URL is: something like this (I have changed this a bit because this file should be kept secret):

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/123456/456789/789123/files/s1srgp8p22s73cmw5rtjjyb1h3h6fgt2.txt?v=1720085085

Save this URL.

Next step is to create a redirect to this file location. You do this by going to Online Store -> Navigation -> View URL redirects in your Shopify admin.

On the URL redirects page you now need to create a redirect from the location where Ahrefs expect to find the file to the location where the file is actually located.

Click on Create URL redirect.

In the “Redirect from” field you add the URL that Ahrefs gave you – and expect to find the key file in.

In the “Redirect to” field you add the location of the file. It should look something like this.

Click “Save redirect”

Validate the IndexNow file in Ahrefs

The last step is to validate the file in Ahrefs. Go back to the browser window with the Site Audit settings and click the “Recheck” link.

You should get a response like this:

If you do not get this response it is most likely because you did not name the .txt file the right way, include the key in the file or set up the redirect correct. Check all three element and try again.

Remember to save your settings when done.

Ready to use IndexNow with Agrefs

That’s it! Now you are ready to use IndexNow with Ahrefs.

You can find a good guide on Ahrefs on how to submit pages to IndexNow here.

If you have any problems please feel free to add a comment below.

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