Setting Up Google Indexing

The Google Indexing API – why is it important?

Google created its Indexing API so that Google Jobs Search can be informed in real time when a job is posted or removed from a job board.

By making use of this, when you post a job it is included in the Google Job Search results almost instantly.

Similarly, filled jobs are removed promptly and are no longer indexed in Google so your job-seekers should never end up on a 404 page.

Full support for the Google Indexing API is now included in both the Pro and All Access versions of Matador Jobs.

We are also making this functionality available to non-Bullhorn users of WP Job Manager as a separate plugin.

Using it, however, requires some complicated set up. Whether you are using Matador Jobs or Google Indexing API for WP Job Manager, this guide should help you get started.

Warning: Setting this up isn’t easy

We are professional web developers, and we have a hard time getting the Google Indexing API set up!

Here are some things you must have before you attempt to begin this process:

  • Access to the Google account that manages the Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) for your site. This is typically also the Google account that owns the Google Analytics for your site. It is common for this Google account to be controlled by the owner of the company and/or the original developer of the website.
  • FTP or SSH access to your site in case you need to add a Google domain verification file during the process, should your domain not already be verified.

Step 1: Get Google API Keys

  1. Log into the Google account that is tied to your Google Search Console. Avoid using a personal email address.
  2. Go to the Google Services Account page.
  3. Click on Create Service Account.
  4. In the Create service account window, type a name for the service account. We recommend using “Google Indexing API for Matador” or something like that, and select Furnish a new private key. Then click Save.

A file will be downloaded to your machine. This plain-text file will contain a JSON-formatted set of credentials. Save this file in a safe spot. They cannot be regenerated.

This file will look something like this (we replaced our keys with ellipses):

  "type": "service_account",
  "project_id": "long-carving-228615",
  "private_key_id": "...",
  "private_key": "...",
  "client_email": "",
  "client_id": "...",
  "auth_uri": "",
  "token_uri": "",
  "auth_provider_x509_cert_url": "",
  "client_x509_cert_url": ""

Step 2: Verify Site Ownership in Search Console

Now that you have keys, you are only halfway there. Just as if you found a random key on the ground, it’s only useful if you know where it goes. In this case, we need to tell Google that the keys you generated are allowed to work on your website.

Then you need to Add the service account email created and save in the JSON key file.


NOTE: the Search Console account URL MUST match your site URL exactly. Check the HTTPS and if www or not!


Then Manage property owners


Then click Add an owner and past the email from the JSON file

Step 2: Save your Key and Email

Now you have this file. This is the only one you’ll get, so make sure you don’t lose this. Keep a copy in a shared folder at your business related to your website.

Tip: you can paste the contents of the whole JSON file into the private key input and the code will extract the private key block for you when you save.

Once you have saved the email and private key click on the test page link.

Step 3: Test the API works

Use the Google Test/Debug page to make sure it all works.

Use this link to open the test page.

If you get an error, look at the output to help you debug it.

Common Errors:

  • “error”: “invalid_grant” check the email is from the JSON file it will end with

  • API not active – use the URL in the message to open the page that you activate the API for the account 
    the link looks like this

  • User, not an owner – You did add the user / make them an OWNER in your webmaster setting
    Use this link

You can keep reloading the test page as needed to test as you fix the issues.

Step 4: Turn On “Send Google Job Changes”

Really, that is it. You’re now on, and indexing immediately you post a job!

Additional Considerations

You are limited to 200 changes per day, so if your company regularly creates, updates, or deletes jobs more than 200 times a day, your last changes may not be notified to Google.

While we are working on expanding the feature to include use of Google’s batch processing system–and we’ll be sure to tell you when we get it done–you may want to check out this page on the Indexing API quota and follow the instructions to apply for a greater quota to better fit your business’s volume.

We expect that Google Indexing API pings will cause your pages to be indexed even if you’re in a test mode or your robots.txt is “nofollow”. We recommend that this system should remain off until your site is “live”.