When we launched On-Demand Indexing in Custom Search, our goal was to make it possible for you to include your new and changed pages quickly in your website’s search results. Since then, we’ve improved indexing freshness and doubled On-Demand indexing quotas. Today, we’re happy to announce further improvements to On-Demand Indexing that make the process simpler and more flexible.

First, we’re providing a new On-Demand Indexing API, which will allow you to initiate indexing actions programmatically. Your content management systems can trigger these new APIs when new content is being published, so that changes on your website are reflected automatically in Custom Search results.

Previously, you needed to provide validated Sitemaps in Webmaster Tools and then select a Sitemap for On-Demand Indexing in the Custom Search control panel. Now, to make this process simpler, you can submit Sitemaps directly within the Custom Search control panel. At this time, we will only consider URLs that belong to the same host serving the Sitemap and for sites verified by the owner of the Custom Search engine.

The best improvement: we now allow you to delete URLs from inclusion in your search. If a page on your site has been deleted, or has content that is inappropriate and you want to eliminate it from search results right away, you can list the URL in your sitemap and mark it for deletion by using an “expires” tag. For more information on this, and the new On-Demand Indexing API, please refer to our documentation. Based on the type of search engine you own, you have certain quotas for URL indexing and removal. You should be able to verify your quota usage in the control panel.

We hope that these changes make it easier for you to control the search experience for your users. As always, we look forward to your feedback.