What is pinging?
Pinging is a way of letting search engines know that you’ve created a new post, or updated an existing post on your blog. A ‘ping’ is a message sent to a ‘ping server‘ notifying it that the blog has been updated with new content.
What is a ping server?
A ping server is a web-based service that accepts messages in the XML-RPC format. It uses the information in these XML-RPC messages to publish a list of blogs which have updated content. Some of these ping servers run their own blog search engines, and some propagate the information to a number of other ping servers and search engines.
How does pinging work?
Many blog publishing platforms, such as WordPress, have a built-in pinging tool. In the case of WordPress, pinging is turned on by default and pings go out to one ping server which updates several search engines.
You can also notify a ping server that you have updated content manually by going to their website and submitting your blog’s name and URL.
One popular ping server is PingOMatic, found at http://pingomatic.com/. When your blog pings PingOMatic it then notifies a number of search engines that your blog has been updated. Many of these search engines also have their own ping server as well.
These search engines can then update their listings with new content almost instantly. This of course will give you one-way backlinks to your blog from these search engines, many of which have a high Google PageRank.
4 things you should know about pinging
1) Only ping when you have updated content. Otherwise, your site might be blacklisted as a spam blog, also known as a splog.
2) If you tend to post to your blog and then re-write the post frequently you might want to make sure you only ping when you actually post new content, not on updates. If you are using WordPress there are a few plugins that make sure that pings are only sent when a post is created.
3) It’s a good idea to ping several ping services, especially the ones that notify several search engines. Don’t overdo it though. Make sure that if you are pinging a niche search engine that your blog falls into the relevant niche.
4) Make sure that if a search engine is notified by a ping server you are already using that you don’t add that search engines own ping service to your list of servers to ping. Because blog spammers have abused ping servers, if you are pinging a search engine multiple times your site might end up being blacklisted, and not appear in the search engines at all.
Popular ping servers
Finally, here’s a list of popular ping servers you might try to get you started: