Pinging and ping lists

By | January 16, 2008

Pinging is an essential part of the blogging process although it isn’t nearly as effective today as it was 3 years ago. Back then, a simple ping could bring in an extra few hundred visitors to your totally brand new blog. Those days are probably over.

However, it doesn’t mean pinging is ineffective anymore. In fact, pinging is still one of the traditional advantages of blogs over conventional html sites. “Tag” and “Ping” is a pretty straightforward method of categorizing your post under a suitable category, and then notifying the social bookmarking sites like Technorati and Del.icio.us, whose spiders will then visit your blog post and index it under the categories you specified. The code that tags your posts is called the <rel=”tag”> and is placed right after your URL, enabling easy categorization of your post.

With WordPress 2.3 supporting tags out of the box, all you need to focus is on, is the quality of your posts, naming the correct tags, and making sure your post gets pinged after you hit the “publish” button. Can’t get simpler than that.

Normally WordPress comes with a default pinging service which is Ping-o-Matic, or just abbreviated to “Pingomatic.” In itself, Pingomatic is effective as a hub which will ping other lesser pinging services, and usually sufficient. But in line with the “more is better” thinking, some people consider having a large ping list will ensure their blog post gets out there with maximum effect. So here are 2 lists which have a large overlap – here, and here.

The problem is, these lists have many defunct ping URLs in them. Many pinging services cease to exist after a while. In addition, it adds to the wait time after you publish your post. I’ve experimented with a few “ping lists,” in the past, but will finally conclude that the only effective ping list is this one:

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://ping.feedburner.com

These are the 3 biggest ping aggregators on the Web. IMHO, you don’t need to add more to that list.

Preventing your blog from getting banned by the pinging services

One of the problems in pinging is the saturation and “noise” effect. Too many blogs and too many pings hitting the servers of the social bookmarking sites mean that they have no hesitation banning your blog from their site, especially if you ping their sites with the same posts over and over again.

This can happen if you should edit and re-edit your posts after publishing them. One of the most useful plugins for preventing your blog from automatically pinging the ping services was Christian Daven’s here (link no longer works)..

It still works on WordPress 2.0 up, but is no longer maintained by Christian. There is an improved version of the plugin here, but do note, it requires an email sign up.

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