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What is a ping:

In blogging, the act of pinging allows you to notifies a server that your content has been updated. The ping signal is sent to one or more “ping servers,” which continually generate a list of blogs that have new material.  Many blog authoring tools automatically ping one or more servers each time the blogger creates a new post or updates an old one.  A small breakdown of which tools automatically do this and how to do this manually follows below.

There are two ping “camps” on the web.  Those ping servers which let other web services subscribe to a list of blogs that have recently pinged them, for example VeriSign’s Moreover Technology.  This allows blog search engines to provide fresh results very quickly by polling only the newly updated blogs.  These ping servers tell subscribers which items on their subscription lists have fresh material.

Most of the major blog search engines operate with ping servers that gather information only for their own applications .  Propreitary servers with their own subscription applications have no icentive to share their received ping data directly with other servers, which may offer competeing services.  In this case, bloggers have to ping a large number of individual servers to receive the desired publicity.  To effectively syndicate your information to these various search engines, you must learn to ping as there are ping services out there which ping multiple proprietary ping servers.

Ping from Point of Publish

The easiest way to ping is to leverage the ping option in your blog software.  All wordpress self-hosted blogs have this option.  Other self hosted blogs do offer this as well, however I personally have never used other blog platforms so you would best be served if you contact the “help” section of your individual blog service.

To set or change your ping list on a self-hosted wordpress blogs you need to go to your admin area /wp-admin/options-writing.php and scroll down until you come to the last option, which is your ping list.  Here you will see a standard list offered with every wp blog.  This is not an exhaustive list!  My suggestion is to go back to Jack’s post about ping lists, do a copy & paste and dump Jack’s list into your ping list.  Be sure to delete the current list to ensure you are not double pinging any services before you past Jack’s list.

It couldn’t be easier than this to ping.  For this list essentially sends pings to all those sites listed on your ping list each and everytime you hit “publish” (which means that when you update a post it is re-pinged!).   Each time you post something to your blog, the bots are sent to spider your content and send your keywords, hyperlinks, scrollover texts, picture descriptions… EVERYTHING back to the ping services and they in turn constantly send their information to google and co.

This is very beautiful.  And powerful.  And easy.

Now, just because you can put this on autopilot does not mean that you may not want to look at the “post publish pinging” services mentioned below — especially King Ping (no, I do not get any affiliate brownie points for any of the payed services mentioned below, which is tragic, I know).

Post Publish Pinging

There is one reason why I chose this wordpress.com blog. To purposefully put myself at a disadvantage and enable myself to remember what I have learned and observed in blog publishing instead of relying on automatic set-ups, plug-ins and widgets.  And to show you that even with a wp.com or blogspot.com blog you can still create not only awesome content, but you can do all that savvy stuff self hosted bloggers do.  You just need to work a wee bit harder.  So do not fear, if your blog system does not allow you to change a ping list in the admin section, you can do this externally.  There are free services out there or you can use payed services.

Free post publish pinging services:

  • ping-o-matic — a solid short list of “must” ping sites.
  • Feed Ping — by far the most exhaustive free ping list.
  • King Ping — these guys have a pretty funky set up and a free ping option.

Paid post ping services:

  • pingler — an exhaustive list of about 100 ping sites, pingler allows you to add 25 different URLs to their services which they ping automatically for you every three days.
  • King Ping — you can submit 30 different URLs to ping with thier services.  This service is more expensive (at $17 a month) but they come and spider all your URLs many times a day for new content.  The URLs you submit can be blogs, twitter, squidoo, scrbd, hubpages, ezine articles… and the list goes on.  May very well be worth your money.

Get the help from the pinging websites which will ping your latest post permalink and rss to hundreds of websites ! As you make the pings, you will be able to spread your blog post all over the web. This way your blog post will get lot of visibility and your blog will get lot of quality traffic and valuable links.

As usual, I have learned heaps in the process of researching this topic for you!  I am going to go back to some of the sites to see which service I am going to use in the future!

Do you have any other ping sites you use?  Have you pinged your twitter feed?  Or do you only ping your blog?  Why?

This post is a conituation of my syndication series, you might also be interested in: