Paul Maloney of WPZine.com has a pretty good question: Is there a point anymore to using the WordPress ping lists? Paul’s experience mirrors my own in that I’ve not been able to calculate a decrease or increase in site traffic thanks to using sites such as Ping-O-Matic. At one point, I removed all of the sites I used to Ping because I was told that if you ping a website too much, it would ban the domain. At the time, I was also told that each time you update a post after it’s been published, a new ping is sent to the ping list. Without knowing it, I could have been sending way too many pings than what was needed but after I removed the ping list, I didn’t notice any decline in traffic.
There was a time when pinging specific websites after new content had been published would allow that content to be indexed faster instead of going by a web crawling schedule, the ping would notify the crawler to come early and index the new content. Search engines like Google are so fast at indexing new content on the web, I think the benefits of pinging have gone out the window.
While the benefits of pinging are negligible, I happened to take a look at the Ping-O-Matic stats page (it hasn’t worked in months) and was surprised to see a graph showing the number of pings sent. So far for the month of December, the site has sent over 167 million pings. Since by default, the Ping-O-Matic list is used on new installs of WordPress, WordPress.com generated blogs and is able to be used by non WordPress using websites, the number is not that surprising. So while there are still a number of sites sending out Pings, I highly doubt it’s because of any benefits the site owner would receive for doing so. It doesn’t hurt to leave the ping list in tact which is what I recommend doing until all ping servers bite the dust.