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Another Part Of Blogging Dies – Pinging

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December 13th, 2010
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WordPress Discussions

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.

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  1. Otto (215 comments.) says:

    I’ve said it before, but XMLRPC pings are kinda useless. Install RSSCloud and the PushPress plugin and your content will get to readers in seconds after publishing it.

  2. Paul (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the mention Jeff!

    I was a little apprehensive about publishing that particular article, but the outcome has been pretty much one sided and seem to agree with the points you and I have made.

    Since that post I have been pinging Ping-O-Matic’s list and many never actually get there, so one would assume there isn’t much life left in pinging!

  3. Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

    I never did understand the point to pinging anyways, always seemed like a spam tactic to me

  4. Angie (20 comments.) says:

    While there is no spike in traffic when pinging services are used, there definitely is faster indexing by the search engines. I’ve never used pinging to help out with extra traffic, but the difference between how fast my blog with pinging enabled gets indexed versus a blog with pinging disabled is staggering. That of course provided that all of the pages from the later get indexed to begin with, which is another positive side effect of pinging – it helps fast indexing before your page gets buried and missed by the spider. I would certainly not ditch pinging unless you already have a PR5 or higher blog so SE spiders are on it at all times.

  5. Michael Pate says:

    It lasted 9 years (sort of) but everything comes to an end eventually…

    http://oldweblogscomblog.scripting.com/2001/10/21

  6. Doug Smith (17 comments.) says:

    I suspect pinging as we’ve known it is nowhere near as important if you generate an xml sitemap when new content is added and then ping Google and others using their specific services to notify them that your sitemap is updated. In my experience, that makes a huge difference in the time to get your content indexed.

  7. Simon (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the heads up, I have been pinging my blog from the beginning, but its new so I can’t really tell if its working or not, but I will try to use the RSSCloud to see some results.



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