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Small Business Blogging Tip #11 – How To Ping

PingAccording to Wikipedia, ping means a computer network tool used to test whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network. The ping is sent as an “echo request” packet to the target host and listens for an “echo response” reply.  What this definition should have said is that when you click publish after writing a post, your blog puts the “new mail” flag up to alert the world to your new post.

Much like your RSS feed, your pinging service will expand the reach of your blog and alert other bloggers automatically at the blog network sites they hang out at.  It all sounds very difficult, but follow the directions below and you’ll never have to worry about pinging again.

How do I set up the pinging service for my blog?

  • In WordPress, go to options > writing and add in some ping services at the bottom.  Click update to save your ping settings.  I have included the ping service list we use here at Prevail at the end of this post.  Simply copy and paste it into the ping service block on your blog
  • In Drupal, enable the ping and cron modules in the modules administration area
  • In Typepad, go to Blog Config > Preferences > Publicity/Remote Interfaces/Trackbacks and copy and paste the list at the bottom of this post into the others area.  Click update

Why is pinging good for my blog?

  • Pinging allows you to alert a large group of sites with no effort, that your blog has new content
  • If you turn trackbacks on, your blog will also publish a comment whenever another blog links to yours, helping readers participate in discussions across blogs
  • If a site you link to also has trackbacks on, their site will publish a comment showing that you have linked to their blog

Why would I not want to use pings?

  • The more sites your blog pings after an update, the longer it can take for your post to publish
  • Allowing trackbacks has been known to cause an influx of spam; many bloggers have turned trackbacks off for this reason
  • Trackbacks could potentially lead your readers away from your blog

Pinging isn’t the most glamorous side of blogging, but it is more than worthwhile for you to take the time to turn your pinging service on if needed, and copy and paste a list like the one below into the services area.  You can use more or less, it’s up to you, but it really can’t hurt to ping as many services as you please.   Happy pinging.