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Just Say No To a Big WordPress Ping List

2013 January 31
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by Kathy Alice
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This post was originally published March 6, 2011. In it I published a WordPress ping list and an explanation on what I had done to vet it. However you no longer want to use such an extensive ping list as it might actually hurt your rankings.

Whenever you publish a new post or make edits to your existing ones, WordPress will send a notification (called a ping) to services to let them know about your new (or updated) post. It’s been a good way to get the word out about your blog. WordPress out of the box comes set up to notify one service rpc.pingomatic.com, but we all thought it was good idea to add more (a lot more) services to the list in your WordPress writing settings.

If you search on “WordPress Ping List” you will find a lot of lists you can use. Even the WordPress codex has a pointer to an article with an extensive list.

However this might hurt your rankings, as one blogger recently found out, and none other than Matt Cutts confirmed that Google looks negatively on many of those services. You can read about this in ViperChill’s opus on the Future of Blogging (a very long – but worthwhile read).

So here’s the new WordPress Ping List:


http://rpc.pingomatic.com
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://ping.myblog.jp

Yes, that’s it. Instead of 131 services I now have three. And quite frankly, having your XML sitemap in place and submitted to Google is way more important than having a more complete ping list with a couple of extra services that might get turned off tomorrow. It’s a reflection on how much things have changed in Google-land to see these previously useful tactics turn into bombs (blog carnivals anyone?) that you now have to fix.

Do you need to worry about excessive pinging?

I also found a number of articles that told me I needed to fix “excessive pinging” by WordPress. These recommend plugins such as WordPress Ping Optimizer to prevent edits to posts from pinging. The theory goes is that you need to fix WordPress to not ping so frequently, especially in the situation where you are updating frequently to fix typos and adjust a recently published post. So do you really need to install this or a similar plugin to avoid getting banned due to excessive pinging from multiple edits to your posts?

This was the question I asked myself, and the answer wasn’t readily available. Sure if you go into your blog and update hundreds of your posts a day with little changes just to make your content “fresh” for the search engines, that might cause problems, but for most “real” bloggers that isn’t what we do. And I don’t want to disable pings for edits, at least not all the time. Especially when I substantially rewrite an older post, like I’m doing right now, to bring it up to date.

With each release WordPress has become more sophisticated and even SEO friendly. So I really wondered if it was pinging each time I edited a post. I found my answer by looking at the actual code, namely the cron.php file in wp-includes. What really happens is that WordPress schedules the ping when you make a change, and doesn’t schedule any more pings in the next 10 minutes. So if you make six changes within 10 minutes, only one ping occurs.

And if you happen to update a post 15 minutes later from the initial publish date, I don’t think it is the end of the world. But you might want to be mindful of your editing activities and try to fix all your typos in one go rather than updating the post for each change.

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Kathy Alice

Kathy Alice Brown is a technologist, author, blogger and SEO consultant with a background in web operations and engineering.In her spare time she loves to get outside.
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29 Responses Post a comment
  1. March 26, 2011

    Just wanted to thank you for this post. I was wondering if I had all the right ping services in my blog.

    One issue I am having is that when I had my blog hosted on wordpress sites would automatically show a trackback if I mentioned them. Now, even though I still use the wordpress platform, I am not getting trackbacks on sites like HotAir. I am not sure what happened.

    Anyway. thanks for this post

  2. April 19, 2011

    Great post. We have our own custom CMS, and I’ve been told by my SEO consultant that I need something that pings sites when a user posts a blog, news item, and even a page. Do you know if they all use XML-RPC with the method weblogUpdates.extendedPing and the same parameters?

  3. Kathy Alice permalink*
    April 22, 2011

    Hi Phillip,

    Great question. To be honest I don’t know. I would dig into the wordpress code to figure out what it is doing, I do know it is using XML-RPC. One thing to think about is that if you update the same page a lot, you might need to put a governor so that there are not multiple pings for the same page, which could get you labeled as a spammer.

  4. December 18, 2011

    Thanks for the list. It will be very helpful for me.

  5. January 31, 2013

    Updated this post to radically reduce the number of services in the ping list and to address the question of excessive pinging.

  6. February 9, 2013

    I’m curious, if pingomatic pings the ping server for Google Blog Search, then doesn’t that mean that the server is being pinged twice when a post is made? Could that not be a potentially risky, given how easy it is to be labelled a spammer?

    Having said that, I may have stepped outside by area of expertise so I would appreciate any comments on the matter.

    • Kathy Alice permalink*
      February 11, 2013

      It’s a really good question since pingomatic appears to ping Google Blog Search. If you are worried about it, I would remove google blog search from the ping list. If you are submitting your XML sitemap via Google Webmaster Tools, that’s Google’s (and Bing’s) preferred way to find you anyway. However if you are one of those bloggers that doesn’t consistently post then a ping might help get the Search Engines to come back to your site sooner. After some thought I’m going to keep it in since my level of activity is rather low (once or twice week). It’s also true that pingomatic is often down and even blocked by the search engines – so a ping to pingomatic doesn’t always mean it makes it to Google.

  7. February 15, 2013

    Thanks for your post. I have made changes and I am using just the three ping services above. I am delighted by your fresh insight into this excessive pinging thing. Your post brought me great comfort in that area. Again, thanks and keep up the great job.

  8. March 23, 2013

    Thanks Kathy for sharing this wonderful piece of info.

    After setting up my WordPress blog I always seek for a big ping list. But never ever thought that it may be problematic my blog ranking.

    You’re are extremely right. Many ping website are poor and Spam and google takes them negatively. This will effect even our website if we add them in our list. :)

    • Kathy Alice permalink*
      March 29, 2013

      Glad you found the post useful!

  9. April 3, 2013

    I like the post and has a lot of logic in it. I’ve only had one time Pingomatic and it was ok .Thank you.

  10. April 22, 2013

    OK, just after adding 300+ services to ping, I read your post and decided to cut it down to only 3!

    I’ll be very interested to see if it makes a difference.

    Best,

    Alex

  11. April 26, 2013

    Personally my pages and site seem to rank better by pinging the 50 or so links I have set to be pinged than the 3 you use. I think often it all depends on the situation.

    • Kathy Alice permalink*
      April 28, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback. I think it is Ok to do more than the 3 as long as you vet the additional ones you add. Some of them don’t work or treated as spammy by Google.

  12. May 7, 2013

    I love this lists! Thank you

  13. May 18, 2013

    Thanks for the ping list. I watched other sites are suggesting 100′s of ping services, but i think you’re right it will penalize the rankings.
    Regards

  14. May 24, 2013

    An Interesting view on pinging. I like many others had been advised to avoid WP from pinging when making adjustments to a post or page as this could lead to being de-indexed by the google search engines. Also I too started out bu using a large ping list and have reduced it to only a few.

  15. May 24, 2013

    Thank you very much for the ping list. I added it it to my WP just now.

    I am wondering do you know what is the latest status of the Update Services? I know that the posts were being pinged even when they were edited. Is it still the case.

    • Kathy Alice permalink*
      May 28, 2013

      Yes, pinging will happen if you edit the post.

  16. May 30, 2013

    This list was useful to me

  17. June 9, 2013

    Thank you so much for the list.

  18. June 11, 2013

    Kathy, thank you for this well thought out and clearly delivered post. I have become a serial blogger :) and love it!

    But there is so much techie stuff that I don’t know and frankly don’t care to know.
    However, I do realize that what you don’t know can hurt you.

    I appreciate that you took the time to save me from myself.
    Especially about being mindful of my post correction frequency and the
    possibility of being penalized.

    Yvonne Finn

  19. June 14, 2013

    I found this post when looking for an updated pinging list and I’m glad I did. No more long lists. The 3 you’ve provided will do nicely TYVM…

    Great resource and article!

  20. July 29, 2013

    thank you for the share

  21. May 18, 2014

    Thanks for the valuable post and suggestion . My blog ping list was too big . I had listed almost every ping site to my blog . Now going to remove them and use use only the best of them .

  22. June 1, 2014

    Do you still use just the 3? Any update, or the same 3?

    Also, I do you use the optimizer,
    and the log seems to be catching my frequent edits.

    • Kathy Alice permalink*
      June 2, 2014

      Yep, I still use just the 3. I think having a XML sitemap registered with GWMT is the best way to get Google’s attention to your new posts. I don’t use the Optimizer for the reasons I mention in the post.

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