I originally published this article about pinging your WordPress blog a little over a year ago. It’s still true that excessive pinging (of your WordPress blog posts) can hurt your ranking in the search engines. It’s also still true that WordPress by default pings when you edit and update your posts. What has changed is the recommendation of how many sites you should be pinging. The thinking used to be that the more pinging services the better. Now, the opposite is true.
What is a Ping?
What the heck is a ping anyways? Well, a ping is a packet of information that is passed from one network device to another. It’s a way of ensuring that the two devices are communicating. As far as your blog/website goes, pings are important because it’s a way of letting the Internet know that you have new information. If you’re posting articles to a WordPress blog, you want the search engines to know that there’s something new and exciting at your site. It’s important that search engines and directories are notified. On the other hand, if you ping too often, you risk being penalized by the search engines for being a ping spammer. So, as a WordPress blogger, what can we do to avoid that?
Did you know that when you update a blog post in WordPress that it pings that update? If you’re making multiple changes to a blog post, you run the risk of alerting the search engines too often and you risk being identified as a ping spammer. (I for one click on the save button a lot when I’m creating a new post. It’s totally unnecessary to ping each update.) So, if you update your post 10 times before your publish it, you’re in effect pinging each of those 10 times.
A Solution for Self-Pinging:
Self-pinging happens when your WordPress blog pings itself. This can happen when you update your posts and it can also happen when you’re linking internally from one of your articles to another. The risk is that the search engines could possibly penalize you for over-pinging.
If you use the CommentLuv Premium plugin, (my affiliate link) there’s a very simple solution to turning off self-pinging on your blog. Simply go into the G.A.S.P. settings screen, scroll down to “trackback validation” and select “Disable self pings?”
An alternative solution to the self-pinging option in the CommentLuv Premium plugin is to install the WordPress Ping Optimizer plugin or the MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin. (Please note that I personally don’t use the MaxBlogPress plugin. I’m recommending it based on recommendations from other bloggers. Also, be aware that this plugin is not part of the WordPress repository. One of the reasons that it was removed is because it requires that you register on their site before you can download it. I have successfully used the WordPress Ping Optimizer plugin.)
# 1) Update your ping list by going into the “Writing Settings” in your WordPress administration panel and scroll down to “Update Services”. Replace your current list of sites to ping with this new updated list and click on “Save Changes”.
Why such a short list now? It’s because Ping-o-matic automatically pings to other pinging services making the previous list that I linked to obsolete. The codex for WordPress lists Ping-o-matic as the default update service.
#2) Make sure you have self-ping disabled on your site. (I use the feature in CommentLuv Premium. Both the WordPress Ping Optimzer and the MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugins are options. If you’re aware of another alternative, as always, please feel free to recommend it in the comment section.)
More About Pinging Services:
To learn more about how using too many pinging services can hurt your ranking in the search engines, check out “How long list of Pinging Services could hurt your SERP” by Nwosu Mavtrevor.
Bonus Tip on Pinging Comments
If you’re commenting on blogs as part of your link-building strategy, you may want to implement a tip that I learned from Ana Hoffman. Ana recommends pinging your blog comments after you leave them. For example, if you left a comment on one of my posts (preferably after it’s been approved), you would go to a ping service such as Pingler.net or Pingomatic.com and ping the link. (For example, keepupwiththeweb.com/friday-finds-twitter-cards-social-networks-seo-triberr-reblogging/#comment-152460.)
Over to You:
How do you handle self-pinging? Do you use either CommentLuv Premium, the WordPress Ping Optimizer plugin or the MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin? We’d like to hear from you.
This post was originally published on 2/24/12 and has been updated to reflect new information.