U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, December 2010 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

Are you pinging?

If not, you should!

When you ping a page on your website or your RSS feed, you are telling the search engines that you have just updated your content. Google, Bing! and many other search engines really like fresh content, so a “ping-alert” will likely lead to a prompt visit from the search engine spiders – and your new or updated pages will be indexed quicker. Another benefit of pinging your website or blog is that people may find your site in one of the directories that log these RSS feeds of recently updated weblogs. Weblogs.com is such a directory.

RSS (Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. And people can subscribe to your RSS feed, so they will automatically be notified when you have written something new. In a sense it works like an email newsletter – somewhat.

rss icon - newspaperMost blog software have an option to automatically ping certain ping services, but you can also ping your regular html or php pages. You can create RSS feeds from your static site at html2rss.com; signing up is required to use their services, so you will probably be added to an email list. But it’s free!

Where should you ping to? Pingomatic.com is probably the best known free pinging service. Enter the name of your blog/website, the page that you want to ping and your RSS feed (optional). Select the Common Services to ping (or check all) and press the ‘Send Pings” button. There are also Specialized Services that you can ping, but please only use these if they really apply to your blog or website. But there are many other ping services – free or paid.

If you want the search engines to have the latest of your website or blog as quickly as possible you should make sure to always ping your updates. But whatever you do, do it in moderation. Try not to ping these updates too often, or you may be seen as a spammer. Certain blog plugins allow you to control the maximum number of pings (like no more than once every 15 or 30 minutes).

So let’s get pinging!

For more information: contact your webmaster, or email Nardo Kuitert at [email protected]

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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