Has Google Pinged You as a Spammer?

Has Google Pinged You as a Spammer?

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Question:

“I have read many conflicting reports on the best sites to include in your wordpress settings to automatically ping when a post is released.

Do you have a resource on your site or one you know online that summarizes only the necessary yet the best ones to include in the settings?

I have also heard that including everything in here hurts as there are some duplicate ping activities that take place.”

~ Sunil, Extra Money Blog

In WordPress terms:

A ping is a “this site has new content” notification that invites search engine bots to visit your blog.

By default, WordPress pings one pinging service called Ping-o-matic; that service will in turn ping others.

How many services does YOUR blog currently ping?

How many should you ping?

Why is it important?

Too Much Pinging Can Cost Google Rankings

Back in the day when the more backlinks your website had, the better, we used to see mile-long lists if pinging services we just had to use.

Now that Google is pushing more and more towards quality of search results (as well as they should), “more” can be damaging.

Take a look at what Glen wrote in one of his ViperChill.com posts, after he had sent out a tweet concerning his lower than expected search engine rankings:

“I received a personal reply from Google’s head of web-spam, Matt (Cutts), who asked me if, when a blog posts goes live, I ping certain services

Though I wasn’t pinging the services Matt asked me about, I was pinging a few with a foreign domain extension that he had mentioned and a lot of others, so I decided to remove all but a couple of them from my list.

A few days later and my rankings were back where they should be.

How crazy is it that some behind the scenes WordPress setting was costing me search rankings for my own brand name?”

Now that we know how important this is, we need to figure out the minimum number of ping services to use to achieve the maximum results.

My Ping Services List

After extensive research, here are my findings.

1.   You can find a list of services WordPress suggests to use here.

It doesn’t have the time stamp, so I am not sure how current/relevant this list is.

2.   Vladimir Prelovac (founder of ManageWP) has his own WordPress ping list.

According to WordPress, this list is manually checked and updated.

3.   My top solution:

WordPress Compressed All-Inclusive Ping List

The late 2012 update to the list explains:

“Pingomatic has been growing, and they now ping more sites.

From reading their blog, it looks like they keep up well with technical changes required by the sites they ping.

Additionally, some services that have disabled their ping url’s now only seem to accept pings coming from pingomatic directly.

I deemed it therefore better from now on to use pingomatic with an additional list of ping services not supported by pingomatic.”

Makes complete sense.

Here’s the updated list (just copy and paste this list into Settings > Writing > Update Services) – this is the only list you need to use:

http://rpc.pingomatic.com

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2

http://ping.myblog.jp

How to Avoid Being Pinged as a Spammer

By default, WordPress pings whenever you post a new topic on your blog.

That’s fine and that’s what we want.

But did you know that WordPress also pings whenever you edit and update any existing post?

If you edit a post 10 times, then WordPress will send 10 pings.

As a result, your blog might get banned from pinging services because of excessive pinging.

Here’s an easy fix: make sure you install this free MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin; it will correct the pinging problem without any work on your part.

Marketing Takeaway

You’ve got 30 seconds to update your ping list.

Go to Settings > Writing > Update Services.

Time starts now…

Off to update my own ping list,

traffic generation cafe wordpress ping

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

160 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hi Ana,
    I was searching for a solution to prevent excessive pinging and am so glad I came across your guide. I have already implemented your recommendations and installed the Ping Optimizer.

    A lot of work has already been put into my site and the last thing anyone wants is to see their site penalized for overlooking an important element.

  2. Hello Ana, You are right. Sending pings too many services can make you spammer. So i am using only 3 urls given by you. Thanks a lot.

  3. Dave Thomas

    Good mentioned about this Ana, actually I’m not so aware of it concerning the Google might ping you as a spammer because of excessive pinging. This is good to know about and thank you for sharing a WP plugin as well.

  4. Thats nice information, but Latelly I’ve found FindThiss.com to be a very nice surprise. At least for what I can see on my analitics. There are many Ping services that have never made any difference to my site.

  5. Appreciate for sharing this important article. There are a lot of Ping list some having more than hundreds, which in turn will slow down pinging and also might be tagged as a spammer. The condensed list suffices.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Antoinette

    Hi Ana,
    I was given a fast indexer software last year as part of a subscription I purchased and today, I had trouble getting that software to work and couldn’t get answers from the developer.

    So I broke my challenges down to the most basic questions I could formulate and that’s how I found your site. Thanks so much for keeping it nice and simple.

    Now that Google rewards site that produce rich content often and with the answers I found here on your site, I’m fairly certain we’ll be able to rank my client’s site in a timely manner.

    Again, thanks

  7. Thank God I ran across this, I was fearing that pings could be a disaster for my answers and questions website made with wordpress. I totally disabled pings all together, but I now use the short 3 line list given by Ana. We need more smart people like Ana online teaching people stuff. She is like a real Teacher.

  8. Hi Ana, I read about this post and felt really glad to know more about ping services. but im bit confused, are you sure that one need only above 3 ping services? i even met people using more then 3. what do you think? thank you :)

  9. selva

    Hi Ana,
    This blog is really interesting how the specific of making clients in online marketing or social media marketing such as facebook and word press ,twitter etc.
    Thank you

  10. I know lots of ping list suggested by peoples from over 2 years ago until today. But, For today, I will take a new step to move hundreds ping list I’ve used from years ago, I hope I can see a different result.

    Thanks for this valuable information Ana.

  11. Wow, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I went and checked my ping list and sure enough it was fairly lengthy – and that was with only using the WP recommended list. I also was unaware that pings were sent out after every edit, that freaked me out – I tend to go back and edit things fairly often. I’ve cut it down to the 3 you’ve suggested and will be using the plugin. Great advice!

  12. Imran Khan

    So too much pinging can even cost bad and negative effect to SEO now what will be next ?? :/ too much posting at one time?

  13. Hi Ana,

    Thanks for this great post!

    After this post I went back and checked the services I had listed to be pinged. Holy cow it was a LONG list! Your new list is definitely a lot shorter. My list was compiled based on the information that was available when I set my blog up a little over a year ago. It’s amazing how much things can change in 12-15 months.

    I did know about the services being re-pinged every time that a post is updated, so I always take great pains to proofread and make sure that the post is just how I want it before I publish it. Obviously mistakes happen and I have to update a post, but I’ve been pretty successful at keeping that to a minimum.

    Hopefully the reduced ping list will help out.

    Thanks for sharing this excellent information!

    I hope you have a great rest of the week!

    ~Barry

  14. Lee

    Hi ana
    This never even occurred to me that this would be a complication with pinging. I have a feeling I might go over to using like caiman said the google site map plugin I don’t want to get penalised through trying to keep things updated which is what we should be doing.

    So for great heads up thanks lee

  15. I also use the Google XML plugin which automatically updates my sitemap and notifies Google whenever I post, however I haven’t disabled the default WordPress ‘pings’.

    I wonder if there is any problem with using both.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think the main point of this post was not to over-ping, thus a short list of services. As long as you do that, pinging and having an updated sitemap are the way to go.

  16. I never really understood this thing about pings. So thanks for an informative article. I’m planning on migrating to WP, so info on plugins and such is a big help. :)

  17. I’ve been going ping-less for a while now. Instead I just use a Google Sitemap plugin for WordPress that updates Google, Bing and Yahoo! whenever I add new posts.

    Search engine traffic has been great, so I’m going to stick with that.

  18. Hi Ana.
    “I’m concerned about excessive pinging when editing a post”
    I really hope that others read this post and participate in some appropriate research and post back their findings. It seems that word press had improved on its ping functionality.
    I have cb ping optimiser on my word press blog and all seemed fine…then I updated the plugin and was informed by the owner “Chip Bennett” that there is no need for the plug-in as word press handles the pings more intuitively than most people think.
    Below is one of his statements.
    Why? Because this Plugin’s functionality is no longer needed. In fact, this Plugin’s functionality may never have been needed in the first place. But regardless of that, it certainly isn’t needed now.
    Sorry to add this URL…it is not mine (so I wasn’t looking for a link to my site); it is from word press.
    wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cbnet-ping-optimizer/

    I also found another explanation here sitepoint.com/does-wordpress-ping-pages-or-just-posts/
    “Digging into the Word Press code, there IS a ping signal sent on a post edit (not on page edits of course). So each and every edit causes a new ping list call out. But is that a bad thing?
    Not really. First off, remember the ping signal is not sent out immediately but is passed to the Word Press pseudo cron routine for processing, which adds a delay. This routine ignores multiple ping requests, so only one will eventually get sent. Additionally, a ping request is not the post’s URL, but the blog’s URL, so that means editing multiple posts over a short period combines the pings, further reducing the number actually sent.”
    Look forward to any advice you may have
    Thanks
    Rob

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for all the additional info, Rob.

      As I was doing my research on this post, I haven’t found any evidence from WordPress itself that it fixed repeated pinging of edited posts.

      Neither did I find such evidence in your references.

      The first one is a bit too complicated for my simple blogging brain to understand. :)

      The latter one is just their opinion on why multiple pinging is not such a bad thing, but in the end, we don’t really know.

      Running a pinging plugin doesn’t require any additional server resources; I’ll keep mine – better safe than sorry. That’s what I’d suggest you do as well, to answer your question.

      • Hi Ana.
        Thanks for the reply.
        I am still using a simple ping optimizer for wordpress until I get more clarification on the subject. I have mailed Chip for more info. What ever I find out I’ll be back to include here
        Thanks
        Rob

  19. I’ve always questioned the effectiveness of pinging these services. The idea is that you notify Google (and other search engines) that you have a new post and they send a spider over to take a look. It’s a bit like the meta tag that tells spiders to revisit after a certain number of days. It sounds great to think you can summon the Googlebot when you want it, but at the end of the day the Googlebot works to it’s own timeframe.

    I cut everything back to just PingOMatic a long time ago, as it struck me that having loads of ping services seemed like a beacon to search engines that my site might be spammy, and at a minimum I was probably doing SEO on it. Normal sites don’t have anything other than PingOMatic.

    I’d love to see some research done to compare a blog with pinging switched off versus one with pinging turned on to see what, if any, difference it really makes.

    Chris

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are exactly right, Chris – that’s all pinging is meant to do, and its true effectiveness remains in question.

      I think many people used so many pinging services in the past because of possible link building (that’s when quantity of links actually mattered). No longer the case of course.

      • yeah..I too was busy with my Schedule and then long vacations with family.I was expecting too many posts but Was shock to see just few of them :) :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve never researched one, Chitraparna – this one is free and it’s great, so I never bothered.

      I think someone has suggested an alternative earlier in the comments.

    • Mohit Rajwani

      Same question was mine between I am searching over the web for it,will surely update you with my results :) :)

  20. Wow, that’s a scary thought. I would have never thought of pinging to cause major issues with search engines, but I suppose duplicate content will get you in trouble with Google’s Panda update. Very good thoughts.

  21. I didn’t even think of pinging services being a problem. I have a pretty big list that I copied from somewhere a while back. I’m off to go change that now. Thanks Ana.

  22. Over use of pings can result in lot of rankings, that was the lesson learnt from this article. Try to use MaxBlogPress Optimizer plugin and see how it works.

  23. Scott Stembridge

    Um thanks Ana, my current ping list has 100 on it, lol! Lucky I don’t suffer from size issues, 3 it is :)

    I’m pleased I stopped by to see what you’d written.

  24. Hi anna, Thanks for another informative post for bloggers. This is first time I;m reading that google will notice our blogs as spam if pining very often. I used to ping google whenever I publish a post. Will stop it now..

  25. That’s an interesting discovery Ana. Do you think the basic pinging that WordPress provides is enough to let search engines know about your website? Or is it really necessary to use an alternate tool like MaxBlogPress?

    • Ana Hoffman

      The MBP plugin protects you from excessive pinging, Karthik; it leaves the actual pinging to WP.

      I’d strongly suggest to have a sitemap submitted to Google to cover all the basis of effective indexing.

  26. Yes, I had this issue with Google several month ago. I used to update frequently several articles and they were immediately sand-boxed. Fortunately, I researched a little and found out later that I should install a ping optimizer. After installing the plug-in all things went back to normal.

  27. Joseph Adediji

    Hi Ana,
    I have a Long List of ping URL that I use on all my blogs and the result have been great. I usually get my new posts indexed as fast as 10 seconds after publishing, and also I think WP has fixed the multiple pinging issue so it won’t be a problem anymore.
    BTW, Great post.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think the main point of my post was not about how quickly your posts could get indexed, Joseph. I am sure if I do no pinging, my posts will get indexed right away nonetheless, considering my site’s authority, plus a good sitemap.

      However, excessive pinging might be harmful; THAT’S the point.

  28. Katrin Rain

    Why make a zillion links today and ping them all of them on the same day? You can use pingomatic out of them.But I don’t think pinging of all links to help you index your website pages or to find more backlinks.I think sitemap is a better option to index a website pages faster.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Having a sitemap is definitely a must, Katrin.

      I think it’d be hard to know for sure which one is more effective for indexing: pinging or a sitemap.

  29. Matt

    Thanks for some great info, Ana. I’ve never tried to use any excess pinging so my initial thoughts were – “who cares, why am I reading this?”. BUT, the point your brought up about post editing is kind of shocking. I’ve noticed my traffic dip lately and I’ve been doing a bit of editing on my last few blog posts – I’m not sure if that’s the whole story but I’ll definitely check into the plug-in you recommended.

    Thanks!
    Matt

    • Ana Hoffman

      Always better to be safe than sorry, Matt – don’t know if pinging is at the heart of any of your problems, but might pay off to fix it anyway. Especially, considering how easy it is.

  30. This is s really a interesting article on pinging services, People are basically add a lots of ping service in the list, in search if of greater traffic but lands in as a spammer. Half knowledge is always worse than ignorance.

  31. Sayeed

    Just knew about the “Ping” for sure not going to reedit any post… Prevention is better than precaution… but is this ping is just with wordpress or even it applies on other blogging platforms like Blogger, Jommela, Typepad etc?

  32. Whoa! never knew that if we edit a post 10 times which equals 10 pings and Google will see it as spam and get ban later. Really have to read post very carefully before we hit the ‘Publish’ button.

    Thanks for great tips.

  33. The update services ping list in WordPress isn’t something I look at or update very often. In fact I haven’t checked it or changed it in probably six months to a year. After reading this post I figured it might be a good time to take a peek at mine. For some reason I had the rpc pingdom service on my list twice. At the very top and further down, which I couldn’t see without scrolling through the list. I have no idea how it got there twice. Good thing I checked. I removed the duplicate now. So it might be wise to check for duplicate entries too. You just never know.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Know what you mean, Ray – last time I updated mine was when pinging every single service and then some was in vogue…

  34. Thanks for the update Ana, I believe how often you update your site is more of a factor as far as indexation rates are concerned. I’ll probably just go with the list that you suggest, thanks for the helpful tips!

  35. Felix Lee

    Thanks for sharing this information on pinging. I didn’t know much about this before. I need to go update my settings right now. Happy holidays!

  36. Excellent guidance, pinging is always an over looked after thought and it is surprising that what services you ping can and do affect your search rankings.

  37. Tony

    I think I got categorized as spam. When I post new content to my website, I immediately ping them to four websites. All I found out is that those four sites have almost the same services. So that makes one submission into four! I am intrigued with this post. This post explains the result of my site. Thanks Ana H.!

  38. Hi Ana ,

    I use cbnet ping optimizer which safe guards from pinging same site again and again.

    Many people don’t know about this that everytime they update their post wordpress automatically sends ping to all the listed sites in pinging section & yeah thanks for the updated list. I have to remove many sites from my list.

    Wish You Merry Christmas ,
    Rahul

  39. Hi Anna, I haven’t faced any issue in the past. However, where I am just using the default, those blogs having trouble in getting the post indexed in Google. Happy Holidays!

    • Ana Hoffman

      There are only that many pinging services, Ahmad, and Pingomatic pings a good number of them. I’d find it hard to believe that other pinging services can do what this one can’t.

  40. Ana, with the latest WordPress update they finally fixed pinging! No more need for an external plugins – yay! But the rest is still very valid – we don’t need the ginormous ping lists that I used to have myself.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    • lol Jason, I just installed MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer and was wondering if I needed to put the list of ping services in its field as well as the place Ana mentions in her post, then I saw your comment. I guess I installed it for nothing. :)

      Philippe

      • Ana, Happy New Year!

        I thought it strange too – apparently if you look at the WordPress site’s update list. And the plugin I mentioned? It asked to be updated and *poof* it said that it wasn’t needed any more!

      • Hi Ana,

        I have been studying the “Does WordPress Still Ping on Update” issue today on various sites and came across this excellent article. Thank you for the discussion and for the recommendation of the nice and short Ping Services list.

        Reading the WordPress code and documentation and Chip’s notes on the cbnet Ping Optimizer I believe the “Ping on Update” issue is better managed but not fixed.

        WordPress still generates a ping request on every update (see second sentence on http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services). The WordPress Pinger runs periodically to handle these ping requests and ping the “Ping Services” on the list, having removed duplicate pings.

        Providing you have a sensible Ping Services list (like the ones you give above) this is probably acceptable and will not get your blog penalized for ping spam hence the reason why Chip says the issue is fixed and has withdrawn his plugin.

        However, if you want to be REALLY sure that you do NOT send a ping on every update to a published post then you do need to use a Ping Optimizer plugin to inhibit the unwanted ping requests.

        But sometimes after having done half a dozen small edits to a post, I have completed the changes and I DO want to ping the post. But just once.

        Right now I am pondering on writing a plugin that modifies the Post Editor on WordPress so when you save your edits to a published post you can elect to click either the “Update” or “Update and Ping” button.

        Ana, would this feature be of interest to you, or do you see the ability to ping on demand a non-issue?

        • Ana Hoffman

          That was pretty much my conclusion as well, Russell; thanks for taking your time to do your own research and leaving the comment.

          As to your plugin question is concerned, I do see value in it.

          I think most bloggers, including me, are more of a “better safe than sorry” mindset and your little modification will fit right in and give us peace of mind.

  41. Hi Anna,

    I learned about this ping thing here on your blog a few days ago. I stumbled upon this post: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/what-is-ping/ I think from your ebook “7 steps to complete search engen domination”. On that post you had a long list of pinging services, and here you only have three, which is another factor on my confusion. But I have removed the rest and I am only left with the three you recomend on this post. I have also installed the MaxBlogPress Ping plugin.

    I have put the 3 services under Settings > Writing > Update Services. The plugin also has a text field to put the ping services, i did put the three there too. But now, my question is: when i publish a new post, will it not be pinged twice? (i.e by wordpress and the plugin). Which may result in spamming.

    • Ana Hoffman

      This is the updated version of the previous post.

      The ping service list in the plugin is synchronized with your WP list and it’ll be pinged only once, even though they are entered in both locations.

  42. I totally trust what you say on this site, Ana. So I’ve just taken off all the items on my pinging list, and have put up the 3 you’ve suggested. Thanks, Ana.

  43. Hey Ana,

    This is really useful to know because I use to have quite a drawn out process of pinging my blog everywhere. On my wordpress at Seven Sentences when I edit and update, it tells me that the post has already been pinged… so I guess I have something built into my theme already right?

    Thanks
    Geoff

  44. Ali | Writers Blog

    Ping usually reminds me of Ping Pong (my fav game). Updated my list in just 7 seconds YAY. Removed about a dozen entries that were being pinged. I hardly edit previous posts so maybe I don’t need the plugin.

  45. Ana Hoffman

    Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about blogspot, Peter; I think it’s worth doing some research.

  46. Thanks for the post Ana, I’ve updated the settings on my MaxBlogPress plugin to reflect the ones you recommended in your post. I installed the plugin once I discovered, as you mentioned in your post, that every time I edited a post it would ping everybody again. Sometimes I edit a post several times and I can imaging how annoying that would be to the pingbots ;)

  47. I had no idea that WordPress was pinging to tell Google to update. I had always thought that Google would just get to it the next time it happened to crawl my site. If I wanted it indexed quicker the best way I have found is by using Google Webmaster Tools and asking Google to index the page, fetch as Googlebot and then submit to index. Thanks for the info.

  48. I did not really know about this issue and I immediately updated my blog with this plugin and the ping list you shared. Thank you for sharing such awesome information. It can be lifesaver for many bloggers.

    Regards,
    Kumar

  49. Hi Ana,

    very interesting indeed. I have a question, though: if I don’t ping when I update a post, how does the Google (or whoever) know that they have to crawl my site again because there has been some changes? Besides I have noticed that if you do alter something in an already published post, it takes a good few days to show on Google.
    In addition, I was reading one of Lisa Irby’s posts recently and she was saying that updating old posts helped her rank better.
    Is there a contradiction somewhere?
    Am I making any sense? :D:D

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, Andrea; it does make sense and you bring up a good point.

      Most of the edits we do to a post are not the kind of edits that would help up with SE rankings; things like spelling errors, formatting, etc.

      Also, pinging or no pinging, SE bots will usually (eventually) crawl new content and newly edited content (if it’s deep linked right, which it should be) without any pinging whatsoever.

      If you did make changes that might help you with search engines, you can simply manually ping that post with Pingoat or any other service.

  50. wonderful! i’ve been blogging for some month now and to be honest, i haven’t added any pinging services to my blog except for the default ping which is pingomatic. now that i have read this post i’ll have to add the other two suggested pinging services you recommended above. thanks

  51. Hi Ana, thanks for the details regarding the ping service. Slowly I think I understand the system of generating traffic. But I am stuck for the time being as Google has ranked my site lowly and I have to work seriously and do something about it. Any suggestions?

  52. Jacoby

    Hello!
    I’ve read a few of your blogs now and they are always good! (Still haven’t completely wrapped my head around the pings which come back to your WP blog after you post though, I just know not to accept it)

    You really seem to be on the ball with your game, but I guess that’s what you do huh.

    Can I ask something?

    Does this apply to just wordpress sites, or other blogs or posts you do around the net, etc?

    Thanks for writing such good blogs BTW! I asked a couple pretty well known marketers about pinging today and they said, “ping away!”

    I guess that tells me not even many experienced people are onto this stuff.

    Thanks for your time!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I don’t know about other blogging platforms and their default pinging practices; worth to check out.

      I know, many bloggers are clueless about the issue.

  53. No matter how much I know and teach about WP, I can always learn something new. Sites all updated. Thanks for the great information. This will probably help site speed also for most people. I know for my site every time I’d publish I’d hang for awhile. Probably due to the 25 – 30 pings I was doing.

  54. Love the lil Santa Ana – but it made it almost impossible to click out of your opt-in Pop-Up :-(

    I started using cbnet Ping Optimizer for my blog as I didn’t realize WordPress would just Ping the world whenever you did anything in it. What is awesome about this plugin besides being free? It shows you an activity log of what was pinged and what wasn’t pinged. And you can manage your list in there.

    Which I just had to chop out like 30 RPC’s… Yeesh.

    Well Happy Holidays Ana! Another great post!

  55. Thanks for this article Ana! I had over 30 in my ping list… it is now down to 3 ;) Also, a good alternative to the MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin is cbnet Ping Optimizer. The developer says “this plugin is a fork of the MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin, with registration/activiation functionality removed.”

  56. Stupid stuff like this is why small businesses don’t stand a chance when it comes to seo. We installed the Ping Optimizer plugin as I sometimes make edits after a post is published and have heard from Pat Flynn that this could cause a problem. Thanks for the info, another thing to think about on top of everything else!

  57. “But did you know that WordPress also pings whenever you edit and update any existing post?”

    This is striking to me. Thanks so much for this post Ana. It helps a lot.

  58. Ana,

    I just discovered your site today, thanks to your podcast with Shane & Paul (OK, not so much Paul:) ). I am a WordPress Designer, so I thought I would chime in on the subject of pinging.

    First, thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention. I try to spread the word about excessive and inappropriate pinging whenever possible and I’m glad to see when others take up the cause as well.

    Regarding your ping list suggestions, Pingomatic already pings Google Blog Search, so I wouldn’t add that to my personal list. Pingomatic.com lists all the places they ping on their front page, which makes it easy to edit your list. Also, their list changes regularly, so be sure to check it several times a year if you want to keep your list up-to-date and non-duplicative.

    I test a lot of plugins and I’ve found the free Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger to be excellent. It’s been a while since I looked at MaxBlogPress’s Ping Optimizer, so I don’t know how they compare today and, unfortunately, their page is currently down so I can’t go check it out again. I do know that another such plugin, cbnet Ping Optimizer, is outdated and no longer supported, so shouldn’t be used.

    But, with Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger, I like that it only pings once, when a new post is published and that it does ‘extended pings’, which means it pings the URL of the new post, not just pinging the homepage every time a new post is made. Makes for a much better quality ping. It also shows a log of what’s been pinged and when, this helps you monitor exactly what your blog is doing behind the scenes.

    You can read about all of its features at the developer’s page here – http://ultimateplugins.com/smart-update-pinger/. Ana, I don’t know your policy on including links, so please delete this if it is inappropriate. And I will know to not do it in the future.

    One final ping-related suggestion, I always recommend to clients, and others, to turn off WordPress’s self-pinging feature. Depending on how you have WordPress configured you can end up cluttering up your comments area with pingbacks from your own site. To avoid this, use a plugin like WordPress Tweaks (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-tweaks/) to disable self-pinging.

    Best Regards,
    TJ Greene

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the wealth of additional information, TJ, and thanks to Shane (and Paul – silently, lol) for bringing you here.

      Correct me, if I am wrong: the main point of pinging is to help your content to get indexed. Whether you ping 5 services or 25, chances are the SE bots get the message and crawl your post.

      With that said, just pinging Pingomatic should be plenty.

      I didn’t know such a thing as “extended pings” existed; no idea if MBP Pingomizer does that…

      I do agree about self-pinging; it’s annoying at the very least. CommentLuv Premium has a feature to disable self-pings, but thanks for the suggestion for those readers who don’t have it.

      Your feedback/tips/links are always welcome here.

      By the way, your link in the “website field” leads to a protected directory. Or is it an error?

      • Ana, you are correct, pinging is to help get your content indexed. Pre-Panda and -Penguin you could have an enormous ping list and it was fine, but post-P and -P, excessive pinging can really do some harm to your rankings.

        If you are using a good SEO plugin, I recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast for many reasons that I won’t go into here, you will automatically be pinging the important search engines directly with all new content. With the current configuration of our WordPress sites, our server logs show Google and Bing crawling them within minutes of a new post, even on brand new sites.

        We still use Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger to ping Pingomatic only, because, for one, we are not seeing any penalties from doing it, and two, being in the WordPress ‘Business’ we continually test and monitor these things. Currently, we only recommend pinging Pingomatic, at most.

        BTW, the 403 error you experienced trying to access our WordPress How To site was caused by a recently activated plugin conflicting with W3 Total Cache, which is notorious for not playing well with others. Oh, the irony! But, it’s fixed now.

        Regards,
        TJ

  59. This is a very good point you raise, Ana.

    Up until a few months back I only used “Pingomatic ” “Pingoat” and ” Pingler”…and I stuck to those three religiously..(until Pingoat had issues then three became two…

    Then I added a full blown Pinging list to my site(very extensive and came with some good credos)..to the pinging options(where Pingomatic is the default WordPress service)…

    Now you have got me thinking as to whether I have overdid the whole thing, and should scrap that additional “full blown pinging list” …….

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think you should drop pinging your own content with other services, Daniel; I am pretty sure they just duplicate the pings.

  60. Hi Ana,

    Well thank you for this information, I was actually using a lot of services in my ping list, more than 50 I think, I don’t know if that was a good thing to do but I updated my list now.

    What do you think about Pingler.com should I use it to ping my posts? I ping Youtube videos and articles I submit to article directories with it.

    Have a nice day Ana.

    ~Philip

    • Ana Hoffman

      I used to ping everything with both Pingler.com and Pingoat.net, Philip, but no more – less is better these days.

      Still think it’s a good idea to ping your work published outside of your domain.

  61. Yikes! I had 25 services/sites in my WP pinglist… a carry over from the “old” days. On top of that, out of that entire list I didn’t even have the Google and MyBlog URLs. It was definitely a time for an update, lol. So pinglists all updated as per your 30 second challenge! Thanks, Ana.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the 30 seconds, Jim; it’s amazing how many bloggers will just “file it for later”, aka “never”.

  62. Jacko

    Here’s a question I would like to know what have you experienced? Have you noticed spam comments w/a link to hotmail or yahoo and even google?

    I have sites built with comments on default that get loaded with hundreds of spam comments after a few months and the funny thing is WHO the spammers are. Is it just me?

    • Hey Jacko, if you’re implying that these big sites are spamming your blogs, I can understand how exciting it would be to blow the whistle on such a practice…

      I’m sorry but that’s not the case.

      You most likely see these links for one of these 2 reasons: 1/ a spammer is testing his software with some generic url before actually spamming his own address, 2/ a spammer didn’t set his software properly.

    • Jacko,

      You will get flooded with spam comments if you don’t have anything in place to block all those Automated comments, etc…

      Just change your commenting rules in your Commenting system.and make changes to your anti spam settings, if needed….

      I recently had to abolish my “allow comment after previous comment approved” rule, as you sometimes get a single genuine looking comment sent through, then the same person floods you with spam once the door is open….

      Also, Spammers even join your Newsletter Mailing lists…which shows how far people will go with spamming….

      So just change your commenting rules, and make any needed changes to your anti spam settings, and that should do it…

      Set your anti spam to “delete after one day(24 hours) or a little longer, and just go and check through whatever is left to moderate in your WordPress dashboard….

    • Ana Hoffman

      Looks like you need some good anti-spam plugin, Jacko; GASP is my favorite. That should take care of your problem.

  63. I had a similar problem several moths ago, when I wasn’t aware that modifying an updating a post would send many pings. Therefore, those articles were sandboxed for a couple of weeks. Nevertheless, I knew there was something wrong and I’ve found that installing a ping optimizer plugin will solve the problem. Never had a similar problem since.

  64. That MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer was one of the first plugins I installed on my blog and I’m sure it’s helped me avoid appearing as a spammer to search engines.

    It’s interesting how short that list is since my current one has about 30 different services, but Pingomatic does include most of them from reading that post you shared.

    Changing them now! :)

    Thanks a bunch,
    -Gabe Johansson

  65. WordPress pings when we edit our posts and there’s where we get the spammer tittle. MaxPress Ping Optimizer works there. Awesome post Ana. :)

  66. Thanks for the article Ana, I know already about the MaxBlogPress plugin but I haven’t read a detailed explanation of why it is useful to use. It’s correct that pinging can harm your site (happened to me before) and I had some measure taken like not adding too many ping sites in the list and not updating old posts too many. Your tips is helping me greatly to take my blog’s ping function to the next level. Thanks!

  67. Thanks Anna, I’ve got to go and check mine out. It makes sense especially if you are updating a post several times it could come off as being spammy. I do that quite often when I proof it on my smartphone and need to make a couple of corrections. Thanks for sharing these tips on it with us! I can’t wait to see the difference it can make too.

  68. I had lists of 50+ pinging services on my blogs, and now I’ve replaced them with your three suggestions. You’ve developed enough credibility with me over the months for me to do this comfortably. I’ve been cleaning up my blogs in lots of ways recently, and hopefully this will further streamline things. I’m looking forward to seeing the results. Thanks for this excellent suggestion!

  69. I too had a huge Ping list on recommendation from “guru’s”
    I’ve whittled the list down to just your three. We’ll see if it makes a difference.
    I need to learn to not make a move until I see what you’re doing first! :)

    • Also, I tried the link for Ping Optimizer and it seems to no longer be there.
      Just did a search and found a Ping Optimizer in the plugin repository that I installed instead. Looks like the same thing.

    • Ana Hoffman

      We all learn from our own mistakes, Kevin; including me. Learning from another person’s mistakes is even better. lol

  70. Thanks Ana. I had a dozen or so pinging services on my blog too. I switched it over to the three you recommended. I hope to see some positive changes from this.

    Take care.

  71. I’m impressed that such a small change can make the difference.
    I had like 20 ping services including the 3 you wrote. I just reduced it and will report my findings after some days.
    If it really works, this is a great discovery! Thank you.

  72. Because the list of services that Pingomatic notifies has grown so h in the last two years, it is the only one I use and the only one I set up on client’s sites. Did not know it pings for every edit too. Appreciate the plugin tip to help contol that.

  73. Hi Ana,
    I few weeks back I was having all sorts of issues with my blog going offline. I did a lot of troubleshooting and during the process I removed that looonnnnggg ping list that I’d been using for years. I’ll give your list a try now and let you know if my rankings improve.

    Thanks a ton!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  74. Your right Ana, It only took about 30 seconds to change my pinging services. Thank you for sharing your research. I can always count on you for the goods. I have been tweeting your posts to my 9,000 followers and will do the same with this one. You’re the best. ~Stephen

  75. This discovery is WOW Ana,
    I can’t believe it. When i started my blog some months ago, i only had a couple of ping services until later about 2 months ago, i read an ebook that suggested about 50 or so more services and i quickly went and updated my blog with those, Guess what happened.

    My search traffic went down significantly. The worse part is that I’ve been trying to figure out what lead to the decrease in lanking and i was unable to place my hands on it until i read this post.

    Ana, i don’t have much to say except that………….YOU ROCK BABY.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yay! Now all I need to do is to wave my magic wand and make sure your rankings go back up, or else you’ll have to taking the “rock baby” title right back. :)