Pinging blog directories is an important and worthwhile activity when posting. A common problem with pinging is that it is difficult to know if the ping has been successful. For example, you may specify that you require ping-o-matic and King Ping to be pinged (as I used to) whenever a new post is published. But how do you know if ping-o-matic or King Ping have received the ping, and if so, passed on the ping to the blog directories*. Even if you use WordPress with the ‘MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer’ plugin you may be able to identify if the ping has been sent to the specified directories or services but that doesn’t tell you whether the ping has been processed by them.
An additional concern is that excess pinging is seen unfavourably by the various blog directories. Pinging numerous or even a single service and a few directories may cause duplicate pinging to various directories. So how does one strike the balance between effective pinging and avoiding excess pinging?
Enter Feedburner. Yes, the Feedburner that distributes many blog and website RSS and atom feeds has pinging capability provided through its PingShot service. How it works is that Feedburner looks for new posts on your sites feed and when it identifies a new post it pings the aggregators, search engines, directories or services you have selected to be pinged (see the diagram below). Directories and services which may be chosen to be pinged include; Bloglines, Technorati, ping-o-matic, Icerocket, Newsgator, Google Blog Search and My Yahoo.
This certainly isn’t foolproof as there doesn’t appear to be the means of checking that Feedburner has in fact pinged. It is however possible to check that Feedburner has received the new post (if the new post appears in the Feedburner feed then the post has been identified by Feedburner). Using Feedburner to ping also avoids the chance of excessive pinging as Feedburner only pings when a new post appears.
I still haven’t been able to identify whether using the Feedburner PingShot is any more or less effective than using the inbuilt WordPress pinging service. I do have faith however that Feedburner is receiving my new posts and that excessive pings aren’t being sent.
*ping-o-matic pings many directories including; Weblogs.com, Blo.gs, Technorati, Feed Burner, Syndic8, NewsGator, My Yahoo!, PubSub.com, Blogdigger, BlogRolling, BlogStreet, Moreover, Weblogalot, Icerocket, News Is Free, Topic Exchange, Google Blog Search, Spinn3r, Bloglines, AideRSS and SkyGrid.