Can A Ping Really Help Your Blog Get Top Search Engine Rankings?
Copyright 2005 Tinu AbayomiPaul
It’s been all over the SEO-student rumor mill for weeks now, and has finally made it into my Inbox – in droves.
The new get-traffic-quick scheme for search engine results has arrived – flooding ping notification sites with update announcements, even though your blog hasn’t been updated.
The question is does this- or some variation of it work? If not, where did this idea come from?
Okay, bad news first.
Pinging sites like Yahoo and Syndic8 every half-hour for several days or weeks, to notify of updates when they haven’t been made, does nothing but clog up the system. It’s called spam-pinging and it has been around since 2002.
If you haven’t updated your blog, or you’re pinging updates of a site that isn’t even a blog (or RSS feed, where applicable), in the long run it’s just going to make it harder to get listed at these sites.
In the short run, you could get yourself banned from sites like Yahoo, though it isn’t officially their policy to drop sites for spam-pinging.
True, not all sites that have recently updated lists you can ping to be on are set up to block pings of sites that aren’t updated. But they’ve found ways to block certain sites and users before – it’s only a matter of time.
So even in the unlikely event that you could find some way to make this work temporarily, you’d just be setting yourself up to be dropped, in as little as a day in some cases.
So if this method doesn’t work, why are there tools available to help you flood these directories?
Well, let’s look at the situation logically.
Until the middle of 2004, certain adult web properties were able to create several bogus blog sites – in particular, blogspot.com. They’d found that the links leading back to them from those sites helped their page rank in Google, as well as their search results placement.
Although Google got wise to them and closed this loophole by fall of this past year, several legitimate blog sites have found that they continue to enjoy high rankings for some keywords that are easier to get. Some people erroneously assume that it’s because their updates appear on Weblogs.com and/or in Blogger’s Most Recently Updated pages several times a day.
Having noticed that occasionally, they would get spidered around the same time they posted, they realized that there was a correlation between pinging and better search engine listings.
And they’re not completely wrong – there is a parallel. But a parallel is not a cause. It’s just one facet of the relationship between blogs and getting better results in Yahoo, Google and MSN.
Their frequency of updates had something to do with their rankings, yes. But it is not what guarantees they get spidered – and if the blog isn’t set up to take advantage of the visit from the search engine spiders, they don’t get listed.
To begin to have an understanding of how to get similar results for your site, you have to look at the bigger picture. Spam-pinging isn’t going to do it, and as I’ve said in other articles, there are other ethical, faster, simpler ways to do this.
So what is this bigger picture?
First of all, blogs have a natural tendency to rank higher in search engines because they
Have well-structured site architecture
Make use of anchor text linking
Are well linked,
Are frequently updated, and,
Are focused tightly around a narrow theme, among other things.
Couple this with the ease of being able to get one-way links from several sites favored by the search engines, and you have two-thirds of the formula for a well-ranked blog.
However, just because these sites appear on publicly displayed ping notification lists and other sites that keep abreast of blog updates, this doesn’t mean that you can get away with pinging them without updating your site.
It also doesn’t mean that sites that have authentically updated and sent pings will appear in Google, Yahoo or MSN simply from being frequently updated.
The good news is, you don’t need to deluge the ping sites to get noticed. Doing so is often a waste of time, and may be a harmful one.
Your best bet for now is to continue to achieve your natural search engine position through blogging, basic search engine optimization, and a common sense approach to frequent updates.
And yes, by the way, there IS an ethical way to get into search engines and achieve high rankings with a blog, but it’s not a matter of volume. It’s more a matter of timing, supply and demand. But explaining that process takes a level of detail and an amount of space not available here.