Recently I bought a traffic program from one of the 30 million online marketers who had a program that could generate traffic – including a WordPress Ping List.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much great stuff in the program and one of his recommendations – which I immediately felt weird about was a huge WordPress Ping List with WordPress Ping Services, he claimed would create instant traffic. In huge volumes!
Now, I have been a WordPress developer for 18 years and I remember when that ping thing was popular more than ten years ago.
Even today there is a lot of mystery about Ping services in relation to writing WordPress articles. Tons of websites promotes WordPress Ping Lists for services that should notice your article and index them in some kind of smaller or bigger list.
Nobody really seem to know what it is and what a Ping List for WordPress does, but in this article I will map out what it really is.
What is Ping?
The word Ping comes from the sound the sonar in a submarine use to map the surroundings in the water. The sub sends out a Ping in the water like dolphins and bats and they listen to how the echo returns.
This echo is mapped on a monitor and shows the reflections from the Ping and creates an image of how the surroundings are.
The program PING (Packet InterNet Groper) is a computer network utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The original implementation of PING was written by Mike Muuss in December 1983 while he was working at the Ballistic Research Laboratory (BRL) at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL). Muuss developed PING to help him debug issues with networked systems, and it quickly became a widely-used tool for network administrators and other IT professionals. PING has since been implemented on a wide variety of operating systems, and has become a standard tool for network troubleshooting and diagnostics. And of course he named it after the submarine sonar sound because it does the same thing.
How does Ping work in WordPress?
Every time you create or edit an article in WordPress, the servers in your ping list is pinged – or notified. This was supposed to get your post indexed and deliver instant traffic.
And your WordPress Ping List is here in the WordPress Admin/Writing section:
This is what happens or should happen when you save a post or a page and your Ping List is activated:
1. It will notify other WorPress sites using the old BlogRoll feature that you had new words for the public. BlogRoll is a feature that never really catched fire in WordPress. So this is kinda dead.
2. It will also notify special blog indexing pages that you had new content and they would list it somewhere in their catalogues. But there were no money in this so it kinda died too.
3. Lastly it will notify search engines. Only NOTIFY. Not INDEX! Google nowadays will only index your content if it brings new stuff to the Internet. But guess what – There are better ways to notify the One And Only: Google. We will look at that below.
Honestly – I never got any traffic this way so I dumped the idea some where between 10 to 15 years ago. But to be fair, I tested it again the first months of 2023.
I am a testing guy. I don’t believe ANYTHING! That’s why I spend more than half my time testing. So I found a lot of ping lists on the Internet and put them in my browser, one Ping at a time – because you can’t just ping the from a Command prompt.
Unfortunately most of the servers are not responding. The few who did was
Google related servers
And there might be more as I haven’t checked all pinglists on the net. But the trend is clear – 99% of the servers on most WordPress Ping Lists are DEAD!
I didn’t test if these ping receivers actually does what we expect them to do. I ONLY tested if they were alive!
As promised above here is a better way to ‘ping’ Google.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your entire blog is perfect. Not FINISHED only Perfect! When a blog is finished it is dead so a blog is never finished. Make sure your articles are top notch, images are tagged and everything related to on page SEO is working.
Then you make sure to create a sitemap using Yoast SEO or Rank Math.
So you sign up for Google Webmaster Tools if you haven’t already. In webmaster tools under Sitemaps you tell Google where to find your sitemap. Yoast and Rank Math both gives you that URL.
Then you wait a few days and check back in Google Search Console to see if they have indexed your pages and your articles. Under Pages you can see which pages are indexed and which are not. Scroll down until you see Why pages aren’t indexed.
Here you should check ALL listed URL’s. Check if they exist and check if Google got it right. Some pages should not be indexed. Sign in pages, thank you pages, confirmation pages etc. Pages and posts that end with /feed should NOT be indexed either.
When you have decided EXACTLY what Google missed you can ask Google to Inspect that URL and ask them to index it. But you can only do 10 URL’s a day!
This is the best working method in 2023 to make sure your posts are indexed! And if you are positioned high enough in Google this will give you traffic depending on your keywords of course.
Considering WordPress Ping Lists are an old failed traffic generation idea it is not really worth wasting any time on it. If you insist on using it anyway then only put a few working ping servers in your ping list. Many of those that works will ping each other anyway but it is impossible to see through who pings who.
If you use the above Google Search Console techinque with site maps you don’t need to ping Google servers at all. They won’t index your site by pinging them anyway.
That leaves pretty much only Matt Mullenweg’s ping service Pingomatic.
I bet you won’t get any traffic by pinging Pingomatic. But on the other hand it probably doesn’t hurt to do it.
Matt Cuts from Google has a comment on the ViperChill.com where he indicates the importance of pinging the RIGHT services. Matt Cuts left Google in 2016 and the post is from 2014. The author Glen removed some of his pings – the weird ones and he gained in rankings in a few days.
So if you do reasonable pinging it probably won’t hurt you, but it will hurt you if you ping a lot of shitty servers.
So get your ping list for WordPress cleaned up! Get rid of dead and shitty Ping Servers!
If you notice any traffic coming from pinging let me know in the comments below!