“Blog and Ping” is a term that refers to a technique where you make a post on your blog, and using your blog software’s in-built feature, you then send out a “ping” to various blog directories, notifying them that you have added a new post to your blog.
A “ping” is a way of notifying various blog directories and blog search engines, in an industry standard way, that you have just made a post on your blog. This is nothing but a signal sent from your blog (pinger) to the target directory (or aggregator service) that you are actually pinging (the pingee), and this signal contains the URL of your post. Following this, the pingee picks up the URL and content from your post, and when someone on that site searches for keywords contained in your post, then your post shows up in their search results.
Search engines (especially Google) love blogs, because blogs are full of “useful” content (at least they are supposed to be). The more active your site is – in terms of frequent, new content – the better your ranking will be.
In November 2006, I personally noticed one of my main sites suddenly drop a few places from position #2 to #8 in Google’s SERP (search engine results pages). Now Google sends me about 80% of my total traffic to this site, and as soon as my site dropped to #8, it went “below the fold” (meaning, out of the view of the first part of the results page that appears when you do a search, and the only way to see it is to scroll down a little). And I immediately saw my Adsense earnings drop about 80%!
Sidebar: That just goes to show you that even having a “top 10” listing on Google (or any search engine for that matter) is no good, because not many would search beyond the first 2-3 web sites, especially if the top 2-3 sites give the user what they are looking for, or lead them on to other things from there so the user never comes back to Google to look further down
I wasn’t sure what caused this to happen, but I quickly made some modifications to the site, moved some stuff around, published some new content on my blog, pinged all directories I am aware of, removed some external links that I suspected might have triggered some Google-spam-filter, and also used Google’s SiteMap tool to ping Google of my changes, and within 48 hours, my site was back to position #2. God bless Google!
So, the concept of pinging is a pro-active way of letting other sites know that you have made some changes on your site or blog.
Especially with Google, when you ping Google using the sitemap tool, you can see how quickly Googlebot (Google’s spider) comes knocking. This is especially useful in situations like my scare-scenario above, where I hurriedly made some changes, wanted Google to know right away that I had indeed made some changes, and wanted my changes to be considered when calculating my ranking the next time around.
That is exactly what Google did – it liked my changes, and/or just the fact that I had made some changes, so got brownie points for being a “good publisher”, and gave me my Adsense earnings back.
Moral of the story: Never fudge with Google – not if you are making any money at all from Adsense.
Be a “Good publisher”, publish often, publish white-hat, build good, quality content, and The Google will reward you with gold and adsense dollars.
– Ravi Jayagopal / WebmasterInABox.net