Megaphone Kid

[Note: This post is discussing pinging in the context of WordPress blogs. If you are using a different service, these features may function differently, although the concepts are the same.]

Ping has entered into our new vocabulary – in a non-technical sense. “Just ping me when you’re ready to leave the party” my friend says, and I might send him a text, call him, or just shout upstairs. I know what he means when he says he’ll ping me.

But ping has a more specific meaning in the blogging world.  My client Cari Cole got a pingback on one of her blog posts recently, and I’m going to use this example to teach Ping and Pingback 101 here. Pings and pingbacks are another way to AMPLIFY your online presence.

What is a Blog Ping?

A ping is a notice that is sent out each time you post a new blog, or, as defined by pingomatic, “a service to update different search engines that your blog has updated.” In WordPress, pingomatic is automatically built right into the basic architecture of the site, so that each time you post a blog, it pings (notifies) these services that you’ve just posted.

To see that feature on your blog, once you’re logged into your WordPress site, go to: Settings / Writings / Update Services, and you’ll see pingomatic there. (You also have the option there of adding additional services to be pinged with each blog post, beyond the services pingomatic uses. Some bloggers might want to choose additional services to ping, but pingomatic states that they are pinging the most important of the search sites.)

So these pings help to give your blog posts more searcheability and therefore visibility and viewability.

What’s a Blog Pingback?

The best definition I’ve found on pingbacks is from the wordpress.org site:

The best way to think about pingbacks is as remote comments:

  • Person A posts something on his blog.
  • Person B posts on her own blog, linking to Person A’s post. This automatically sends a pingback to Person A when both have pingback enabled blogs.
  • Person A’s blog receives the pingback, then automatically goes to Person B’s post to confirm that the pingback did, in fact, originate there.

So what happened is that after Cari, my client, ( Person A ), went to the ASCAP Expo Conference and blogged about it here, another blogger, Live Hart (Person B), reposted Cari’s post on her blog here.

Next, Cari received a pingback notice (sent as an email) from Live’s blog, and we went in and approved Live’s pingback, so it now appears as a comment at the bottom of Cari’s blog post (scroll to the bottom of the post to see Live’s comment, which is a link through to her blog.)

How Do I Know if My Blog is Enabled for Pingbacks?

The reason Cari got a pingback when Live posted and linked to Cari’s post is because both Cari and Live have “pingback enabled blogs.” The good news is that if you have a WordPress.org blog, pingbacks are automatically enabled.

To see that feature, if you’re logged into your WordPress site, go to:  Settings / Discussion. There, by default, you’ll see two boxes checked that say:

  • Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.
  • Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.)

If those boxes are checked on your WordPress blog, you’re pingback enabled (both for those who link to your blog post on their blog, and if you do the same on yours to someone else’s post.)

It’s all part of the connecting up process that builds internet connections – and  also real connections between people, ideas, and their blogs. Plus, it helps your Google and other search engine rankings when you have more ingoing links – and that’s what pingbacks are.

Any questions remaining about pings or pingbacks?  Ask them here and I’ll get you the answers.

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