What is a pingback and should I approve it?

Pings happen.

When you are running a website using blogging software, you automatically access a special posting alert system. You will get pings. In blogging, a ping is a special signal emitted by blog publishing software to notify other servers when your blog content is updated.

This is better for you than waiting for an index robot to crawl and see if it has something new. Blog software automatically tells special indexing servers what’s new on your blog, as it happens. This helps get your new items delivered much faster than the time it takes for Google’s indexing bot to crawl your blog.

In this way, people and blogging news editors pick up on your new material quickly, like a news flash.

A ping is a computer talk for “something new”

This ping technology, and the way it speeds up the spread of new content, is one of the reasons to start and run a blog, as long as you can keep posting new content. It’s good marketing practice to take advantage of technology that automatically draws attention to new things.

The flip side of a ping is a ‘pingback’. This is the notice your blogging program receives when another blog reposts a page that links to your content.

Let’s say you publish a press release. Let’s say this version has a link to your blog. Every time a news organization republishes its release with the link, the publishing servers send an automatic signal about the link. Your own site receives the signal as a way to verify that the link is good. This double check means that pingbacks are less prone to spam than other types of alerts.

Some pings, like some rings, are more valuable than others.

Your blogging software is likely programmed to notify you when you receive a ping after someone posts a link to your content. You will see something like this:

A new pingback in the “Johnny Gets a Ping” post is awaiting your approval http: //www.example.com/johnny-gets-pinged-post

Website: [A New Article based on Johnny Gets a Ping]

URL: “http: //www.the-publishing-url/the-page.html”

Pingback excerpt:

[…] this is where you see a snippet of the content from the other site[…]

Because it is automated, this is not the easiest type of message to understand at first.

A pingback message is simply a prompt to you each time a link to your content is posted.

Good to know when people post or link to your stuff.

Now your next step is to decide what to do with the pingback prompt.

Your options are:

  1. Send it by spam;
  2. Approve it;
  3. Trash that

To decide, follow the link back to where your piece appears on the other website. This is what to check

Does the other article look like an original, well-written article that you and your readers would respect? – Approve it. This shows your reader the other site that is linking to you. You are building relationships with well-regarded people in your niche. Good for you.

Is it a competitor’s article and you have decided not to show pings that lead your readers to your competition? – Trash that.

Is the ping from a site that looks like a fake blog (flog) or a spam blog (splog) with automated-looking content and few signs of human involvement?

– Trash that.

Does the ping from a site look like spam? Send it as spam – You don’t want those sites to link to yours. Marking it as spam may cause your software to block future ping requests from this site.

If, after reading this, you still don’t understand what the ping is about, don’t worry. When you see the word ‘ping’, think of ‘link’. Do you want to re-link the person who links to you? Pass those and you can safely ignore everything else.

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