Have Your Site Ping for More Traffic


A common function built into many weblog tools is ping, no I'm not talking about the common network tool for testing to see if a network node is running and available. This ping is for letting websites know that your weblog has been updated.

There are many ping servers available to send ping notifications to, most notably VeriSign's Weblogs.com server, but there others like Yahoo's blogs, and Google's new blogsearch (blogsearch.google.com) engine.

Pinging is something that every site owner should know about. New search engines that spider weblog content and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are gaining in popularity. These include Technorati, Feedster.com, and Google's Blogsearch engine (as mentioned previously). People query these new engines to get timely information from weblogs and sites that provide RSS feeds.

RSS feeds have gained in popularity with the growing number of Weblogs on the Web. RSS enables these sites to push an XML file out to subscribers. Whenever content is updated on the site, this RSS file will in turn get updated notifying the subscriber that your site has been updated. The subscriber can then view the content that was recently updated or a summary of that content within an aggregator. This aggregator can either be a software application that is installed on their machine like Outlook 2007, SharpReader, or some other application; or they can use a Web-based reader like Windows Live, or My Yahoo.

With the growing popularity of weblog search engines, and online aggregators, you as a site owner should become aware of technologies like RSS, and weblog pings in order to make sure you're reaching the widest audience possible with your content. You can take advantage of these technologies with little effort.

RSS

Many content management applications now provide some support for RSS syndication. These can be either commercial portals, or many of the open source portals (DotNetNuke, Joomla, or Drupal for example). Once you're able to create these RSS feeds for your site, then it's just a matter of pinging the engines in order to get your content listed.

Pinging

There are several ping provides available on the web. These providers provide a very basic interface where you enter in the name of your site, the URL of the homepage, and the URL of the RSS feed. Then just click a button to have that information ping one of the providers. Here are a couple providers that enable you to ping for free:

By using these ping providers on a regular basis you enable your content to be available to a wide audience of readers.

Have Your Site Ping for More Traffic

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