The point of pinging.
March 27, 2008 7:37 AM   Subscribe

What's the point of xmlrpc pinging?

A blog I maintain pings a number of sites when posting new articles. These include ..., and What benefit does pinging these sites give me? I'm guessing that one of the sites tells google to index the new entry (I don't know which one does it), but other than that I can't see any benefit in doing this.

So, this is vague, but ... Why should I do this?
Am I missing something?
why does this kind of pinging exist?
Who tells google to reindex?
posted by seanyboy to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
From The Google(tm)

here's one such example, with some links and info on the subject.
posted by twiggy at 7:42 AM on March 27, 2008

It's more bandwidth-efficient for both sides than just polling for new content.
posted by tmcw at 8:00 AM on March 27, 2008

It lets those sites know "O Hai, I haz noo blogg" (it's a little-known fact that XMLRPC is a dialect of kitteh) so that they can update their indexes (they may not actually spider your blog, but simply save the information contained in the ping). It's the same idea as trackbacks, which are a way of letting another blog you've written about know that you've written about it.
posted by adamrice at 8:00 AM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

I could be wrong, but I think that xml-rpc pinging is a relic of ancient weblog history (around 2002-2004). No one uses that info anymore - Technorati, Google and all the others simply index and read RSS feeds.
posted by helios at 8:09 AM on March 27, 2008

You could just point it at pingomatic if you want to cut down. It talks to everyone who's anyone, as far as I know. And yeah, I have no idea whose processes still rely on pings, but seeing as pingomatic's blog was last updated in 2006, I'm guessing it's not a particularly dynamic side of things, or Matt would have had something to say about it.
posted by mumkin at 8:38 AM on March 27, 2008

I understand that I'm telling weblogs or whoever that I've created a post, but what I'm unsure about is why that is useful. I can't even see how it could drive traffic our way. I'm guessing that the main ping aggregators must get millions of pings.
posted by seanyboy at 9:00 AM on March 27, 2008

I could be wrong, but I think that xml-rpc pinging is a relic of ancient weblog history (around 2002-2004). No one uses that info anymore - Technorati, Google and all the others simply index and read RSS feeds.

Not so. In fact, "pinging" is used by a lot of feed readers to update their cached versions of RSS feeds. For example, that my blog shows up in Google Reader immediately upon posting, because Google gets the notification from one of those services and re-indexes the feed based on it.

It's mainly a notification system, and things can still be built on it, and probably are, so it's decent to keep those pings in there, unless your goal is not to be seen... of course, having a blog seems like a bad way to do that, generally speaking.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:07 AM on March 27, 2008

I'm guessing then, that if I integrate with feedburner, then there's really no need to be pinging the various ping loggers that I'm currently pinging.

Thanks for the answers. Not much said, but it reinforces my opinion that xml-rpc pinging isn't that useful.
posted by seanyboy at 11:03 AM on March 27, 2008

Actually, integration with feedburner is probably the BEST reason to use the pinging services...

FeedBurner keeps a cached version of your RSS feed. Pinging (et al) will cause them to update their cached copy much more quickly than just waiting on their spiders to re-crawl, so pinging will keep them synced up better.
posted by toomuchpete at 1:19 PM on March 27, 2008

Perhaps this isn't the place, but I'm curious why you seem to be trying to find a reason not to ping. You may be right, it may not drive traffic your way, but on the other hand it might. Why not do it?
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:51 PM on March 27, 2008

I just didn't know why the code was there.
Plus the code (a heavily modded version of b2evolution) is a nightmare and I want to start stripping superfluous stuff out.
posted by seanyboy at 4:59 PM on March 27, 2008

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