One of the techniques used to attract search engine spiders to your blog or website is called pinging. Essentially, you alert the search engine of any changes to your site and it draws a crawler to reindex the content. This works on the same basic technology as the Trackback and Pingback with which you might be familiar through your blog; you ping the blog to which you are sending a Trackback and it alerts them that you’ve made a chance – posted an article.
There are a number of ongoing discussions about the validity of pinging; whether or not it is still used, whether or not it adds value, whether or not it can harm you by appearing spammy…. Frankly, I err on the side of fundamentals, as always, and say, ping the search engines. Unless you ARE spamming, it strikes me as a good practice to help index your site. Besides, I’ve never been penalized and can only cite increases in organic search traffic (albeit via overall optimization and not targeted testing of the ping).
All that said, this topic only occurred to me as I pondered the slow demise of Yahoo; overcome by the leviathan that is Microsoft. There are more stats and blog posts about the battle for search than I can shake a stick at (I like this one because it references a guy I used to work with at Yahoo); bottom line, bing is a player – outside of Google, THE player. So the question we want to answer, is how do you get there.
Like Webmaster Central on Google, to ping bing, Microsoft has bing Webmaster Center. Sign in with a Live ID (now a bing ID?) and add your site and the sitemap URL. This isn’t exactly pinging in the context that I’ve just explained it but is part of the critical foundation to which I referred.
I haven’t yet figured out how to add bing to the list of services your blog pings (look in your settings for a feature that lets define who to ping). Essentially, you should be able to simply add bing to a list and have the technology take over. In the interim, should you want to ping bing directly, I’m trying to test or discover if you can add this URL to that list: http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx
Know more than I? What’s the scoop?