What Are Fat Pings And Why You Should Know About Them

April 30, 2012


What Are Fat PingsAre you wondering what Fat Pings are and what you’ll need to do with one?  Late last year I first heard about them from Matt Cutts and put it down on my ‘to do’ list – somehow it just got ignored until I read an amazing post made by Viperchill a few days ago.

To be honest it turned into a pretty confusing time for me as I am a complete tech-idiot!  Anything that tells me to go and read over at Google Code has me lost straight off the bat – I know it’s going to be technical in nature and I get scared – I’m sure that I am not alone in feeling this way so I have created this really short tutorial on Fat Pings for you.

What Are Fat Pings?

Just like when you ping your content, Fat Pings essentially do the same thing – they let others know that you have published something new and your blog has been updated.

The most basic benefit of pinging is that your content gets found by the search engines faster.  If you use WordPress (.org) then each time you publish new content, you automatically ping a list of sites that can be found in your ‘settings’ tab.

WordPress Ping List

You can read more about this over at WordPress.  For lots of people they won’t even bother changing the settings, for others, they might read posts that gives updated lists etc and change them but for most of us, the list stays the same year after year.

Lots of people have different advice on which services you should ping and most of it differs from person to person – I stick to a relatively small ping list of just four main ones.

What’s The Difference Between A Ping And A Fat Ping?

A ping normally uses the title or headline of your post – sometimes just your blog url.  With a Fat Ping you not only tell Google that you have new content, you actually send them your whole post!

Why You Should Be Using Fat Pings

When you create a post there is a chance that your brand new content that you spent time and effort creating will get scraped and used around the net – this can happen within minutes, especially if your blog is well known within its niche!

Even though search engines such as Google are getting better at finding the rubbish on the net there is always the chance that your new content, along with the scraped content, manage to get them a little confused about who wrote it and when.

Google aims to list the site with the original content anyone else but it has been known to get it wrong whilst in its confused state!

Using Fat Pings means that the risk of your content getting seen as duplicate content is more or less gone – you let Google know you are the original author by sending them the whole lot.

Does Google Recognise Fat Pings?

In a word – yes!

Matt Cutts spoke about using them at PubCon 2011 and recommended that you set up Fat Pings to let Google find you fast and first – you don’t get a higher recommendation than that.

How Do I Set Up Fat Pings For My Blog?

For those using WordPress (.org) there is a fantastic plugin that you can use to set your site up to use Fat Pings – PubSubHubbub.

Just install the plugin and activate it – it’s that simple!

There is a lot of reading over at Google Code about the plugin and to be honest, it made it all sound a lot more complicated than it is.  Once activated the plugin has two default ‘hubs’ in the settings – I found a lot of people asking if there was a list of hubs to use with the plugin but couldn’t find anymore.

After spending a few hours searching around for answers I decided to email the plugin creator to get some clarification and only using the two default hubs is enough.

Should You Still Ping Your Content?

Yes.  Although they are similar in nature they do work slightly differently so leave your ping list set up for your favourites.

More reading ….

What Is PubSubHubBub?


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About Kelly Stone

Kelly Stone is the founder of Kelly Stone Marketing. If you enjoyed this post then the chances are you might want to read more from her - you can make sure that you stay updated via Twitter, Facebook or over at Google +1.

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18 Responses to “What Are Fat Pings And Why You Should Know About Them”

  1. Beam Me Up Scotty Says:

    Another ‘facepalm’ moment! Had no idea they existed let alone how to use them. Am installing the plugin as we speak. Have you seen any results from using them eyt?

    Scotty x

  2. Linda K Shaw Says:

    I just found this post from f/b. Thank you for sharing, its’ come at just the right time for me as one of my sites has been completely duplicated. It looks like a different theme but the posts are all there mixed in with others. Is there nothing that can be done about this? Its theft! Thanks you very much Kelly, I’ll keep reading.

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      Hi Linda

      It’s awful when you do have your content taken – especially if they take it and put their own name to it! Lots of people are happy to have their content used and think of it more as good SEO by creating backlinks. The problem with taking that kind of view on things is the fact that scrapers are much better these days at removing any links – you lose!

      I read a great article yesterday about content scrapers which I highly recommend you read – it gives you a lot of help and advice on what options you have open to you.


  3. Johnboy Says:

    Hi Kelly

    I wrote out a reply letting you know how good the posts are here and how much I learn from you etc. When I pressed submit it took so long that I refreshed it and the post has gone!

    Oh well, not happy but I guess these things happen,.

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      I’ve had a few comments about this – sorry that you lost your post! I’ve seen it my end and put it down to total cache. I’m looking into it now and trying to sort it out – looks like it is to do with the total cache plugin but it looks technical lol – hopefully I won’t break anything!

  4. Free Domain Names Says:

    Great post!

    What places do you recommend you ping in the settings?

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      I did have a massive list in there from a few years back – I now just use these four …


      It seems that the general opinion is that these are enough.

      Hope that helps.

      • Katrina Moody Says:

        So I’ve been researching this “pinging” issue and think I took some initial bad advice and included TONS of pinging services in my WordPress dashboard. I wondered about this after someone tipped me off to the fact that my perfectionism might be banning me from pinging sites … I am one of fastidious editors – and tend to find new things to fix constantly *coughs*

        Will a combination of using the PubSubHubbub plugin and the MaxBlogPress plugin help with that? Would I need to take any further action (aside from editing my nice long list of sites to ping in WordPress of course)

        • Kelly Stone Says:

          Hey Katrina

          I know exactly what it’s like to always be finding new things to ‘fix’ 🙂 I’m afraid that I can’t comment on MaxBlogPress Plugin as I don’t use it and have no experience of it but just using the PubSubHubBub Plugin along with yourt ‘shortened down’ ping list inside your W/P settings would be enough.

          As you can see from the post above, I only use the four listed in my ping list.

          Take care

  5. Josh Fraser Says:


    Thanks for the shout out for my plugin and for spreading the word about PubSubHubbub.


  6. Andy Says:

    This is a great post that I found really helpful.

    What amazes me is that you hear so many horror stories about duplicate content yet this plugin could solve everything. More people need to share this so that we can use it to solve the problems. Good on ya Kelly!

  7. Tony Payne Says:

    There is a site that I have been trying to get taken down for 6 months, but no response from the host – damn French Canadian hosts! This site takes all the posts on my site, runs them through a word changer, so the result reads like garbage, then they are posts in their entirety to their site.

    Off to look at PubSubHubBub – sounds like it might be worthwhile. Have you had any success with it yet?

    • Tony Payne Says:

      Well I installed PubSubHubBub and took the defaults. You were right the documentation is rather confusing. Do you need to register on either of these hubs or to do anything else?

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      Hey Tony – I would certainly have a read of this content scraper article it does have some good advice. It’s surprised me just how many people have messaged me saying that they have this problem – at the end of the day try and look at it in a positive way – they thought your work was that good 🙂

      Good luck!

  8. Brian Terry Says:

    Hi Kelly – thanks for letting us know about pubsubhubbub. I’ve been using fat pings for years but didn’t realise there’s a way to optimise it like this. I’m about to get the plugin installed.