Google have recently announced that their Blog Search service is now capable of accepting ‘pings’.
For those that aren’t aware, the ping I’m referring isn’t the first half of the game or the network utility; its a notification message. Traditionally indexing services such as Google or Technorati periodically scour the internet looking for changed content. Due to the ever increasing size of the internet, it is taking longer and longer for these services to complete each run. The knock on effect to publishers, is that it’s taking longer and longer for newly published content to show up in the search indexes.
To try and reduce that problem, the search engines have been introducing more features and services to the community. As an example, some time ago Google released a simple service known as Google Sitemaps. The idea behind the Google Sitemap is that the website owner provides Google with an XML file of their sites content and what they consider to be important within it. This then allows the Googlebot to pick up the Google Sitemap on its scheduled run and only retrieve content which is new or changed since its last visit; drastically reducing the number of pages that the Googlebot needs to reindex per website.
Following on from that, Google are now allowing website owners to proactively tell Google when they have added or changed content. Google accepting a ping when publishers add/modify content, means that the Googlebot can come back to your site more frequently, knowing that there will be new or updated content to index. Having the Googlebot revisit your site should also mean that your newly added or modified content should show up within the search index much sooner than the scheduled indexing cycle.
I wonder how long it will be before Google allows a ping for normal content and not just blog style content.