Blog Lesson: Update Pings Announce your New Entries
Most blogging tools and services support the use of update pings. Update pings serve the purpose of notifying other web sites that you have posted a new entry, or updated your blog. There are a number of web sites that accept update pings. Commonly, these web sites publish a (constantly changing) list of recent updated blogs. Some update sites may be blog search engines or feed aggregation sites, who may use the update pings to notify their spiders to crawl your blog to fetch the new content that you have posted.
Sending update pings can result in links, traffic, and faster search engine spidering
Many of the links that you might get from sending update pings are transient links. This means that the links disappear soon after they appear. Since the recently updated blog lists are constantly changing -- and because there are many, many blogs sending update pings -- links on such site may last only 15-20 minutes. But if you get lucky, and Google spiders the update site when your link is being displayed, it could give you a bit of a (temporary) boost in the rankings. Other update sites that also aggregate feeds will provide longer lasting links, in the form of the syndication of your feeds (but many of them won't checkj your site for new entries, unless you send them an update ping!)
It is possible to get some visitor traffic directly from the update sites, as your link is being displayed. Don't expect a huge amount of traffic via this avenue, but you will get some. And when you are first starting up any blog or web site, any traffic you can get can help get the ball rolling.
Faster Search Engine Spidering
Another, indirect, benefit of sending update pings is that it may result in faster search engine spidering. This means that your new entries may get into the search engine results faster. The reason stems from the fact that most search engines try to have as much fresh content as possible -- when pages are modified or new pages are added to the web, they want to index them as soon as possible. Keeping this goal in mind, update ping sites can be very helpful, since they are constant displaying lists of recently updated sites. It seems like it would be a good idea for a search engine to be frequently spidering the recently updated lists, as this leads to new and updated web pages. So for this reason alone, it is a good idea to send update pings, as it may bring the search engine spiders around a little sooner.