I’m trying to figure out all this blogging stuff, but I’m a bit confused about two aspects of blogging: pings and trackbacks. What’s the difference?
You’re not alone, I’ll tell you that. I was recently attending a blogger meetup here in Colorado and was rather surprised to find out that many bloggers don’t understand the difference either. When one attendee endeavored to explain it, I realized that he too didn’t fully understand.
Here’s the difference: a ping is a message sent by a blogging application to blog search engines like Technorati that inform the systems that you have posted a new entry. If you think about how a regular search engine like Google works, you’ll realize that when you add a new page, nothing happens until the search engine stumbles upon it, so the “on demand” pings are quite efficient and are one reason that blog entries are so quickly indexed. If your blogging tool doesn’t send out pings — which most do — then you can also generate these system pings through a service like pingomatic.