Indexing slow? Blame WordPress 2.8

Last night I was complaining that my Servicing Stop post was taking a few minutes longer than normal to get indexed – with such a time sensitive topic it’s critical that Google indexes and ranks the content within a few minutes.

@ducedoon pointed out that it might be because of a new addition to WordPress 2.8 which rather than sending pings when a post is published sends them once per hour in a batch process!

In an attempt to reduce the numbers of outbound pings a new undocumented ”feature” was introduced in WordPress 2.8 (this change is not mentioned in the WP 2.8 release notes).

Instead of notifing ping services every time a post is published or edited, pings are now sent once every hour, at the most. Every time a new post is published, WordPress checks if there is a ping batch queued to be sent within the next hour. If so, the ping is added to that batch. If there is nothing in the queue, a ping is sheduled to be sent after 3600 seconds (one hour).

Apparently this will be fixed in WordPress 2.8.3, until then don’t expect fast indexing or speedy distribution of your RSS feed.

By Patrick Altoft. at 7:37AM on Thursday, 30 Jul 2009

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

18 Responses to “Indexing slow? Blame WordPress 2.8”

  1. shane says:

    Lets hope this new release comes soon then, good find.

  2. Steven Morgan says:

    Quite disturbing that they have such poor processes that things don’t end up being included in a changelog.

  3. Dave says:

    @Steven you can’t argue with the price though ;)

  4. Stropp says:

    It may be possible to find the bit of code that specifies the 3600 seconds and change it to 1 (or even 0.) If the batch is only sent if it exists that shouldn’t cause any problems and the mod will disappear on the next release which fixes the problem anyway.

    In some ways this is the aggravating thing about WordPress. There doesn’t seem to be any consultation regarding changes that fundamentally change the way some features work. And what’s worse is that you are essentially forced to accept the changes because of the need to upgrade because of security.

  5. Phil Green says:

    On the plus side, your plan to rank for “servicing stop” is working :D

  6. Stefan says:

    Thank you for mentioning me even though it’s @ducedo and not @ducedoon. :)

    I think it’s an important mater since it will, as karamell.net wrote, stop the real time web. Even though it’s just an hour delay this hour can make tremendous different on occasions.

  7. Good to know. Also… I am using a fresh install of WP 2.82 on a new blog and noticed that under the privacy settings the default is now to block search engines unless I say otherwise. Quite useful if I don’t want the thing indexed until I have “finished” the setup but still glad I spotted it otherwise I might not have known to switch the block off.

  8. Tom Troughton says:

    It may be a hastle, but WordPress does so many things RIGHT, that I guess we shouldn’t complain.

  9. Luci says:

    That was a sneaky trick by WordPress, not entirely appreciated either! Thanks for the heads up, it’s good to know it’s something they’re doing, and not a problem elsewhere.
    Any news on when the next update will be released?

  10. Longest Drive says:

    Why does it take so long for a data got indexed? :)

  11. Stendo says:

    Why is it taking so lang?? Let’s hope that WordPress 3.0 is coming soon!!

    But to be honest: just like Tom says: WordPress is doing so many things great!

  12. spinmedia says:

    you could use a plugin to cover your ping until the next wp release – i’ve used maxblogpress ping optimizer to good effect with 2.8 blogs. Theres a little marketing BS with the activation of the plugin.. but the plugin seems to work ok.

  13. alisongroves says:

    I’d like to second the comment/question of “when will 2.8.3 be released?”

    :)

  14. tag44 says:

    Well you can’t blame WordPress directly there might be other possible reasons for that.

  15. Lter says:

    Same news to me!

  16. drew says:

    Insightful but right now I'm having major issues with TZ. We're doing our best too and as publishers of news stories we need Google to come back to indexing us the way they did before but they haven't been for around 4 days. The homepage is cached with our latest posts but no posts. Any ideas on that?

  17. Adam Mason says:

    Awesome post! I’m definitly going to share this on my Twitter :)

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