Pulse period is an important indicator of pulse‐like effects on structural response. An alternative algorithm to identify the pulse period is proposed oriented to the structural maximum inelastic response using an equivalent trigonometric function for the dominant velocity half‐cycle (DVHC). This study highlights the correlation between the DVHC and the maximum inelastic displacements of single‐degree‐of‐freedom system. Compared with two pioneering methods that occasionally overestimate or underestimate the pulse period, it is shown that the proposed algorithm is more appropriate in predicting the pulse period. In addition, robust scaling laws that relate the pulse period to appropriate seismological, spatial, and site parameters are proposed and evaluated.