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What are Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Do you get notifications that you have a Trackback or Pingback on your website and don’t know what to do with them? Are you wondering if you should approve, mark as spam, or just trash them?

3 min read

Do you get notifications that you have a Trackback or Pingback on your Wordpress website and don’t know what to do with them? Are you wondering if you should approve, mark as spam, or just trash them? Our Raleigh web design agency has some tips for you.

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What is a Trackback?

If you like what an article on someone else’s WordPress blog or website has to say, you may wish to leave a comment on it. Because the topic interests you, you may want to link that comment to your website as well, so your visitors can also learn from the topic. That’s when you would leave a comment on the post including a trackback. Think of it as someone sharing an article on your Facebook wall, or handing you a newspaper article saying “I think you’d be interested in this.” By adding a trackback, you’re saying to your viewers that you liked something, and think they might as well.

What is a Pingback?

If you link to a post or article on a website or blog, it will create a link in the comment section of that page, which is a pingback. The link to that other site can be added on any page of your website. The followers of that article might click on your link and check out what you have to say as well. Pingbacks also work within your own website. If you add a link in one post to another post on your site, WordPress will create a pingback for you. A pingback only includes a link; it does not include any other content.

How Can They Help Me?

Trackbacks and pingbacks can benefit your website from an SEO perspective. It is a link to your site from another site, which search engines will recognize. If you get a trackback on a site with a good reputation and regular traffic, you may get a number of visitors to your site from that link. If you comment on another person’s blog with a pingback or trackback and they approve it, it’s another link to your website. Their readers may choose to visit your link, therefore increasing traffic to your site.

Are They Spam?

Because of the power of trackbacks and pingbacks to add a backlink to a website, they are a major target for spammers. On average, 95% of the trackback and pingback requests that come through to your site will be spam. If you have a plugin such as Akismet, it will filter out the majority of these for you. Review the ones that do come through your spam filter on occasion. If the person is adding a relevant question or additional material to what you wrote, and the site they’re linking to is a legitimate business or blog that relates to what you are saying, you may choose to approve the pingback or trackback.

How do I turn off Trackbacks and Pingbacks?

If you decide you do not want any trackbacks or pingbacks allowed on your site, you can turn them off in your WordPress settings. Click on Settings, then Discussion. Then uncheck the “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” box. This does not stop you from visiting other websites and leaving comments via pingback or trackback on their site.
Do you need help improving your WordPress website’s traffic and conversions? Contact the internet marketing and SEO experts at TheeDigital of Raleigh, NC. Give us a call at 919-341-8901 or schedule a consultation.

About The Author:
Richard Horvath

Richard Horvath is the founder of TheeDigital, a Raleigh based award-winning web design and digital marketing agency. He is proud of his team and the results that they provide to their clients.

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