Trackbacks and pingbacks are ways in which you can notify another blog writer (let’s call her Ms. X) that your newly published post is linking to her content. In order to work, both sites need to have the trackback/pingback feature enabled and Ms. X will need to approve the link back to your site.
If the link is generated as a trackback, the title of your blog post and several sentences will appear on Ms. X’s blog.
If the link is generated as a pingback, the title of your blog post and a snippet of your content will appear on Ms. X’s blog.
These appear after the comment section under the header “Trackbacks”.
How do I send a trackback or pingback?
To be able to send and receive trackbacks and pingbacks, you will need to set your global WordPress settings and your page/post settings.
- To set this globally, go to Dashboard >> Settings >> Discussion
- Set your individual page/post settings
The 'default article settings' are defined here
Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article –
When you check this box, WordPress will automatically send out a pingback to whomever you link to in your post.
Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) –
Check this box if you want notification that someone has linked to one of your posts/pages. You may then override this global setting on whatever page/post you wish.
Allow people to post comments on new articles –
If you wish to allow any commenting on your site, this must be checked. You may then override this global setting on whatever page/post you wish.
Specific control is found in the “Discussion” box below the text editor on each page/post. Trackbacks and pingbacks come as a set in WordPress so if you allow for one, you will allow for the other.
Can't see the Discussion box? Click here
If the Discussion box isn’t visible, you will need to scroll to the top of the page and click Screen Options. Then check the box marked “Discussion”. As of WordPress 3.0, the Discussion box is hidden by default.
Here’s how to generate a trackback/pingback:
First of all, you can generally assume that if Ms. X’s blog is built with WordPress, your post will be “pinged” when it is published. You only need to send a trackback if you would like more of your blog content to show up on her site. When you are ready to publish your blog, scroll down to the “Send Trackbacks” box below the text editor. Copy the URL of the blog post you are referencing, add /trackback/ to the end of it, and paste it into the “send trackbacks to” field.
NOTE: If the “Send Trackbacks” box isn’t visible, scroll to the top of the page, click Screen Options and check the box marked “Send Trackbacks.”
Should I allow trackbacks and pingbacks to my site?
Here’s where you can share the love. If you are going to send them, reciprocate by allowing them to appear on your site. Incoming links can be valuable when it comes to ranking by search engines and although a trackback doesn’t contribute to your content in the same way as a comment, it can be worthwhile if the linking site is a relevant one.
If your blog post has been “pinged” or you have received a trackback, you will see the notification in the dashboard of your WordPress site. You may choose to Approve, Edit, Reply, Spam or Trash it.
The downside: Spammers do a lot of this type of linking in hopes that blog owners will allow their links to show up. If you allow for trackbacks and pingbacks on your own blog, you will need to moderate them. On popular blogs, this gets a bit time-consuming so most of the extremely popular sites turn this feature off. If you have the Akismet plugin enabled, that will catch almost all of your spammy trackbacks and pingbacks.
As you initially grow your blog, get engagement on your site, and work on improving your rank, these trackback and pingback links can be very welcome.
Additional trackback/pingback details here
- Trackbacks and pingbacks happen within moments of publishing your blog. If you don’t see it, there are two reasons:
• Ms. X needs to allow for trackbacks and pingbacks and/or
• Ms. X may have to approve your trackback/pingback
- If you want to verify the site(s) you have pinged, look at the bottom of the “Send Trackbacks” box below your text editor. This is where WordPress displays all the URLS that were notified about your blog entry.
- If you want to see if pingbacks are supported, look at Ms. X’s HTML coding for a line like: <link rel=”pingback” href=”……./>
- Sometimes blogs will have a special trackback link available for you to copy. These will appear just after the blog post content but before the comments. You may see a plain text link or a hyperlink.