Ever wondered how a blog has external websites linked? If you are a blogger, you might have heard of pingbacks and trackbacks. If not, don’t worry; today, we will dig through what pingbacks and trackbacks are, the pros and cons of using them, and how they work.
Let us start off with what pingbacks are.
What are pingbacks?
Pingbacks are a notification that lets other bloggers know you have linked to their blog or their website.
The notification feature depends upon whether the other blogger has their pingback enabled. If the other blogger accepts pingbacks, a comment is created when you link to another blog post.
It works both ways.
When you link to another post, the other party gets a notification if they have their pingback enabled and can choose if they can allow a link from your website to appear on their website.
So it works in favour of both parties. Pingbacks are displayed as comments, but this can depend upon the WordPress theme as it might look different.
We will examine how pingbacks work, how to enable/disable them and their pros and cons. Let us look at an example of what a pingback usually looks like.
Example of Pingback
When one person links their website to your blog/content post, then you will receive a similar notification as you can see below:
When you take a closer look at the above information, you’ll notice it contains the following:
- The website which is linked to your post.
- Anchor text and URL inserted into the post.
- The title of the post on which the link is inserted.
- A choice to approve, delete or mark as spam. It also contains information on the number of comments awaiting your approval and a link to the WordPress dashboard of comments.
When you click on the link redirecting to the moderation panel, you can view the comments written about your blog and the anchor text on which the URL is linked.
You will also be able to see who commented on your post – it can be either a blogger, an agency of a related niche or even an organization that came across your blog.
What are trackbacks?
Now that you are familiar with what pingbacks are and what they look like, let us dive into trackbacks.
Similar to pingbacks with a slight change, trackbacks are notifications sent to an external website when you link to it in your content.
For example, say you just finished writing a blog on social media marketing, and you have inserted an external link to another article about social media; this can be of great use to your prospective readers.
Trackbacks are a great way to get the owner’s attention by pinging them about your trackback. If they approve it, your site’s link with anchor text will be displayed in the comments section.
Example of trackbacks?
Below you can see an example of what a trackback looks like.
A person has posted a comment on a particular post with a link to their website. Trackbacks help notify us about the spam links on our posts.
Similar to pingbacks, in trackbacks, you can choose whether the comment with the link is legit, is approved, should be deleted or marked as spam.
Spammers try to post and link to as much content as possible in the hope of receiving backlinks.
Pros and Cons of Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks have a lot of positives and negatives to consider.
Pros of Pingbacks and Trackbacks:
- Linking to external websites can help increase your content’s value.
- Pingbacks and trackbacks positively affect your blog’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If, by chance, a high-quality website approves your pingbacks or trackbacks, it can drive more traffic to your site.
- If you share someone else’s content, there is a higher chance for them to do the same with your content, which can result in more traffic, creating an outreach opportunity to improve your brand name by making connections.
- The basic factor of both pingback and trackbacks is creating backlinks to one another’s websites.
Cons of Pingbacks and Trackbacks:
- One of the common drawbacks of both pingbacks and trackbacks is the amount of spam. Spammers have the audacity to spam their content on every other website as it is their sole purpose to get these links to other websites.Although WordPress has plenty of anti-spam plugins, spammers ,unfortunately, have a way of getting through.
- Constant monitoring is required to manually approve and decline the comments to avoid unwanted spammy links on your website. Manually monitoring these can take a chunk of time. However, leaving these links unmonitored can harm your website and your users.
- Low-quality spam can be the main factor affecting your content’s SEO. If these pingbacks and trackbacks break through the protective features, you may be linked to useless, unwanted websites or even malware websites.
- Spammers can easily overcome the pingback and trackback protection put in place. It is therefore important to monitor your published posts now and then to maintain your website’s quality.
- There is also a factor of self pingbacks. When you link to another post on your website, the enabled feature will send out a notification just as if you are linking to an external website for them to be approved.However, with the automated plugins available, you can be free of this problem.
How does a pingback work?
Now you know what a pingback is and its pros and cons. It’s also helpful to be familiar with how pingback works.
Two websites must have their pingback feature enabled for it to work. Depending on the WordPresss theme installed, comments will be displayed either on top or bottom of the post.
Suppose you write a blog post and publish the blog linking to an external website.
If the pingback feature is enabled, WordPress will send a notification to the external website.
The pingback will be generated and displayed in the comment section so that the external website can approve them.
However, this only works on WordPress; if you use a different platform, such as blogger, it is important to remember that it’s best to use trackbacks.
Although trackbacks are not the same as pingbacks, as discussed above, you will need to visit the external website’s post and find the trackback URL around the comment section.
Insert the URL to WordPress visual editor and after publishing a pingback will appear on the external website owner’s post.
How do I pingback to another blog?
So pingbacks sound pretty cool, right? But how do you pingback? Lucky for you, pingbacks are created automatically whenever you link to another WordPress or website on your own page.
You might already be pingbacking without even realizing it—as long as the blogs you’re linking have pingbacks enabled. You can Follow these steps to enable pingbacks on your WordPress blog, but you should keep reading to make sure you really want to do that first.
How to Moderate Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress
Moderating pingbacks and trackbacks is pretty basic. While it is a time consuming process, it’s relatively simple.
Both pingback and trackbacks are shown in the comment section in your WordPress dashboard, as shown in the above image.
Most of the comments will be filled with spam and copycats i.e., content writers stealing the whole content, including the links.
There is only a small chance of getting pinged by genuine bloggers. Most bloggers don’t enable this feature because of the spam links, and the time it takes to moderate each comment is hectic.
Do pingbacks affect SEO?
As every blogger knows, getting more links to your blog is the best way to get more website traffic. SEO helps improve the overall ranking in search engines and also helps boost organic search traffic to your website.
Pingbacks and trackbacks are among the leading causes of healthy traffic and can affect your blog’s SEO.
If you link to another WordPress website, you automatically get reciprocated with a link back from them. This is actually one of the best ways to get more links to your blog.
Now you know how it is beneficial, but it’s also important to understand that sometimes pingbacks and trackbacks may badly affect your website. As discussed, spammers abuse this feature by linking to unwanted sites and irrelevant links.
These low-quality pingbacks can hurt the overall quality, integrity and trust placed in your blog by users and search engines like Google. So if you plan on using the pingback feature, proceed with caution!
How do you enable and disable pingbacks?
As we mentioned earlier, even though pinbacks are beneficial, it can be annoying and hectic at times to monitor & moderate every comment. Well, here is a way to be hassle-free from moderating all of those comments.
- Go to Settings in the left corner of your WordPress dashboard
- Click on Discussions
- To Enable Pingbacks, check “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new blogs”
- To Disable Pingbacks, ensure this box in unchecked
- Click Save Changes
Now that you are fully equipped with everything you need to know about pingbacks and trackbacks, we will answer the question you’ve likely been asking from the beginning; should you use pingbacks and trackback?
After covering everything, you probably know that pingbacks and trackbacks are beneficial, although at the same time quite quirky too.
The decision to choose between using pingbacks and trackbacks is entirely up to you.
They’re a smart way to get more links to your blog posts, but they can also have consequences and, if you’re not careful, may compromise your website quality.
What are pingbacks?
Pingbacks are a feature that notifies an external blogger when you link their website to your blog.
What are trackbacks?
Trackbacks are notifications sent to an external website when you link to it on your content.
Can pingbacks affect your blog’s SEO?
Enabling the pingback feature allows you to get more links to your website and vice versa, for more traffic. This is beneficial to your blog’s SEO. However, you also risk inviting spammy links, which will negatively affect SEO.
How to pingback to another blog?
When you link to another pingback-enabled WordPress blog, pingbacks are created.
How to enable and disable the pingback feature?
Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Settings ? Discussions ? To enable pingbacks, check the box “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new blogs” and uncheck to disable the feature