WordPress Trackbacks and Pingbacks Explained

Pingbacks are the comments created whenever one blog is linked to another and enable pingbacks. These are in fact the remote comments.

Something is being posted by a person on the blog. Another person posts something on his blog that is linked to post of some other person. When this occurs a pingback is automatically sent to the first person when both persons have blogs with enabled pingbacks. In order to create pingback, all that is required is to link to someone else`s blog post. In case of that post having pingbacks enables, blog owner sees an appearance of pingbacks in the comments section which they can then approve.

Trackbacks are means of notifying legacy blog systems to which you have created a link. In case of such a link to the WordPress blog, you will be automatically notified by means of pingbacks, there is no other necessary action for this notification. Trackbacks are equivalent to references and acknowledgments you see in the last of chapters or academic papers. For sending trackbacks, you need to add trackback URL from other blog post for sending modules of trackbacks within blog posts.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks Tips 2

Trackbacks & pingbacks are the means to alert blogs that have been linked by you to them. There is difference between these two as;

  • Trackbacks are created manually, a content excerpt is then sent
  • Pingbacks are automatically created and do not send content

After a short time you have started doing blogging, you will start receiving the notifications about trackbacks and pingbacks. These both serve genuinely but also lead to some problems by misleading readers, deceptively or maliciously adding links that are irrelevant to the blog posts. These then negatively affect the ranking of your site in search engines. This article is all about trackbacks and pingbacks and how you can get positive results with the avoidance of those causing negative impacts for you. This article will help you to get benefit from the WordPress pingbacks & trackbacks, along with avoiding potential pitfalls linked to them. The guidance provided in this article covers all aspects that you must know in order to make effective use of WordPress.

Trackbacks & pingbacks explained

Depending upon the configuration of your blog, when someone is linked to any of posts by you, you will be notified by means of some pingback or trackback notification. Normally this notification comes as an email or through WordPress admin dashboard. This notification prompts the receiver for moderating the pingbacks or trackback. This moderation occurs in the same manner just like moderation of some blog post that gives you the option for approving, trashing or marking as spam.

Upon your decision regarding the approval of the action, trackback or pingback details are published along with comments received by that specific blog.

Difference between two

As per the theme of WordPress, a published-trackback shows a title of the blog post, content snippet and a back link to the corresponding blog post that triggered trackback. As compared to the trackbacks, pingbacks contain link to the article than some snippet or the title.

Trackbacks need to be sent manually when a post is published. As compared to this pingbacks are automatically sent upon publishing of a post that includes some link to another post.

Unlike trackbacks, pingbacks can be initiated via interlinking articles of a same site and not only from the external sites. For initiating trackback you just need to enter post`s URL to which reference is being made. Or by referring to the send trackbacks Meta box upon the “add new or edit” post page. In case you are unable to see it, go to screen options and select the option of “Send Trackbacks”.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks Tips

How they work

These in short allow site owners to leave similar things to the blog comments or some reference on the post or some other site without any actual visit or any actual comment being posted by them. The main purpose of these is to allow the blog or post readers to see other blog posts that are referenced to it. Readers can then easily follow such links and get additional information upon the relevant topic or an opposing topic review.

These are useful as they provide information to the site owners regarding the use of their work whenever someone else mentions their work. Using this, you can visit the relevant site and also interact with the publisher. The reason behind this could be any. For example to confirm their written material, starting a conversation, disputing issues o for defending the claims made.

Whether these should be allowed or not? Approval and disapproval

When you receive first few trackbacks and pingbacks, you may become flattered about your work being referred by someone else. You feel a sense of pride. Similar to the initial few blog comments this novelty wears off soon when you realize that most of such trackbacks & pingbacks do not link to the readers but are from those who are looking for obtaining some links back to sites of them from yours. You may find it a less honest way of referencing.

Deceptive building of links

Search engine for example google, use number of the links related to a particular website for gauging the popularity of the respective website, and thus use this as a means of ranking site as a result. By initiating trackbacks, is now a popular means of spamming websites for gaining backlinks.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress

Negative associations

When you approve trackbacks & pingbacks indiscriminatingly, you are in fact unwittingly helping spam sites to get the higher ranks in search engines, by offering readers nothing important for which they should follow the links given by them. Another problem with this deceptive sue is that most of the legitimate topic is not covered with this approach. When you approve a trackback & link it to the site that contains questionable content, you may appear as being associated with offending site before search engines. When you are considered to be linked with dubious or spam website, this will negatively affect the position of your website in the results pages of the search engines.

Manual examination of the sources

In case of initial few pingbacks & trackbacks, website content must be checked for the site that initiates links. This must be done for determining the intentions of those trying to get trackbacks & pingbacks. When you start doing this you will become aware of the fact that a majority of those sites are not the genuine ones. You should thus disapprove such sites when they slip past the Akismet‘s spam filter. Sometimes you get alerts in the form of notifications regarding your content being scraped and without your authorization it has been republished elsewhere.

Resources drainage

When you try to keep up with the comments, spams are the biggest drain on the time & resources you have spent for your website. Comments acceptance benefits, in a majority of cases, outweigh the negative results. With trackbacks & pingbacks, chances of such misuse are minimized. Keeping this fact in mind, for almost all cases, it is preferable for you to disable notifications and thus avoid their publishing altogether.

Disabling of pingbacks & trackbacks

It is quite straightforward to disable the notifications regarding trackbacks & pingbacks in the WordPress. It needs to be pointed out that turning off this feature applies only to the new posts. There is no retrospective working for this action. It means that you should early on turn-off them rather than ignoring this issue along with an addition of new website content. In order to disable pingbacks & trackbacks notifications on the WordPress website:

  • Login to admin Dashboard
  • Go to the Setting > Discussion
  • Uncheck the option for “Allow link notifications from the other blogs (trackbacks & pingbacks)”

Trackbacks and Pingbacks Tips 3


In a nutshell above article is described in the following few points:

  • Trackbacks & pingbacks are used for notifying site owners that someone else has referenced or linked their blog posts in their own posts
  • Sending of pingbacks is automatic upon someone’s linking to your site content
  • Publishers initiate trackbacks by entering URL in “send-trackback-field”
  • When received trackbacks & pingbacks can be trashed or approved similar to the blog comments
  • Upon approval of the trackbacks & pingbacks, these are published in comments section with a backlink to corresponding blog post
  • Overtime, majority of trackbacks and pingbacks are spam
  • Notifications for both of these can easily be disabled for the future site posts

Trackbacks & pingbacks are good means of checking links made from your site by others. Following up them helps in response being made to other site-owners in this field. Due to the presence of higher spam levels in the practice, it is convenient and preferable to disable notifications regarding trackbacks & pingbacks.

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