You already have your WordPress site up and running and you see the notification that you received a comment. You’re all happy, but when you’re going to see:
And you keep asking yourself, what’s that?
Well, I had that same question a few years ago when I started messing with WordPress and unfortunately it’s not such a simple thing to understand whether or not it’s worth it.
In this article, I want to explain a little bit about what Pingbacks and Trackbacks are in WordPress and when it’s worth using them.
What is a trackback
Let’s start with trackback as it will be simpler to explain the pingback.
In WordPress, a trackback is a feature that you can use to inform another blog manually that you have made an article that has a link to it.
Basically, this is a resource that helps the community grow together. It’s like you’re talking to whoever wrote the post whose you’re linking:
“Oops, I liked your content and I’m creating a link to it in my own article. Even take a look because it may be something that interests you.”
On the creation page of your post in WordPress you can tell the list of URLs that you want to report as trackback manually.
What is Pingback
Just like Trackback, Pingback in WordPress is a way to notify another website or blog also done on WordPress that there is a new link to your site.
The difference is that Pingback is done automatically. That is, you do not manually inform the URLs you are linking to, but rather let WordPress do so automatically.
We often find that this feature exists because a number of spam links appear to our site. Which doesn’t even make us relate this feature to something negative.
However, it is interesting feature because you can start creating the relationship with other blogs and grow together by linking each other.
When you are linked by another blog, you can accept or not that pingback.
When you accept it, at the end of your post appears a link to the original article that made the link to you. If you don’t accept it, nothing changes on your site.
How to disable Pingbacks in WordPress
Trackbacks and Pingbacks, by default, are enabled in WordPress. However, you can simply disable them in the Settings > Read area in your administrative panel.
By disabling the “Allow link warnings from other blogs (pingbacks or trackbacks) in new posts, you disable functionality on your site.
Also, you can do this individually in each post to have a more independent control.
When to use Pingbacks?
Something I’ve always been confused about is when to use this feature on my blogs.
For this, I will comment on some points for and others against.
Points in favour
- If you accept an interesting pingback, you are increasing the amount of information and resources interesting to your readers.
- If the pingback comes from a more famous site, you are further legitimizing its content by saying: Look, these people here made a link to my site.
- Help with SEO when the other person accepts your pingback or trackback.
- Creates a nice relationship with another blog that can result in more partnerships and links.
- It is often abused by spam. So it’s important to always filter out what is not a legitimate link.
- If it is not properly filtered, it can fill with links to strange websites and worsen its legitimacy.
- It takes time to keep filtering the various pingbacks and trackbacks in search of those that are really legitimate.
- Your site creates automatic pingbacks for your own articles, which isn’t necessarily legal.
Pingbacks and Trackbacks are a very interesting feature when used correctly. It does take more time in managing your blog or website, but it can bring very important benefits to your growth.
Was there any doubt about this topic? Tell me in the comments and we continue the discussion there.