Trackbacks and Pingbacks (WordPress)

What are trackbacks and pingbacks?
Trackbacks and pingbacks are used to build links by informing other blogs (sites) that you’ve posted an entry with links to their posts. These features are supported by many blogging and CMS software including WordPress.

How different are pingbacks and trackbacks?
Trackbacks and pingbacks are very similar in their functionalities, but there are three major differences between them.

1. Pingbacks are sent automatically. Most blog or CMS software scans a new post, finds the links in the entry and pings those URLs automatically. On the contrary, trackbacks are sent manually by entering the trackback URLs of the referenced site.

2. They use different protocols: pingbacks are sent through HTTP post and trackbacks through XML-RPC.

3. With trackbacks, you can send an excerpt from your post () as with pingbacks you can send the URL information only.

How to use?
Pingbacks: You can send pingbacks just by adding links in your post. WordPress will ping the linked sites to send the pingback.

Let’s say that Paul read an article that Jane posted about a novel. Paul, then posted an entry about others books that the novel’s author wrote and added a link to Jane’s article. Paul’s blog tool will ping Jane’s blogging site and let her know that Paul has linked to her site. If Jane’s article is configured to accept pingbacks, Paul’s pingback will be displayed in its designated area usually at the end of an entry.

Sending trackbacks takes a little more time and efforts than pingbacks. This time Paul wants send trackbacks to Jane’s site. Before he publishes his article about the author, he goes to Jane’s site to get the trackback URL from her post. Then, he comes back to his blog and enters Jane’s trackback URL. The trackback URL should start with ‘http://’ and end with ‘/trackback/’. When it’s published with trackback URL(s), WordPress sends trackbacks to each entered site.

Setting Trackback for Individual Posts

Things to remember
1. When you use trackbacks and/or pingbacks, the important thing is to use just one of them. The publisher of the referenced site won’t want to display the links to your site twice. It’s not only annoying but there is also a chance to get banned as a spammer.

2. Your pingbacks or trackbacks might not show on the referenced site if they choose not to show them on their post.

3. You can change the default article settings by clicking ‘Settings’ and ‘Discussion’. These configurations can be overridden by individual articles.

WordPress Pingbacks and Trackbacks Settings


  • By Search Engine Rankings, November 25, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    Loved your insight!! For once someone got everything correct!! Would you mind if I put a blogroll link back to your post? :)

  • By admin, November 27, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

    Of course not! Thanks for visiting my site! =)

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