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What is a trackback link? Trackbacks, Pingbacks and Linkbacks

TrackbackTrackback Links

Trackback links are one of four types of linkback methods. They allow website companies or authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. They enable them to keep track of who is linking to their articles. Some weblog software and content management systems, such as SilverStripe, WordPress, Drupal, and Movable Type, support automatic pingbacks. Pingbacks allow links in a published article to ping when published. Pingbacks are automated and don’t send any content. The term trackback is for any kind of linkback.

How To Send A Trackback

Each blogging software system handles trackbacks differently. Bloggers can also choose to switch them off or require every one be approved before going live, so don’t be surprised when you send a trackback and it doesn’t show up, it may have nothing to do with you.

Some websites will trackback automatically, or attempt to, especially if they are the same format. For example a WordPress blog trackbacking a WordPress blog. In that case as long as you include a link to the other blog’s post your blog will attempt a trackback, sometimes called a pingback.

Usually you have to manually enter a trackback URI into the blog entry you are creating. You can find the URI at the end of most blog posts (take a look at your blog posts for the term Trackback URI or similar).

By the way –

URL = Uniform Resource Locator, a fancy name for ‘Link’

URI = Uniform Resource Identifier, another fancy name for ‘Link’

I use WordPress and for each blog post I make there is a trackback input box section for entering trackback URIs. I copy and paste the trackback URI from the blog entry I want to link to and when I click publish my blog will send the trackback. My blog will also confirm when a trackback has been sent after publishing my post.

How To Get Traffic

If you follow someone else’s post you are leaving a link that points back to your blog. Someone who reads the article may click through from the link and visit your blog.

In some cases, if they are not using the “nofollow” tag, you get some PageRank juice (not sure what PageRank is? Read this short introduction – https://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/275/pagerank-explained/) which will help your search engine rankings.

What Does “nofollow” Mean?

The “nofollow” tag is a line of code that some blogging systems, such as WordPress, implement automatically. The tag is added to every link left in comments and trackbacks so the search engines don’t follow the link (humans however view it like a standard link so can follow it like normal).

Its supposed purpose is to stop people spamming blog comments purely for links but it really doesn’t work that well as a deterrent.

 

Send Trackbacks For Traffic

Trackbacks are good because they bring traffic to your site when you trackback other blogs. Being the “victim” of a trackback is also good because it means another blogger has read your blog and deemed something you wrote worthy of including in their blog. There is a good chance if they trackbacked you that they also made a direct link to your blog too.

This helps your social proofing because it provides evidence that other people are reading and responding to your blog articles. However the real power of trackbacking is an awareness building tool to get the attention of other bloggers.

When you first start blogging not many people will know your blog exists. By trackbacking other bloggers you demonstrate interest in their content which is a surefire way to make them interested in you and your blog.

It’s very likely that the blogger you trackbacked will follow the link and see what your site is all about. If you have been following my advice and have written some pillar articles your new visitor will like what they see, very likely subscribe to your blog and if you are lucky may even trackback you or mention your blog in a future entry on their blog.

If nothing else, by trackbacking a blogger you will forever occupy some of their mind-space, which in the future may open up all kinds of doors and opportunities for traffic.

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