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Understanding WordPress Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Understanding WordPress Pingbacks and Trackbacks

To boost site traffic and SEO rankings is a relentless pursuit for all people, be top bloggers or new starters. Apart from all kinds of well-known SEO plugins and tools, many people are likely to encounter a good number of notifications about pingbacks and trackbacks that are of great importance to search marketing.

However, wrongly-used pingbacks and trackbacks will bring about irrelevant links, misleading content and many other unexpected problems. With the purpose to lead bloggers in the right direction, we would like to showcase how to make use of those WordPress pingback and trackback properly. Before starting with our topic, we would like to give a straightforward introduction on those two link-back methods.

The Definition of Pingbacks and Trackbacks

WordPress Pingbacks & TrackbacksA pingback, as a useful link-back method, is used by site owners to request notification when someone links to a post on their web pages. That is to say, you will be informed by an auto-generated notification from your WordPress site when others try linking to your articles. In the further, you will be able to notify the web author if you link to a post on his website in the form of a pingback.

In the same way, a trackback also belongs to a link-back method that helps the web author get to know who has linked to their documents. In other words, if you use external links and notify the specific bloggers, you will show a link back at the bottom of your external post. In the further, you will inform the blog owner of your post title, URL and excerpt so as to ask for his/her permission.

What Are the Differences Between Pingbacks and Trackbacks?

As is noted above, both of pingbacks and trackbacks are popular forms of communications and notifications between blogs. In another word, the two mentioned links are applied to notify a blogger that somebody has linked back to their own websites. However, they are actually different from each other at many aspects. In the following, there is a list of some significant differences between a trackback and pingback.

  • Generating Method – Normally, a trackback is required to be filled in manually in the WordPress dashboard; while a pingback is often created automatically.
  • Communication Technology – A trackback makes use of the POST (HTTP) technology to send notifications; while a pingback takes advantage of the XML-RPC technology to communicate with a web author.
  • Displaying Place – A trackback usually appears in the comment section of a blog owner’s post with his/her consent; while a pingback will come to the author’s dashboard and won’t display as a visitor’s comment without any permission.
  • Email Content – A trackback cannot be testified by the author and displays the post content, which is an original resource for spamming links; while a pingback can be fully verified by the blog owner and only shows the post title and link.

How to Enable and Initiate Pingbacks and Trackbacks?

To enable pingbacks and trackbacks on your WordPress is fairly easy, and you can accomplish it by a few clicks on your dashboard. Once logged into the admin page of your WordPress dashboard, you only need to go to “Settings” > “Discussion” to make some changes as is displayed in the following image.

WordPress Pingbacks & Trackbacks

As you may notice, there are a rich set of editing options for you to choose from. In the “Default article settings”, you can decide whether to notify the linked post’s author, grant user comment and link notifications. In other areas, you are allowed to make personalized comment and email settings.

Once done, you are empowered to insert a trackback to your post by selecting out the “Send Trackbacks” option on the top of your editing menu. If possible, you will need to fill in the URL of the referred post’s URL in the “Send Trackbacks” box.

WordPress Pingbacks & Trackbacks

Note that other bloggers will be automatically notified through pingbacks if you try linking to certain WordPress website.

WordPress Pingbacks & Trackbacks


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.