A trackback is a method for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their articles or blog posts. It is a type of linkback, and is a way to notify other bloggers that you have linked to them. Trackbacks are used to create a conversation between two or more websites, and are often used to notify other bloggers when you have linked to their content.
You might have heard of the term trackback being discussed and whether or not you need them. But what is a trackback exactly? A trackback is a way to manually notify older blogging systems that you have linked to one of their posts. In turn, the other post may choose to link to your work in a “mentioned by” – or similar – section. These are not to be confused with pingbacks.
Do I Need to Use Trackbacks?
On the surface, trackbacks sound great. They allow you to communicate and make yourself known in the community. On top of all that, they give you traffic and incoming links which should be great for SEO.
Unfortunately, the downsides far outweigh the upsides. Trackbacks you receive (people linking to your content) will mostly be spam. You will need to moderate these or use a plugin like Akismet to do this for you.
By far the biggest issue with trackbacks is that no one uses them. Almost all high traffic sites – from which incoming links would actually matter – block trackbacks.
How to Use Trackbacks
All criticism aside, if your community or area of expertise tends to use trackbacks follow the steps below to enable and use them on your site.
1. Enable the trackback section
At the top of the screen when editing a post there should be a “Screen Options” tab. Click the tab to view the screen options and click the checkbox next to “Send Trackbacks”.
Once enabled WordPress will remember your preferences and the trackback module will be displayed on all post edit screens.
2. Find the trackback URL
If the website uses trackbacks, the post you are linking to will have a trackback URL somewhere. It is up to the website owner to implement this feature so it will vary from website-to-website. Look for a link titled “trackback” or “trackback url”. Copy the URL the link points to.
3. Fill out the trackback module
Once you’ve enabled the trackback module, scroll down to find it under the post editor. Paste the trackback URL into the text field.
If you want to notify more than one website, separate trackback URLs with spaces.
4. Save the post
Once everything has been set up, save your post and the trackback will be sent to the given location.
Get all your applications, databases and WordPress sites online and under one roof. Our feature-packed, high-performance cloud platform includes:
- Easy setup and management in the MyKinsta dashboard
- 24/7 expert support
- The best Google Cloud Platform hardware and network, powered by Kubernetes for maximum scalability
- An enterprise-level Cloudflare integration for speed and security
- Global audience reach with up to 35 data centers and 275 PoPs worldwide
Get started with a free trial of our Application Hosting or Database Hosting. Explore our plans or talk to sales to find your best fit.