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Understanding Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress

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Understanding trackbacks and pingbacks are indispensable for each blogger. These terms are a vital part of WordPress as WordPress is the most popular choice for blogging. Trackbacks and pingbacks are often a communication medium among websites on the web. Also, they play a significant role in indexing of a webpage in SERPs.

Many website owners and bloggers have confusions about them.  Further, they don’t understand what are bad or good impacts as well as how to manage them. In this article, we will explain and help you understanding trackbacks and pingbacks. We will also tell you how to disable pingbacks and trackbacks.

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Understanding Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Trackbacks and pingbacks are features allow users to comment on articles and link to posts.  These tools are ways to perform remote comments and recommendations.

Understanding Trackbacks

Trackback is a method of saying, “There is something interesting for you to read and comment.”. This works in the following manner.

– We write a post on our blog.
– You want to comment on our post but you want something more.
– You want your readers to know what you have to say and comment on your view.
– So you will then write a post on your blog and send a trackback to us.
– We will receive your trackback, and choose to display it as a comment or not.

Understanding Pingbacks

A pingback is another tool for software having the ability to communicate between websites. It’s almost like remote comments with links.

– We write a post on our blog.
– You write a post on your blog and mention our article there using a link.
– Your blogging software will send us a pingback automatically.
– Our blogging software will receive the pingback and will go automatically to your blog.
– It will confirm that the pingback originates there or the link is present.
– We will decide to display your pingback on our website as a comment or not.

WordPress also sends a self-ping. If one of your posts links to another post, a pingback happens within the same website.

Differences Between Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Trackbacks are a manual way of interaction while pingbacks perform automatically. A trackback comment contains a title, excerpt and a link to your blog post. On the other hand, a pingback solely displays a link to your post.

The concept is another difference while you might disagree with it. Trackback is informing that something related and interesting exists in another blog post. Whereas, a pingback is, an article has referred or mentioned your post. Additionally, pingbacks overcome the limitation of trackbacks as pingbacks process automatically.

Impact of Trackbacks and Pingbacks

While these tools have a good purpose, 99% cases are of misusing them. It has turned to the easiest way for spammers to get a backlink from your site. You can see lots of spammy trackbacks from low-quality WordPress theme/plugin review and other sites over the web. In our experience, 99% requests come from nonsense websites who just steal content as-is from others blogs. In short, we have found 99% of all trackbacks/pingbacks to be spam and harming your ranking goodwill.

Very fewer times, we’ve found genuine trackbacks and pingbacks from legit bloggers. So we strongly recommend you to turn off these trackback/pingback comments.

Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress

WordPress Trackbacks and Pingbacks Settings

You can entirely disable these settings in WordPress if you’re getting spams from them. First, go to Settings -> Discussion and look at “Default article settings” there. Then uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”.

It will disable trackbacks and pingbacks for future posts and not for existing ones. We will soon update you for disabling them on existing posts and self-pinging as well.

You don’t need to uncheck the first option, “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article “. If you do so then other blogs which you linked will not get pingbacks. So its better to disable only incoming pingbacks.

Hope now you have a better understanding of trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress. If you have any question or feedback, feel free to comment below.

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