Trackbacks – Are they good, bad or indifferent?
Seems there is some confusion on trackbacks and whether or not to let them show on your blog.
Some are good and some are bad but first the comment I received.
Like some of them, Iâ€™m new to blogging. And suddenly, Iâ€™m getting comment notifications for trackbacks and pingbacks in my comments and they are leaving links to their sites. And they have nothing to do with what my siteâ€™s about, but they do have links under something like â€œrelated articles.â€
I guess theyâ€™re sort of creating reciprocal links, but they arenâ€™t anything I want . . . I think. So whatâ€™s the best approach?
Do I just keep marking them as spam in my comments? Will Askimet or something like that solve the problem? Do I turn off HTML in the comments?
And then whatâ€™s the best policy for legitimate trackbacks and pingbacks? Put them under the other comments? as they arrive? donâ€™t show? I have to admit, Iâ€™m not sure why Iâ€™d want to show them other than â€œbraggingâ€ that others liked the article. So does having them show actually benefit me in some way that keeping them hidden doesnâ€™t?
From the other comments from newbies here, maybe you could do one or more additional articles on the topic â€” or maybe you already have and I just havenâ€™t found them.
Thanks for any further enlightenment you can give!
The original post on trackbacks covered what they are and how to use them. Now for a discussion of whether or not to approve them and are they good or bad.
As a rule if I get a trackback from a site that is not related and not discussing my post I treat it as spam. There are a lot of automated ways to do this trying to generate backlinks and a quick check will show whether that is the case or not.
The easy way to deal with it if it is a problem is to just turn off trackbacks. I will cover that at the end of the post but it is not something I do or recommend in most cases.
The reason is that trackbacks done properly can be a great way to generate conversations. If the post that is linking back is on topic and may be a different view of the subject that is valuable to your readers.
Approving the trackback leads to a potential conversation between your readers and theirs. It is valuable for both parties. It can be very valuable for your readers and create an ongoing conversation.
Having other view points is valuable and properly done trackbacks can allow this to happen.
For me manually approving which are real trackbacks and which are spam although frustrating because of the number of spam ones is worth the effort for the ones that are worthwhile. It is a decision that each of us has to make for their own blog.
Inter blog conversations have the potential to get you in front of a lot of new audience members and that is why I put in the effort to deal with the cretins to find the solid ones.
If it is a real problem though you can just not allow trackbacks. It will save you time but you do lose the potential additional audience from the legitimate trackbacks.
To stop trackbacks go to your dashboard under settings and click discussion.
Then uncheck the allow link notifications box.
This will stop it on all posts. You can do it just for certain posts too. There you will find it on the edit posts screen towards the bottom under the topic discussion. Just uncheck the allow trackbacks and pingbacks box.
Hope that clears up the questions you have on whether or not to allow trackbacks and how you can solve the problem if you decide to.
As always your questions and comments are always welcomed. Leave them below in the comments.
About the author
Mike Paetzold got started blogging in 2003 and has become an expert on using WordPress. He has become known as The WordPress Guy.
After being an under ground niche marketer using his blogs he has surfaced to share some of the ways he uses blogs to enter various niches profitably.
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