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How To Create A Trackback URL

by Lisa Angelettie

in Article Blogging, Article Marketing

How To Create A Trackback URL

For a web writer, links and backlinks are serious business! We love ‘em. So today I wanted to discuss with you the value of using trackback url links and how to use them in your blog.

What Is A Trackback?

First of all, it’s important that you understand what a trackback is. A trackback is a method for web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their articles. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking, and so referring, to their content. Blogging platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Movable Type, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published, although WordPress is considered the favored platform for trackback linking. Side Note – Blogger does not support trackback linking.

Let Me Explain Trackbacks In Even Simpler Terms…

If you are cruising around my site and you see an article on creating a custom Facebook url that you want to share with your readers, the obvious thing to do would be to link to that article: http://lisaangelettieblog.com/how-to-create-custom-facebook-url/. Linking to this article from another trackback enabled blog (like another WordPress blog) would automatically create a trackback link.

This type of link that lets me know that you have made reference to my article and it also lets me know in which article on your site you did this – by including a link to that article. At best this gets me interested in you and I will visit your site and read (and possibly refer) to some of your articles as well. We could build a relationship. At worst, you at least have my attention and you have a backlink to your site on my site.

Where Would I Find A Trackback Link?

The way trackback links are displayed can differ based on the type of blogging platform you are using, and even if you are on a WordPress blog, the display can differ based on theme. But for the most part – you will find trackback links in the comment section of your blog or right before the blog comments. This is what a trackback looks like on one of my fav’ sites Problogger:

trackback example

Please be aware that some blogs show trackback links differently and this is usually dependent upon the preferences you have set up for your blog’s comments. For example, on my site, I just show the link to the referring article. I don’t include the excerpt like Problogger does.

Other sites do enable trackback links but choose not to show them on their site, while others choose not to enable trackback linking at all (which I don’t agree with), but this is probably due to something out there called “trackback spam”.

What Is Trackback Spam?

Well, if you start seeing some trackback links from totally off topic sites or if you get a trackback link from the same site every time you publish – you are probably receiving trackback spam. It’s a good idea to delete those trackback links because they are basically fishing for links all over the web. They aren’t really referring you to any qualified reader that would actually visit your site.

The WordPress plugin Akismet does a really good job of keeping trackback spam at bay, although there are a few other solutions out there such as Simple Trackback Validation that do the same thing as well.

How Concerned Do I Need To Be About Obtaining Trackbacks?

You really cannot force trackback links to your site. They happen organically because someone liked something you wrote on your blog – end of story. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just pay attention when you do get your first few trackback links and see if the blogger would be someone with whom you could build a relationship with in the future.

What you can do purposefully though is refer to relevant articles yourself and build trackback links on other sites. Do this only when you really like the content and preferably on a high traffic blog. The reason why I say high traffic is that most trackback links are NOFOLLOW links, so the advantage of having the link is so that a human being (the blog owner and/or a reader) will see it and click on it. There is no SEO benefit, although there are a handful of blogs that have purposefully turned their trackback links into DOFOLLOW links.

*Bonus Tip – TweetBacks

There is also something called Tweetbacks. That’s when a link pops up in or under your comment section because someone on Twitter has referred to (linked to) one of your articles. This is just another great way to continue the conversation about your content in the social media stratosphere. We like these too!

How To Create A Tweetback

So for instance, if you wanted to recommend this article to your Twitter followers, you would copy the url of the article, shorten it using tinyurl or bi.tly etc., and create a tweet adding that link. Once you do that, a tweetback would automatically appear in my comment section from your Twitter profile.

*This article idea was submitted by a valued reader. Feel free to submit article ideas you’d like me to write about over on my Facebook page.

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Lisa Angelettie

Join My Tribe at This Page
I make a living writing, ePublishing, and marketing books and teaching others how to do the same. I have one mission: To turn you into the best writer that you can be while enjoying every minute of it!
  • http://sandydoank12.blogspot.com/ gang tutorial

    nice info friend

  • http://www.bhavana.org.in bhavana

    I installed simple trackback validation but
    trackback option not displaying in my blog

  • http://health-medicine-alternatives.com Allison

    Very useful information about trackback and I learned what is trackback spam and how to deal with it. I received trackbacks and pingbacks; what should I do if there are relevant to my articles? Do I need to approve them or do nothing? And do I get backlinks from trackback & pingback, and do they get backlinks from my site if they pingback or trackback with my site?

    Thank you.

    • http://lisaangelettieblog.com Lisa Angelettie

      Relevant trackbacks and pingbacks are great when we are dealing with two dofollow blogs, which most WordPress blogs are.

      Just to be clear, when you write an article and publish it to another blog (ex. blog networks), you may get a trackback back to your site which you should approve. That is a relevant backlink from 1 site to yours, and you benefit from having a “backlink” from that site.

      If the trackback is random and not initiated by something you have published, then you have to decide whether the backlink is from a site that’s somewhat related to your content. If you sell swingset equipment and you are getting a trackback from a porn site — that’s probably a backlink not worth having because Google will see that they are totally unrelated.

  • http://www.lakewoodmedia.co.uk Adam Haworth

    Thanks for explaining tack backs, I have been wrecking my brain trying to figure them out.

  • http://www.vufold.co.uk/ Joanne

    Hi Lisa,

    Can you advise on how to set up trackbacks and pingbacks on a custom blog (one that doesn’t use the likes of WordPress and Typepad)?

    Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.eganmedical.com/ Peter Egan

    Please forgive me if this comes across as a stupid question (and to those less ignorant than myself about such matters, it may well be), but can use trackbacks (or even integrate them into my site) into an e-commerce website, or a multifaceted site that may not necessarily be an e-commerce site per se, but that does not contain a blog or RSS feed as most sites appear to have these days?

    Also, a friend of mine who also happens to be a very successful and in some circles (such as blogging, internet marketing and SEO) is somewhat of a celebrity referred me to this article via Google +1. His name is Michael Ehline (I’m not violating his privacy in any way, if there’s anyone in the world who deliberately works to ‘get his name out there’ it’s Mike). Do you know him or have any idea why he made it a point to direct me to this post?

    This is my first visit to your site/blog, and I’m nowhere near as tech-savvy as he is. Perhaps he was trying to alert me to the nature of the content, and the fact that I may be missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. I don’t know if you (the author) and he know each other, or if he simply referred me to this post because it contains extremely valuable content from which I can benefit directly.

    In any case, regardless of whether or not you two know each other, if you’re the type to go out of your way to thank those who go out of their way to refer you traffic/visitors, you may want to consider linking to his site or sending him a thank you email.

    Based on what I’ve read so far, I may be here (on your site) for a while, as it appears I have much to learn about this Brave New World (the internet and the acquisition of traffic therein) on which I have recently staked my living and subsequently my future.

    Thanks for the informative piece!



  • http://www.falophi.com Falophi

    tank’s info…

  • http://blogntips.info AnwarF

    Thanks Lisa for words of wisdom. It’s really helpful in building blocks for the website.

  • http://www.halecollege.com/ Geoffrey Hale

    Hi, Lisa. Thanks for the helpful post. I’m trying to learn hot to backlink or get trackbacks to increase the visibility of my new project http://www.halecollege.com. I found the trackback link on my posts – that’s for others to use, right? Also, you mentioned that WordPress does automatic trackback pinging – does that mean I can use regular urls in my posts and WordPress will send trackback notifications to the owners of the urls and give them the option of accepting and displaying the trackback? Is there any reason a WordPress user should dig around to find the trackback url or do we have it easy?

    • http://www.lisaangelettie.com Lisa Angelettie

      Hi Geoffrey,
      If you add a url of a WordPress Blog in your posts, then yes, WordPress will send automatic trackback notifications to the owners. It depends on the settings of that blog whether or not they show their trackbacks. It is optional. You shouldn’t have to dig around for the trackbacks, that’s one of the great things about using WordPress as your site’s platform. Much Success!

      • http://www.halecollege.com/ Geoffrey Hale

        Will WordPress also ping other major blogging platforms?

  • http://www.theleftcoastmama.com Rebecca

    Great article. I have a question though… I have my blog on blogger. Is there any way that I can take advantage of this trackback stuff? I referenced a wordpress blog in my post on blogger, but I noticed that no trackback link shows on their wordpress site. Any advice?

  • http://www.outtadebt.com Bill

    Thanks for the info. I recently noticed a bunch of sites popping into the top ten from out of nowhere. A link check did not produce anything, but an url search pulled up a bunch of sites with trackback urls and the site in question had a trackback with its url in it. Interesting concept.

    • http://www.lisaangelettie.com Lisa Angelettie

      Thanks for stopping by Bill. Trackbacks are one of the cool things about using a WordPress blog (as well as most other platforms).

  • http://www.webaeon.org Kent Chen

    Thanks for providing these tremendous details, it has helped me to understand more about trackbacks.

  • http://bestandroidphoneguide.com Christine

    Lisa that’s probably the most useful information I have had after a long time (if I am not exaggerating). The reason why? As I haven’t given any sort of attention to building backlinks through trackback before, and thought of it as useless.

  • http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com Esther

    Does Blogger still not support trackback links? I get confused because it has an “enable trackback” option. I know for a fact that some of my blog posts (one in particular) have been shared a lot, but I never see a trackback on my own blog. I only found out about the popularity of one of my posts by accident! I would love for Blogger to have a stronger trackback feature — or one at all — so that I can see who’s reading what I write.

    Thanks for this article, it was really helpful!

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