Trackback is a concept in the world of blogs that is particularly difficult to explain. Now try to understand what it is, how they work and how best to use them.
What is a trackback?
The easiest way to understand the role of a trackback to a blog is to compare it with the comments. After writing an article on your blog, some of your readers might want to react on this article (to critique, to congratulate you, make his/her own point of view, etc.). To do this, blogs have introduced the notion of comment via a simple form to fill your readers leave their opinions directly at the of your article and therefore on your blog. But then, what happens if one of your readers wants to develop a little more opinion and comment so your post directly from their blog? It is here where trackbacks works.
As a concrete example to better understand the operation. One of the reader of this blog find it interesting and wants to speak more on his/her own blog.
He/she published an article on his/her blog by making a link to the article source (that means the full url to this post). His/her article therefore has a direct link to this article of TheCustomizeWindows.
When the visitor publishes the article, the blog platform he/she uses ( WordPress , Typepad, Dotclear or others) scans all the links in the article. By default, blog platforms do this automatically for each new article. It is thus the link to this article.
Once identified, the blogging platform will check the blog section in question accepts trackbacks by default. Again, all platforms accept but you can easily refuse through moderation.
If the blog accepts – this is the case TheCustomizeWindows – the blog reader will send what is called a “ping” to TheCustomizeWindows to signal that another blog is writing about a particular article.
TheCustomizeWindows then responds to the blog reader by indicating that takes into account this information.
Therefore, among the comments section of TheCustomizeWindows, we will find a trackback link to the blog reader to indicate that it also speaks of this article and it may be interesting to read.
Readers of your blog can therefore see not only what the commentators say about your blog but also what other bloggers are saying on their blogs.
Furthermore, the use of trackbacks, once activated, is fully automatic and also offers to send a mail to the author of the blog to inform him/her of the receipt of a new trackback to one of his/her articles.
Regarding the display of these trackbacks, this may depends on the theme of your blog or platform you use. Some mix it with other classical commentaries between them. It is a question of taste.
How to enable trackbacks on blog?
There are two things to do to enable trackbacks on blog. First your blog needs to try to find trackbacks in articles you have posted and on the other hand, allow your blog to receive trackbacks from other blogs.
- For WordPress, go to Options> Discussion and check the “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to this article (send trackbacks), then check the box” Allow notifications from other Weblogs (to receive trackbacks).
- Dotclear, go to the submenu trackbacks, click on “Automatic discovery of URLs to ping” and then “ping urls” (to send trackbacks). Then head into the administration interface, click the “about: config”, change the parameter “allow_trackbacks” to 1 and save (to receive trackbacks).
- For Typepad, go to Weblogs> (Your Blog)> Configure> Preferences> Preferences and Comments TrackBacks, check the “Hold comments and TrackBacks for approval” and then set the status of trackbacks by default “New posts accept TrackBacks. “(To receive trackbacks).
If you know of other platforms, specify the procedure to us and we will add more.
Trackback, pingback: What is the difference?
For those who are wondering what is the difference between the terms of trackback and pingback, you should know that this is actually the same thing. More precisely the two terms mean much the same functionality but the pingback is actually an evolution of the trackbacks that makes it automatic. Indeed, initially for a trackback is done, the author of an article had to ask the blog to check each URL one by one. With pingback, the blog is responsible for finding its own URLs and launch an eventual trackback.
Risk of spam
Of course like all the handy features for binding sites on the Internet, spammers have quickly seen in the trackbacks a great opportunity to go wild like weed and embed their advertising on blogs. This posed a serious problem a few years ago pushing even many bloggers to shut down their blog with trackbacks. Luckily, most spam blockers are now configured to scan as trackbacks and stem the flow of spam. The plugin Akismet for WordPress does it very well for example. For Dotclear there is SpamTimeOut .
How to take advantage of trackbacks?
The biggest advantage of trackbacks to their launch was that it increased the number of links that lead to your blog and then improved the ranking. But soon the concept of “nofollow” has been set up on comments and trackbacks so on to prevent abuse. However, trackbacks still retain a great interest.
For your readers, trackbacks are a way to show that your article was taken, its content is quality and they also continue to read on the subject of the article to other community blogs.
For you, trackbacks can bring you traffic if you cite a blog in one of your articles and that the trackback is mentioned in the list of trackbacks on this blog. This makes it possible for readers of this blog to discover your blog with a particular approach: the continuity of playback on a specific topic. The reader has just read an article, click on your trackback and can discover your blog via the article that you wrote on the subject.