A trackback is a notification sent from one Blog to another to tell them that they have been linked to or information has been accessed.

How trackbacks works[edit]

A trackback is always the result of publishing a blog article. It is a function of the blog software, for example Wordpress. If a user refers to another blog in his comments, he can notify the owner of the blog with a trackback. If the author sets a link to the quoted blog article, then Wordpress automatically sends a trackback.

If no link is set, a trackback can also be issued manually by entering the link to the quoted blog in the corresponding field below the editor field in Wordpress. This rarely occurs in practice, however, since a quotation is usually linked to give the reader the opportunity to learn more about the opinion of the other blogger. Older blog systems that do not yet support automated pingbacks may require manual submitting of a trackback. A good explanation how trackbacks work is provided by this video.

Display of trackbacks[edit]

If both participating blogs use the default settings, a sent trackback will usually be posted on the quoted blog below the article, either in a separate block or along with other Comments on the article. Such an entry consists of the blog name, the associated URL, and a short extract from the article. Sometimes, trackbacks are not displayed in a blog. This is always the case when the function has been disabled in the Wordpress theme. Moreover, there are blog operators who do not enable trackbacks but instead move them into the recycle bin or even mark them as Spam.

Relevance to search engine optimization[edit]

Trackbacks can be used as part of Link Building to strengthen the Ranking. By sending a trackback to another blog, you get a Backlink from this page as the trackback is linked to the URL on the website. However, manual trackbacks, which do not originate from a link to the quoted source, are detected and filtered out by many spam filters. Once a page is listed in the index of anti-spam tools, the placement of links on other blogs will be very hard in the future. Accordingly, a link should always be set to the referenced blog entry before a trackback is issued. It is also necessary to pay attention to the topic relevance of the linked articles.

Trackbacks as a link building tool have recently lost importance as more and more blog operators mark the published trackbacks with the Nofollow attribute. Trackbacks should not be neglected as they are part of a natural link structure. The times when you could easily get good Dofollow links via trackbacks, however, are over.