Trackbacks & Pingbacks: Good or Bad? Are They Worth having?
For as long as I can remember, there has been controversy on whether or not trackbacks and pingbacks are good or bad. Let’s first get a general idea on what both these terms mean.
A trackback is an automatic notification produced by another WordPress blog owner. This other WP blog owner wants your attention, they have written something that you may be interested in reading.
Now pay attention. Trackbacks and pingbacks are very similar, but not identical. Fortunately they only differ in a few ways: Trackbacks can be assembled, sent manually and create a tiny blurb of your post. However a pingback is sent automatically when either of the following happen:
- You link to someone else’s site
- Someone else links to your blog and then they don’t send over any content excerpts
Basically, all you have to do to simulate a pingback is to include a link to the blog that you want attention from.
Pros & Cons of Having Trackbacks Enabled On Your WordPress site
- Silent Form of Networking
- A trackback silently communicates between you and a potential audience you never knew you had. This is good in the sense that you don’t have to have networking skills in order to get the right audience reading your content.
- Generate Traffic
- With a trackback you could potentially share another blog’s readers.Because your link is submitted on another persons site in the comment section, it is possible that your link can be viewed by numerous people interested in your content as well.
- Renders Bad SEO Tactics
- When someone steals your content and publishes it as their own, you automatically are notified with a trackback.
- Increased Spam
- Since the inception of the trackback, spammers have used and abused this form of communication between blog sites.
- Waste Of Time
- You have to check the comments area on your WordPress dashboard thoroughly and often. It’s a big pain in the rear, because the unapproved comments will not contain 100% good content and visa versa. Therefor, you must go through each comment and inspect its authenticity.
- Unwanted By Majority
- Because trackbacks have been a nuance for many blog sites, blogs with high traffic usually disable trackbacks.
- Not Taken Seriously
- Trackbacks are inferior to pingbacks because pingbacks are harder to fake. That’s right, trackbacks (more often than not) are littered with spamming content.
Pros & Cons Of Having Pingbacks Enabled On Your WordPress Site
- Taken seriously
- Pingbacks are commonly authentic, content wise. Whereas trackbacks tend to be counterfiet more times than not.
- Connect with relevant blogs
- As said earlier, trackbacks and pingbacks are very similar in the way that they are created. However, pingbacks are generally more relative to the receiver of that pingback- So obviously the receiver would be more inclined to accept it.
- Supports a healthy SEO
- The pingback is created by a no follow link in another bloggers site, therefore you gain a few sprinkles of SEO magic!
- Supports increased traffic and readers
- Again, just like a trackback you can potentially reach the existing readers of your pingbacked site.
- Increased Spam
- There is still the potential of incoming spam, but diversely less than what a trackback would generate.
- You will have to review and clean them up manually
- There is no escaping the manual review and clean up of your pingback content.
- Most bloggers don’t even acknowledge them
- It doesn’t matter either way; you can spend the time creating a trackback or a pingback, just don’t expect too much from your efforts.
Are Trackbacks & Pingbacks Worth Your Time?
Because these two communication/networking elements are easily used and abused by spammers, I can’t say that i am a supporter of either one. I don’t appreciate things that waste more of my time and get me absolutely nowhere. You can invest your time much more wisely with more effective SEO tactics. So don’t waste your time and disable trackbacks and pingbacks now.