Pingbacks and Trackbacks: How to Use

What are Pingbacks and Trackbacks?

According to WordPress and my interpretation of what they said, Pingback and Trackbacks are comments with some verifiable “authority” or source.

The reason for the differentiation  between this type of comment and just a regular is that just a regular comment can be posted by anyone using any name and it is  not really easy to verify who they are.

(Except Askimet and Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin do a pretty good job of weeding out imposters and spammers!)

Something else noteworthy  Pingbacks cannot be seen on the receiving Blog but Trackbacks are visible to visitors reading the post referred to if the receiving Blog approves the comment.

Here is a small excerpt from WordPress Documentation about using Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

Note:  Trackbacks can be found on your Wp-admin page, click Comments, then also click show all types and click filter to make them visible along with regular comments.

 “There are three significant differences between pingbacks and trackbacks, though.

Pingbacks and trackbacks use drastically different communication technologies (XML-RPC and HTTP POST, respectively).
Pingbacks do not send any content.

The best way to think about pingbacks is as remote comments:

Person A posts something on his blog.
Person B posts on her own blog, linking to Person A’s post. This automatically sends a pingback to Person A when both have pingback enabled blogs.
Person A’s blog receives the pingback, then automatically goes to Person B’s post to confirm that the pingback did, in fact, originate there.

The pingback is generally displayed on Person A’s blog as simply a link to Person B’s post. In this way, all editorial control over posts rests exclusively with the individual authors (unlike the trackback excerpt, which can be edited by the trackback recipient). The automatic verification process introduces a level of authenticity, making it harder to fake a pingback.

Some feel that trackbacks are superior because readers of Person A’s blog can at least see some of what Person B has to say, and then decide if they want to read more (and therefore click over to Person B’s blog). Others feel that pingbacks are superior because they create a verifiable connection between posts.
Using Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Comments on blogs are often criticized as lacking authority, since anyone can post anything using any name they like: there’s no verification process to ensure that the person is who they claim to be. Trackbacks and Pingbacks both aim to provide some verification to blog commenting.

To enable trackbacks and pingbacks, in the Disscussion Settings of your Administration Panels, select these items under ‘Default article settings’:

Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.

Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.)

Selecting one option and not the other would not be very neighborly 😉

Once enabled, trackbacks and pingbacks from other sites will appear in your Administration Panels just like other comments, but on your post pages, they will appear according to your theme’s design.

Once enabled, pingbacks are sent automatically when you publish your post, you don’t have to do anything. To send trackbacks, you will need to find the trackback URL somewhere on the post page you are linking to. If you can’t find one, try to determine if the site supports pingbacks. If it does, you should not send trackbacks as well. Copy/paste the trackback URL into the Send Trackbacks field on your Add New Post screen. If you don’t see this field, go to the screen options and select the Send Trackbacks option. Note that selecting this does not send trackbacks, it only displays the field called Send Trackbacks. When you publish your post, trackbacks will be sent to the URLs you pasted into the field. This field will also show the status of trackbacks and pingbacks on your Edit Post screen.

If there is someone that wants to send a trackback to your WordPress blog because their blogging software does not support pingbacks, your trackback URL they should insert into their post edit panel is your blog post’s permalink with “trackback/” appended to the end. If their software supports pingbacks, they do not need to do anything, the process is automatic.”

For example, I have a blog with an article about Pingbacks and Trackbacks so lets send a manual trackback.

I’ll have to post this to see if my experiment will work…

Guess I can always come back and undo!