5 Things You Need To Know About Trackbacks

  • 0
  • September 7, 2010

I’m sure that for many of you a trackback is as foreign to you as seeing a full set of teeth at a Willie Nelson concert. However, if you’ve been blogging for any time then I’m sure you seen the word around the blogosphere.

A trackback is actually much simpler than it sounds. Let me break it down for you like my 1st grade teacher used to do for me. If you link to another blogger’s article from your blog, then a link back to your site will appear in or around the comments of their article.

Using trackbacks has many advantages and in this article I’m going to explain why you need to jump in and start taking advantage of them. In fact, you should probably get started right now by linking to this article. ;)

1. It’s one of the best gifts you can give a blogger.

Just link to someone’s article and you are presenting them with a tremendous compliment and a gift that is really going to benefit them.

Check this out. One of the best gifts that you can give to a fellow blogger doesn’t even cost a penny. Not only that, but you can give it at any time of the year.

Remember how upset your wife was the last time you forgot her birthday and didn’t get her anything? Most bloggers won’t get upset with you when you don’t link to their posts, but they probably will be very excited and thankful when you do!

2. It helps drive traffic to your site.

You might be surprised how many people browse through the comments and trackbacks and click through to the user’s websites. I do this nearly every day at the blogs I follow. Those bloggers who are linking out to others are the ones that I want to hang out with…because I want them to link to me. Smart bloggers think this way. We network with those who can help us and who we can help in return.

3. It increases your authority to Google.

Any trackbacks that don’t contain the ‘nofollow’ attribute count as a positive vote toward your page in the eyes of the Google search engine… just like the trackbacks below. Not all trackbacks, however, will increase your Google authority. In fact, on many sites they don’t. This is actually exclusive to some sites as many avoid this.

Google’s search bot only follows certain links. Links with the ‘nofollow’ attribute either do not count or count very little towards your . Most webmasters add that tag to comments and trackbacks to avoid getting spammed with people’s useless comments just because they want to build the page rank of their own sites.

At Site Sketch 101, we don’t use nofollow on trackback links. If you link here, we’ll share the link love right back to you. This is a great reason why you should consider both commenting on and linking to our articles.

4. It helps you build relationships with other bloggers.

Relationships in every area of life are extremely valuable assets. I’m sure you’ve seen the action movie where a spy calls in a favor from an old CIA operative that he knows.

Blogging is no different. There are things you can accomplish when you have friends that you just can’t get done on your own. You can drive traffic to their site and they can drive traffic to yours which can push both of your stats higher and higher. You may have a big event approaching and you may want to ask them if they would share about it with their readers.

But you have to build a relationship with someone before you can start calling in favors.

Linking to one of their articles is a great way to get the ball rolling in a new online relationship. Linking to a site tells the author that you are excited about their work and that you are not ashamed to let your readers know about it!

5. It builds your own credibility.

A lot of bloggers are afraid to link to other websites or blogs because they fear losing their visitors.  That is the attitude of a young, insecure blogger. Online leaders know that you will gain even more visitors because of the credibility that you gained by sending someone to a high-quality resource or website. If people are really pleased with the site that you sent them to then they will respect you and want to come back and see more of your links and resources that you share in the future.


About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • Anthony Lombardo says:

    Fantastic information on backlinks! I’m going to start using this information it’s so simple to do.

  • Richard Lord says:

    Thank you Nick for another great article! I have learnt a lot from you since I started reading your blog.
    I had not considered the positive effect that trackbacks can have on my own blog, so I am going to start using them more now.

  • deemarief says:

    NIck – This article is very timely for me. Several trackbacks have come in for my site recently and yesterday I started looking into what they mean. Thanks for breaking it down here.

  • Sandy says:

    Thank you for your information regarding Trackbacks – saw a section on my blog post, but never put anything in it – will have to do so as well as my client’s posts.
    Here’s my latest blog http://bildabetterbusiness.com/blog/
    Thank you!

  • Derek Jensen says:

    I know when I first thought of trackbacks I was thinking they were spammy and were not needed.

    But, these five points really hit home especially by creating authority and traffic from the relationships I have built and continue to build.

    I just feel there should be a better way or a separate plugin just to handle your trackbacks. (maybe there is one?)

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      What do you mean by a separate plugin? Do you want them displayed separately from the comments because if so, that’s how I’ve built the comment section here at Site Sketch 101 to display them.

      • Theresa Sheridan says:

        Help, I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out. If your trackbacks are separate, where are they? If I link to you, don’t I need to put the trackback URL in the space provided? I can’t figure out how I find that, since from what I’ve been reading, it’s supposed to be different from the actual link URL. Or maybe I’m just more confused than I realize.

        • Nicholas Cardot says:

          If you have the latest version of WordPress and you link directly to another article on a WordPress site, you will not need to create an alternate trackback link. A link directly to the article will do the trick. It will ping the other site to notify them of the trackback.

      • Derek Jensen says:

        Like I want to use this new comment system but they don’t display trackbacks. So, I want to still display them after the comment section or something.

  • Francis A. says:

    YAY!! I’m a fan and subscriber to this blog and expect nothing in return but thank u for the trackback!! I just added it to my site as well! :)

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Keep in mind that trackbacks only work on articles and not on the site’s homepage. They are most often used when a user is making a reference to another author and they create a link to an individual article on another blogger’s website.

  • Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing says:

    The credibility issue is huge.

    One of the first things I try to get across to beginners is, external linking is almost as important as internal linking, just for different reasons.

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  • Phyllis Zimbler Miller says:

    One tip for sharing a link to another’s post in your own post:

    You can talk about the post’s ideas early on in your post, but save the actual link to the end of the post.

    This way you encourage people to finish reading your post before leaving to read the other post.

    I did this technique in my blog post today at http://budurl.com/esteelaudersm

  • Mike says:

    Hey, cheers for explaining trackbacks. I’d seen them around on blogs but to be honest wasn’t sure how they really worked. Nothing to complicated at all, and a great way to share the love.

  • Mandeep says:

    Great information. There are some valuable tips I learned from this article, especially on developing relationships with other blog owners. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      You’re welcome. As you might notice from my newest article, I’m trying very hard to link out more myself now. It’s a terrific way to provide your audience with great resources.

  • Teresa says:

    I love your blog. I bookmarked your site, so I can get the heads up on how to use WordPress. I’m glad to find out about trackbacks, I didn’t understand them. I still have a lot to learn, I know. I just want to say Thank you. Have a wonderful day.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Your welcome, Teresa. If you have any questions about WordPress or about trackbacks, please let me know and I’ll be sure to answer you and create more articles that cover those subjects.

  • Ron Leyba says:

    Honestly, I never used nor check out the big advantage and benefits trackbacks can give. I might check and do more research about it and see what It can do for me and for my community as well.

    Thanks for this awesome advice/tips Nick. As always, a very good post.

  • Joe Grant says:

    Thanks Nick. Great article as usual. A question, if I want to trackback to another site do I need to find the specific trackback URL for their site? Or is it just the same as the URL in the top of the web browser? Thanks. J

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      On some platforms, you’re going to need to search for that special trackback URL. With any of the recent versions of WordPress, they will automatically communicate to each other with nothing more than that link in the address bar. Of course, this works for links to articles and not links to the home page, category page, etc.

  • Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    Really great post Nick,

    Exactly, trackbacks can be a really great way to build relationships with bloggers.

    Anytime someone links to me, I always appreciate it and I put that person on my list of important people.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,

  • Jason - Affilorama says:

    I’ve actually realized this a few months ago. It’s also a good catch for link baiting, but of course you first need to see how the trackbacks look at the sites/posts you are targeting. you need to assure that their trackbacks are dofollow and shows the full title of the post that mentioned that page, to attract their readers through your headline.

    I really liked how you have pointed out its benefits. I may have to mention this as well on my future posts (on my personal blog).


  • Phil says:

    Very interesting information, now time to put it into practice! Thanks again.

  • Josh hern says:

    Great Tips! always look forward to reading your post…

  • Vinish Parikh says:

    Well backlinks is one aspect which i need to seriously work upon, this post will help me a lot. Thanks for sharing

  • Owen Jones says:


    Thanks for the advice.
    So, is it worth checking out if a blog uses ‘no-follow’?
    What is a quick way of doing this?
    If the blog is no-follow, would you still bother with it?


    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Yes. I would still bother with it. The bottom line is that you should really be linking to things that really impress you and that will really impress your readers. Google is smart enough now to figure out if you’re link-baiting your trackbacks and when you have a natural blend of follow and nofollow links being returned to your site. They can see if your links are being gamed or not if you worry about it too much. That’s my theory.

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  • Reza Winandar says:

    So, I think trackback is an automated link exchange, right?

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      lol. It does look that way except for the fact that the links on both sides have to be dofollow for the link exchange to be valid. I have no problem linking to other

      bloggers and just have Nicholas stated, some of my readers do really appreciate the links I share with them ;-).

  • Kevin/Simplebutcreative says:

    I’m not too familiar with Trackbacks, but I see how important they are after reading your post. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    You have the sickest blog I’ve ever seen! I wish my blog was similar to this one =)

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  • Vivek Parmar says:

    thanks for sharing this useful information.
    I want to ask one thing, i.e., how to send multiple trackback??
    Like if i want to sent trackback to site A, site B, site C, and so on.

    Then what’s the format of sending multiple trackback.
    trackback to site A, trackback to site B, trackback to site C and so on

    or the format will be
    (trackback to site A), (trackback to site B), (trackback to site C) and so on.

    Which format is good to send multiple trackback??

  • Kevan Taylor says:

    This article on TrackBacks has been
    very helpful to me.. Thankyou

  • Josh McBride says:

    What pinging services should I use? Right now my blog only pings two services. Some people recommend 30+ pinging services. I just don’t want to make search engines leery of my site. Any recommendations?

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  • Gary Johnson says:

    Thanks for the tip! I use CommentLuv, so I know comments are follow, but how do I know that my trackbacks are nofollow or follow?

  • Minki Kim says:

    Thanks Nick for an awesome blog post again. Just wanted to mention my appreciation for all your insight and easy-to-swallow tips.

    I’m in the alternative/complementary healthcare field and my colleagues can sure as he’ll benefit from your advice since we tend to stray away from marketing/business side of ourselves, I’ll definitely be linking back to you.

  • Dave C. says:

    Good stuff, esp the search for finding high-leverage sites. Nice blog theme, too.

  • Brian Kinkade says:

    I like what you said about trackbacks being one of the best gifts to another blogger, that’s true. Although I recently found out that trackbacks can now be faked, which I think can ruin the whole idea of doing it. And I’ve even seen some bloggers promote such acts to their fellow bloggers.

    Just thought you guys should be aware of it.

  • Jamie Murphy says:

    Great explanation of why trackback are useful. The only downside is the amount of spam trackback that happen and also the genuine ones that sometimes get incorrectly marked as spam :(.

    I use akismet, but even this is not 100% accurate and sometimes it spams relevant and valuable trackbacks :(

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  • Kirsten says:

    Interesting post, thanks. I find the trackback function works fine between wordpress blogs, but not so well on my typepad blog (even when I enter the URL to ping, though I have to admit I gave up trying this a while ago) – and does blogger do trackbacks at all?

  • Ray Paulk says:

    I agree with this article. I started using trackbacks and it has not only gotten my website listed with the search engines fast because google bots found me i’m sure at a bloggers website. But it really does build credibility.

  • Kamal says:

    Linking other sites is like thanking the other blogger. Sometimes, they have personally thanked me. I really love it and i keep doing it for whatever reason. It is so much fun. Thanks for posting this good article J!

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  • J says:

    Thanks for the explanation of trackbacks. I couldn’t agree more on sharing the love. It does make me set the bar a little bit higher on what qualifies as a useful comment, but if someone’s interested in enough in my writing to comment on it, I’m willing to help them get what they need.

    Pay it forward!

  • Ian Mutuli says:

    Thanks for this information, i recently launched my blog for the latest technology news and updates. So i met the word “trackback” in some post and good thing when i googled i found this article. Its a resourceful information you have here and i like that last point about directing people to quality websites that provide good resources without bothering whether you are losing visitors or not. Good point for me to know from the on-set of my blogging career. Thanks man!!

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      You’re welcome. I’m glad that you found this useful. Yeah, don’t ever be afraid to send your users somewhere else for more information. They will only respect you more for doing that.

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