I’m getting Pingback and Trackback notifications from WordPress. What are they?

Category : FAQ | WordPress General

Do you use WordPress and wonder why you get notifications about Pingbacks or Trackbacks? They are a largely outdated concept, but as the options still exist in WordPress, we thought it useful to provide our glossary of WordPress Pingback and Trackback questions.

How do pingbacks work in WordPress?

When a link to your blog post is created on another WordPress site, that site’s software automatically sends a pingback to your site. WordPress then checks to see if the link is valid and displays the pingback as a comment on your post (provided that you approve it).

What happens if I approve a Pingback?

If you approve it, WordPress will add a comment to your post linking back to the other site.

Should I approve WordPress Pingbacks?

This may or may not be a good idea – if the website is reputable, then it might be a good idea to link back to it letting your visitors know that the site links to you. If it is clearly a spam attempt, then click the ‘Spam It’ link in your email. Otherwise, just ‘Trash It’.

How do I view pingbacks on my WordPress site?

To view pingbacks on your WordPress site, go to the comments section of your post. Pingbacks will be displayed along with other types of comments.

Can I customize the content of my pingbacks in WordPress?

Yes, you can customize the content of your pingbacks in WordPress. You can do this by editing the excerpt of your post that is sent as the pingback.

How to turn off Pingbacks in WordPress

You can elect not to be notified of trackbacks by going to your ‘Settings’->’Discussion’ section in your WordPress dashboard, and then unchecking the ‘Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts‘ option.

What is a Trackback in WordPress?

Trackbacks are a kind of Pingback but are used for notifying some legacy blog systems that you have linked to them. If you are linking to someone’s WordPress blog, then they will receive a Pingback notification to let them know. WordPress itself suggests that you see trackbacks as the equivalent of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper or chapter in a textbook.

Should I allow Pingbacks and Trackbacks?

That’s up to you. If you allow yourself to receive notifications when you get a Pingback, it at least shows you who is linking to you. The problem is, most pingbacks will be from spam sites hoping that you approve their pingback, as this could help their own SEO efforts. So you could spend a lot of time approving, deleting, or marking these pingback comments as spam.

The thing to remember here is that even if you turn off Pingbacks and Trackbacks on your website, the links to your site will still exist on the linking site.

Our view is that pingbacks and trackbacks are somewhat outdated ideas, and so should probably not be enabled on your WordPress site.

How to remove Trackbacks from WordPress

If you already have some approved trackbacks (and Pingbacks) on your website, you can remove them by going to your dashboard ‘comments’ section. Find the one(s) you want to process and then choose to either ‘Spam’ or ‘Delete’ / ‘Trash’ them.

Can pingbacks be used for spamming?

Yes, pingbacks can be used for spamming. However, WordPress has built-in spam protection measures to prevent spam pingbacks from being displayed on your site.

Do Pingbacks help my SEO?

It used to be the case that pingbacks and trackbacks were used as a sort of ‘link exchange’ between blog owners. So, you link to me from your blog post and I’ll approve the pingback so that you then get a link back from my site.

Nowadays, due to spammers linking to many thousands of blogs in the hope of getting some approved pingbacks (thereby getting them a link themselves), they have become more of a problem. Coupled with the fact that many links are ‘no followed’, meaning that the ‘SEO juice’ delivered is likely to be reduced or eliminated, we don’t really advise leaving Pingbacks (and Trackbacks) switched on.

More help with your WordPress site?

If you would like some help with WordPress, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

We do offer a range of care plans for WordPress website owners. These are extremely popular and some of the most competitive on the market.

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