How do Pingbacks and Trackbacks Work?

Pingbacks and trackbacks are methods for linking one blog to another. It’s a pattern of Internet behavior that has developed as blog owners work with each other to build traffic back and forth via readers.


In terms of an Internet trackback, a user first finds someone else’s blog and identifies a post that can be quoted. He then writes his own post in his own blog, quoting the previous blog’s post. When this occurs, it automatically triggers a link and notice to the former blog, showing up as a pending comment there and waiting for approval to publish. The original author can accept the comment and publish it, delete it, or edit it as he pleases. Because it always appears in the comment field, trackbacks are entirely controlled by the original blog author quoted. The second writer can easily continue posting the quote under his own blog, but new traffic won’t occur from the original blog unless the owner publishes the link in the comment field.

While trackbacks can technically create an Internet back-link to a more popular blog, that doesn’t mean that it is welcomed. Too often popular blog owners are bombarded with trackbacks to other blogs that are frankly absolute garbage. The result ends up being a constant, regular use of the delete feature. Further, anytime a particular blog appears again, even if it might have a genuine, good trackback, it will get deleted as well. A writer only makes one good impression on the Internet before getting lost in the blur.


A pingback is also a type of notice that an original blog author can receive when someone connects to a particular post already published. Unlike a trackback, however, a pingback has to have an html link built into the connection post on the copying or referring website. The original blog will check that the second website actually has a live website link established when the notice is received. If so, then the original author will know a confirmed weblink exists. To make this happen, the second posting has to use a pingback header in the coding of the post or an html linkage.

Differences between Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Pingbacks are frequently associated with conscious, value-adding posts connecting one blog to the other. Trackbacks are most often used by spammers, which are all too common in the blog world, and downright annoying as well. For every good blog comment or pingback, a blog with traffic will likely receive ten spam trackbacks. This is because the latter is far easier to automate and post all over the web quickly, whereas a pingback requires conscious coding and writing to insert a link properly.

Putting it All Together

The moral of the story in all this Internet blog-building definition and description above is that blog writers looking to build Internet connections to more popular blogs need to first understand what they are linking to. They also need to create secondary posts that add value, so the original writer will be agreeable to approving the connection. By improving the nature of the blog world with genuine, valuable posts the nature of writing becomes better and naturally traffic increases for all writers involved.