When I first started Daily Cup of Tech, I did some research by checking some other blogs to see some of the different things that they did to make them successful. I would often see in their comments short snippets from other blogs who wrote about one of their blog entries. In fact, some blogs had dozens of such entries and I thought, “Wow! What an awful lot of work!” Little did I know that this was actually relatively easy to do using trackbacks and also extremely important!
What are Trackbacks?
Trackbacks are essentially links back to an originating author’s blog or website that indicate to the system that someone has written about their website. According to Wikipedia:
A Trackback is one of three types of Linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. Some weblog software programs, such as Movable Type and Community Server, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of Linkback.
Why are Trackbacks Important?
Trackbacks are critical in creating links to other blogs. When you enter the trackback URI of another blog into your posting system, you are essentially saying to that blogger, “Hey, I thought what you wrote was important enough that I wrote about it and I thought you would like to know.”
This can benefit your website in three different ways:
- The author will probably come back to your website to see what you wrote
- A link to your website may appear in either the comments or a trackback section if the blog owner permits it
- The author or other visitors may write about your blog now that they are aware of its existence
Trackback URI’s are typically at the top or the bottom of a blog post. They generally take two different forms:
- A text link
- A URI
I have examples of these at both the top and bottom of each of my blog posts.
How Do I Use Trackbacks?
The way that you use trackbacks varies depending on the type of blogging software you use. In general, you can copy the trackback URI into a trackback field when you are writing your post. When the post is published, the other blogs are notified and the trackback information is dealt with accordingly.
If you are interested in reading more about trackbacks and how to use them, here are a few articles that are available on the Internet that will help you along:
- How Trackbacks Work
- WordPress Trackback Tutorial
- Trackback on Wikipedia
- Wordpress Definition
- Trackback Technical Specification
- Trackback Spam Resources