What is Pingback in WordPress and Should You Approve? (Explained)

What is Pingback in WordPress and Should You Approve? (Explained). In this post, we will show you what is Pingback and explain in depth information about pingback and understand it better.

Have you heard the new term pingback in WordPress? Are you looking for more information about pingback?

For starters, think of a tag or mention on Facebook and Instagram. Similarly, once you enable pingback, it notifies you whenever your post gets a mention or a tag.

Hence, WordPress defines a pingback as automated comments the system publishes when you link to another blog post. But as long as another blog enables the feature.

So, is it necessary for your website? Can it help you with SEO and backlinks? If you want to use pingback, then why is trackback also important?

Let’s find some answer’s and start the article about What is Pingback in WordPress and Should You Approve? (Explained).

What is Pingback?

First of all Pingbacks provide the blogs the ability to communicate using an automated system. Such as remote comments. The feature lets you notify other bloggers or websites that you have linked to their articles. Also, the notification will reach the destination if another blogger enables their pingback feature. 

Once the blogger or website accepts your pingbacks, a comment will appear when you link to another blog post. They can allow a link to your website to appear on their website.

It’s a win win situation for both. The appearance of the comments depends on the WordPress theme. Look at an overview of the pingback feature:

  • You publish a post on our blog and mention/link to another article.
  • The blogging software will automatically send another blog platform a pingback (notification or email).
  • Once the other website receives your pingback, they will check your blog to confirm the pingback. Once they verify the origin and the link, they can display your pingback as a comment.
  • It will solely be a link to your site and help you channel their blog traffic towards your website.

In addition, pingback also work within your site. So, when WordPress sends a pingback to itself and you link to one of your own articles on the same site. The self ping can be annoying if you publish your blogs regularly with internal links to your website.

But don’t worry. You can disable the pingbacks. We’ll discuss them in the later half of the article. First, let’s look at an example of pingback.

Example of Pingback

When one person links their website to your blog, you will receive a notification on your email or dashboard. Once you inspect the information in the notification, you’ll notice it contains:

  • The website link to your post.
  • Anchor text and URL in the post.
  • The title of the post contains the link.
  • A choice to delete, approve, or mark as spam.
  • The number of comments awaiting your approval.
  • Once you click on the moderation panel link, you can view the comments written about your blog. And the anchor text on which the URL links.

You can also see who commented on your post. It can be a blogger, an agency of a related niche, or an organization that came across your blog.

How Does a Pingback Work?

Above for you to understand how the pingback works, we have taken illustrations of two bloggers. We assume two WordPress sites allow pingbacks.

  • User A writes a post and links to another post on B’s website.
  • And user A publishes the post.
  • WordPress will automatically send a pingback to B’s website.
  • The pingback will appear in the post’s comment section, which contains the link.

Until now, user A highlighted to B, “Hey, I just linked this page on my post.”

Please remember that a pingback is native to the WordPress platform. So, use a trackback if you want to perform a backlink operation with another website platform.

How Does Pingback Work on Other Platform

However, unlike a pingback, there’s no option of automation with trackback when blogs link to your content. Look at the illustration for more clarity:

  • User A writes a post and wants to link to one specific post on B’s website.
  • If user A visits B’s post and looks for the trackback link around the comment section.
  • User A copies the trackback URL and pastes it into the WordPress visual editor.
  • Then user A publishes the article and initiates the pingback to appear on B’s post.

Therefore, trackback’s physical appearance is also different from pingback. Well, it contains a short content piece. You must use a specific URL for trackback. Don’t use the URL from the address bar; choose a different one.

Equally speaking pingback and trackback can be technically the same.

But how?

Let’s clarify it with the basics of trackback and understand it with an example.

What are Trackbacks?

Let’s dive into trackbacks, as now you know about pingbacks and how they work. Similar to pingbacks, trackbacks are notifications sent to a website when you link to it in your content.

For example, you publish a blog on marketing, and you add an external link to another article about marketing. In this situation, you can send a trackback ‘ping’ to the website to get the owner’s attention. 

Once the other website approves trackback, an excerpt of your post is visible in their comments section. Moreover, it also contains a link to your site. In fact, it’s overwhelming to get the difference between trackback and pingback in one go, so here are the major differences.

Difference Between Trackback and Pingback

The important thing about the features to understand is that trackbacks are sent manually and pingbacks are automatic. For example, a pingback would be sent to the external site if you publish an article with an external link.

The site would check to verify the pingback origin before displaying it as a simple link in the comments section. Mostly, pingbacks do not include an excerpt from the post, though it also depends on a site’s theme.

But with trackback, once you include an external link, WordPress doesn’t send the notification to the other website owner. You have to send a trackback ‘ping manually.’

Once the users approve, you can get the essential juices from their website.

Also, the WordPress features’ differences are ‘under the hood.’ Both have different communication technologies. But we don’t need to get into the technicalities.

Because it’s unnecessary to understand the technical details to know the advantages and drawbacks of using these techniques.

Pros of Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Both Pingbacks and trackbacks have a lot of positives and negatives to consider.

  • You can attract traffic to your site if a high quality website approves your pingbacks or trackbacks.
  • External linking can help increase your content’s value and positively affect your blog’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • If you share another blogger’s content, chances are they doing the same for your content. That is why, it increases traffic and helps you with creating an outreach opportunity to improve your brand name.
  • Both pingback and trackbacks helps you to create backlinks to one another’s websites. You can increase domain authority with excellent off site SEO results.

Cons of Pingbacks and Trackbacks

  • Low quality spam can negatively affect your content’s SEO. If the pingbacks and trackbacks break, you may link your website to useless, unwanted websites or even malware.
  • Spammers can overcome pingback and trackback protection. Therefore, monitor your posts now and then to maintain your website’s quality.
  • Both pingbacks and trackbacks result in spamming on your website. Spammers use bots and spam their content on every other website. Although WordPress offers anti spam plugins, spammers have a way of getting through.
  • You must constantly monitor approvals, and comment declines manually to avoid unwanted spammy links on your website. The manual process can be time consuming. However, leaving the links unmonitored can also harm your website and your users.

We hope now you have more clarity about pingbacks and trackbacks. As trackback management is manual, here’s how you can configure pingbacks for automation.

Configure WordPress Pingbacks

You don’t require any technical skills to use pingbacks. In fact, unknowingly, you might have sent pingbacks to many blogs. It could happen if your blog and the external website allow this feature. If you want to get better control over this, use the settings below:

Go to Setting > Discussion and uncheck or check the activation box, depending on your preference for pingbacks.

After that, WordPress will send you a one time request for approval when an external website wants to send you a pingback. To manage this, you must scroll down within the Discussion Settings and spot Comment Moderation > Moderation queue. 

You can either deny or approve any pingbacks. Once you approve pingback, the website no longer needs your approval to send more pingbacks.

How to Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Pingbacks and Trackbacks features are used by spammers to send massive amounts of fake Trackbacks and pings that flood your queue. This will making it easy to miss something important. So it is always recommend to disable the Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

To disable pingbacks and trackbacks on all new blog posts. 

1.Click on the Settings => Discussion then click the box to uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles.”

You can also disable the pings and trackbacks on existing blog posts. Follow the below steps to disable pings and trackbacks on all blogs:

2. Click on the Posts => All posts and click on the button “Screen Options”.

3. Next to Number of items per page, enter value “999” and click on Apply. The post list will be reloaded, and up to 999 posts will now appear on the same page.

4. Check the Title box to select all the posts.

5. Click on the Bulk Actions menu then select Edit and click on Apply.

6. Next, search for the pings option in the bulk edit box, change it to “Do not allow“.

7. Finally, click on the Update button to apply the changes.

Should You Approve Them on Your WordPress Posts?

Summing up, pingbacks can be a powerful tool for the organic growth of your website. Also, it may help you attract readers of other blogs to your website once they click your pingback.

The automated comment can also help you enhance your engagement within your industry or blogger community.

But your site could be a target of malicious spam and attackers. You can deactivate the pingback feature to avoid such attacks. Or integrate extra protections using security plugins. Consider disabling XML RPC and look at the SAML WP Cloud Single Sign on Security plugin, developed by our experts. 

Over the years, much debate has been happening about whether using pingbacks and trackbacks is worth it or not. What do you think after reading this article content?

It really can do more bad that good, and trying to reverse the bad spam or wrong Pingbacks will cost you a lot of time.

WP Cloud SSO Security Plugin

Have you heard about WP Cloud SSO? In nutshell, it is a WordPress hardening tool, that limits login attempts to your WordPress site. 

Thank you for reading What is Pingback in WordPress and Should You Approve? (Explained). We shall conclude. 

What is Pingback in WordPress and Should You Approve? (Explained) Conclusion

At the moment, it’s widely recommended you avoid both techniques. Using WordPress pingbacks and trackbacks results in spam and wasted time. Even if they provide a few SEO benefits, there are different other ways to drive traffic to your site.

In addition, very few websites legitimately use these technologies at this point. It means you’ll likely get more fake pingbacks and trackbacks than legitimate ones.

But now, it’s up to you to make the right decision for your website’s future and growth.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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