Blog Tips Newsletter by Yaro Starak
Trackbacking as a traffic technique is a lot like leaving comments, however it takes less effort, once you get your head around it…
When I first heard about blogs I struggled to get my head around the whole concept. What made a blog different from a normal website?
I quickly grasped the key differences – the diary style articles, the comments and the easy interface for adding new content. It all made sense until I hit something called a “trackback”. “What the dickens is a trackback?!?” I thought.
I looked around for a definition and nobody could provide an answer I quite understood.
When I really want to learn something I go ahead and do it. I took action with my new blog and sent some trackbacks to other bloggers. Later as my blog become popular it was sent trackbacks. Having experienced both receiving and giving a trackback I understood what it was all about and felt much better.
What Is A Trackback
About now is the time to write a nice and simple definition for you so you can get your head around trackbacking. I’ll try, but this is a concept that is difficult to fully grasp until you actually do it.
Here goes –
A trackback is a form of “blog conversation” that links two or more relevant blog entries together. One blogger writes an article that references or is relevant to another blog’s article and fills out the trackback section. When the blogger publishes the article the blog leaves a trackback on the other blog’s article, which usually appears in the comments area as a truncated summary with a link.
If you are still confused, and I suspect you probably are, the only solution is to initiate a trackback yourself. In the next blog article you write be sure to reference another blogger and send him or her some trackback lovin so you can get your head around the concept.
How To Send A Trackback
Each blogging software system handles trackbacks differently. Bloggers can also choose to switch trackbacks off or require every trackback be approved before going live, so don’t be surprised when you send a trackback and it doesn’t show up, it may have nothing to do with you.
Some blogs will trackback automatically, or attempt to, especially if they are the same format. For example a WordPress blog trackbacking a WordPress blog. In that case as long as you include a link to the other blog’s post your blog will attempt a trackback (sometimes called a “pingback”).
Usually you have to manually enter a trackback URI into the blog entry you are creating. You can find the trackback URI at the end of most blog posts (take a look at your blog posts for the term “Trackback URI” or similar).
By the way –
URL = Uniform Resource Locator, a fancy name for ‘Link’
URI = Uniform Resource Identifier, another fancy name for ‘Link’
I use WordPress and for each blog post I make there is a trackback input box section for entering trackback URIs. I copy and paste the trackback URI from the blog entry I want to link to and when I click publish my blog will send the trackback. My blog will also confirm when a trackback has been sent after publishing my post.
How To Get Traffic From Trackbacks
If you trackback someone else’s blog post you are leaving a link that points back to your blog. Someone who reads the blog article may click through from the link and visit your blog.
In some cases, if they are not using the “nofollow” tag, you get some PageRank juice (not sure what PageRank is? Read this short introduction – ) which will help your search engine rankings.
What Does “nofollow” Mean?
The “nofollow” tag is a line of code that some blogging systems, such as WordPress, implement automatically. The tag is added to every link left in comments and trackbacks so the search engines don’t follow the link (humans however view it like a standard link so can follow it like normal).
Its supposed purpose is to stop people spamming blog comments purely for links but it really doesn’t work that well as a deterrent.
You can read more about NoFollow here –
If you are a WordPress blogger you can install a plugin that removes the NoFollow tags for you. I use it on all my blogs. You can read more about it here –
Send Trackbacks For Traffic
Trackbacks are good because they bring traffic to your blog when you trackback other blogs. Being the “victim” of a trackback is also good because it means another blogger has read your blog and deemed something you wrote worthy of including in their blog. There is a good chance if they trackbacked you that they also made a direct link to your blog too.
This helps your social proofing because it provides evidence that other people are reading and responding to your blog articles. However the real power of trackbacking is an awareness building tool to get the attention of other bloggers.
When you first start blogging not many people will know your blog exists. By trackbacking other bloggers you demonstrate interest in their content which is a surefire way to make them interested in you and your blog.
It’s very likely that the blogger you trackbacked will follow the link and see what your blog is all about. If you have been following my advice and have written some pillar articles your new visitor will like what they see, very likely subscribe to your blog and if you are lucky may even trackback you or mention your blog in a future entry on their blog.
If nothing else, by trackbacking a blogger you will forever occupy some of their mind-space, which in the future may open up all kinds of doors and opportunities for traffic.
It’s a fine art to use trackbacking as a traffic building tool. Many bloggers make the mistake of going trackback crazy before their blog has any content. This may bring new readers in but they won’t stay long or bookmark you because you don’t give them a reason to.
It’s also important to know your place in the blog hierarchy. The really popular bloggers are trackbacked constantly so you won’t likely get their attention by trackbacking because you will be one of many. You need to carefully pick and choose who you trackback and when you trackback if you want to use it for building your blog traffic.
Trackback spam is also a big problem nowadays, so when you receive a trackback to your blog, make sure you check to see the blog that initiated it, it could be a spam blog. You will know this because the blog doesn’t have any original content, it just republishes the content of other blogs.
I suggest you delete any trackback spam and only let the real trackbacks from real blogs go through live on to your blog.
Try some trackbacks today and see if it will open doors to new relationships with other bloggers.
Here’s to your blogging success,
The following lessons are from my original “blog traffic king” email newsletter, my first ever email course with one lesson per week delivered for a year. There are some real gems in these articles too, so don’t skip them!