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Blogs and the Humble Trackback

Written by Ryan Ambrose  · June 30, 2009

Blogs have a few interesting ways to build links that other types of sites do not. As well as being ranking magnets if you take the time to update them regularly, you can ping them, and get on the blogrolls of other blogs. But one of the easiest ways is the trackback.

A trackback is a notification sent to a blog when one of your posts links to it. In the latest WordPress versions, a single checkbox selection will automatically send a trackback to any blog to which you linked. These are very useful, and don’t cost you anything more than the willingness to show some link love to your fellow bloggers before you receive it.

Trackbacks appear in one of several forms on the linked blogs:

  • Some blogs, like mine, have a separate trackback section before their comments. This puts your trackback ahead of the comments, making a link to your site more visible. If that blog happens to garner a lot of traffic, you could be looking at a piece of it. These types of separated trackback sections also attract link love, and I recommend you organize them on your blog this way.
  • Other blogs post your trackback as a normal comment. It will appear as an excerpt of what you wrote, usually preceded and followed by an ellipsis (“...”). It appears in first come, first served order with the rest of the comments on that blog.
  • It doesn’t appear, but the link garners the owner’s attention. A link will be noticed by anyone who takes any kind of care at all of their blog. That means you might just wind up on the blogroll.

Now, traffic from trackbacks isn’t automatic. Real people have to click through, which means you’ll have to get their attention with something interesting. Since most of what you leave is a title and blog name, be sure to give the post that’s linking to another site a title that will pull people in. Plus, try to send trackbacks to blogs with similar topics of discussion as yours, and the people will be pre-qualified for your content.

If you need links and traffic to your blog, add the trackback to your arsenal of techniques. It’s easy to do, helps build blogging relationships, and can accelerate the process of getting your blog off the ground.

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My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

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2 Responses to “Blogs and the Humble Trackback”

  1. Yuva on July 6th, 2009 7:23 am

    I had some doubts about trackback’s utility in bringing me the traffic. Your article has dispelled many of my suspicions and going to try it for my blog.

  2. Haken on January 6th, 2011 12:47 pm

    I think there is great power in using Trackbacks. A hidden secret ūüėČ