Using “Trackbacks” to Improve Your Readership

What the heck is a “trackback”? That’s the million dollar question I kept
asking myself as I watched

Traffic Secrets 2.0
by John Reese. For a nice little definition, I turn to

A Trackback is one of three types of

, methods for

authors to request notification when somebody

to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of
who is linking, and so referring, to their articles. Some

software programs, such as


Movable Type


Community Server
, support automatic

where all the links in a published article can be

when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for
any kind of Linkback.

Understand Now? Trackbacks are often overlooked by bloggers who focus more on
looking at the number of people who are actually commenting on their blog. But
what about the people who are reading the blogs and then posting their own blogs
in response to something that someone else wrote? This is where trackbacks are
most useful.

How Trackbacks Work


If you are out reading someone’s blog post and you really like it
and want to mention it in your own blog, click on the title of
the individual blog post. You will then see the page refresh with nothing else
but that blog post on it. Go to the top of the page, highlight the URL
and copy the link
(aka: permalink). You will then want to go back to
your own blog and paste the link into whatever it is you’re writing. So, for

The other day, I was reading this really funny post from my friend

Sean Fallon
of Gizmodo…

In the wonderful world of blogging, whenever you end up “publishing” your
blog post with the link in it, it will automatically send a “ping” so whoever
you linked to to leave her a message that you did a trackback to them. Some
blogging software doesn’t do the trackbacks right away. You may have to read the
directions and/or contact the blog author to set it up.

If you are using WordPress and are linking to other bloggers who are using
WordPress as well,

are sent out automatically in the form of


Each blog is different, so make sure you read all of the directions for how
to set up and use trackbacks. They can be a great tool for increasing search
optimization for websites and blogs!

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