A lot of times when I go to my WordPress administrator panel, I look at the trackbacks. Sometimes it may be someone referenced a post in twitter, or another person’s blog.
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.
Same can be said of pingbacks. Pingbacks are more of a request to alert sites that you linked to them. It is different at the trackback is not what you send like a pingback, but what you received- an acknowledgement of sorts. In pingbacks there is no content sent, but only an alert. For a better understanding, you can read about it in the Managing Comments section at the WordPress Codex.
This can be great SEO for you and other bloggers who bounce ideas back and forth over similar topics. While you could definitely use the person’s comment system, in blogging about the conversation and sharing your point while including a reference to the original source will allow your visitors to not just respond to you, but also possibly respond to another.
I find that a lot of times when I have written articles filled with opinion based on another’s article, that I often receive feedback. It is in no way an underhanded tactic. As said, it is a way to share the conversation with other people and encourage more interaction on a topic. This is one way to use trackbacks successfully.
However, it can also backfire and seem like an underhanded and obvious search engine optimization tactic if I were to just blab out a bunch of related subject links without tying them together with valuable thoughts. I would just have to make my site some type of robot that published random stories within a certain niche.
Although posting frequently can create more possible pingbacks, it could prove tiresome and also look to be a desperate SEO tactic. The point is to try to entice quality trackbacks. Those will be sites that have people who are looking to give more feedback on a particular subject if the original article only says so much.
Above all, make sure to give appropriate anchor links when credit original sources. Sometimes listing the article’s full name or specific keywords will do, but if those keywords are quite vague. For example, when I blog about Google webmaster tools, I put ‘Google’ in front, instead of just ‘webmaster tools’. Webmaster tools can be quite vague as there are plenty of sites – in fact millons listed in Google when searching for webmaster tools. Although the link it listed at the top, with ‘webmaster tools’ only the first 2 listings on the first page list what I am exactly looking for while the other lists more relevant links.
Do you like to use pingbacks and trackbacks? How do you use this linking method successfully? Got any pointers?