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What is a WordPress Pingback? Trackback and How Can I Disable Them?

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How to Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks in your Bluehost Account

When you use WordPress for your site or blog, there are different types of notifications. Depending on the needs of your website or blog, you may want to enable or disable trackbacks and pingbacks. This article will explain trackbacks and pingbacks and show you how to disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress.


What is a Trackback and Pingbacks in WordPress?

WordPress Trackbacks

Trackbacks are a form of communication between blogs; they let other bloggers know you have talked about their content on your own blog. When used correctly, trackbacks can be a powerful tool for building connections and increasing blog visibility.

How Do Trackbacks Work?

  • Sending a Notification: When you publish a blog post that links to another blog that accepts trackbacks, your blog automatically sends a notification (a trackback ping) to that blog.
  • Receiving and Displaying: The receiving blog gets a ping that you’ve linked to them. If this link is valid, your trackback appears on their blog as a comment. This usually includes your blog name, post title, and a snippet of your content.
  • Encouraging Engagement: This link back to your blog can encourage readers from the other blog to visit yours, potentially increasing your traffic and reader engagement.

WordPress Pingbacks

Pingbacks are automated notifications sent from one WordPress site to another. They serve as alerts informing a blogger that another blogger has linked to their content.

How Do Pingbacks Operate?

  • Automatic Process: When you link to another WordPress blog that supports pingbacks, your site automatically sends a notification to that blog, and vice versa.
  • Verification: The receiving site checks the link. If it is valid, the pingback is typically displayed beneath the post as a simple comment. This comment includes the linking site's URL.
  • Simplicity: Unlike trackbacks, pingbacks don’t share titles or excerpts. They’re straightforward notifications that another blog has referenced your article.

 


What is the Purpose of Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress?

It is an internal notification or alert just for you within WordPress so you know the details of the external websites mentioned online or links used in relation to your blog or website.

If you have the WordPress feature trackbacks and pingbacks enabled, it is important to monitor mentions or links so you know what external content is referencing and influencing your rank for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).


What is the Difference Between Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress?

The difference between trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress are:

  • What are Trackbacks? — Trackbacks signal the author that you have mentioned their work on your blog or website, even if you didn’t include a direct link.
  • What are Pingbacks? — Pingbacks notify the author of an article or press release of theirs you have linked to on your blog or website.

Why Disable Trackback and Pingbacks in WordPress?

  1. Reducing Spam — Trackbacks and pingbacks are frequently exploited by spammers who use them to insert unsolicited links into your comments section. These links not only clutter your site with irrelevant content but also demand significant effort to moderate. This diverts your attention from more productive site management activities.
  2. Enhancing Performance — Each pingback or trackback requires your server to issue a request to verify the link. This process can consume significant server resources, particularly on a busy site. By disabling these features, you reduce unnecessary server load, which can improve the responsiveness of your site and contribute positively to your site's SEO.
  3. Improving Security — Trackbacks and pingbacks can be manipulated to create Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against your website, overwhelming it with requests. Disabling them helps prevent such vulnerabilities. It can also lead to the publication of links to malicious websites. These links can compromise your site’s security and harm your users.
  4. Simplifying Comment Management — By turning off trackbacks and pingbacks, you can dedicate more time to engaging with your readers through comments that require thoughtful interaction rather than filtering through automated and low-quality notifications. This ensures that discussions remain relevant and valuable to the content presented.
  5. SEO Benefits — Links to and from your site play a crucial role in determining your SEO standing. Excessive, irrelevant links typically associated with trackbacks and pingbacks can be viewed negatively by search engines, potentially leading to penalties. You can better control the quality of content linking to and from your site without trackbacks and pingbacks.

How To Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress?

  1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard. In the main menu, scroll over Settings, then select Discussion.
    wp-settings-discussions
    Need help logging in? If you need help or a refresher, this guide will show you How To Login To WordPress Sites - WP Admin Access.
  2. The name of your WordPress database. If you don't have this, please see How to find your WordPress Database.
  3. From the Default Article Settings section, uncheck the box for “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”.
    wp-discussions-allow-link-notifcations-pingbacks
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
    wp-discussions-save

This will disable Trackbacks on all posts and pages you create from now on. However, any posts or pages you have already created may still have Trackbacks enabled.

  1. To disable trackbacks on a previously created post or page, go to the editor for the post/page.
  2. Once you open the post/page. From the right-hand side navigation, scroll down and navigate through Discussion, and click the drop-down arrow.
    wp-discussion-post-page
  3. Uncheck the box for “Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page”.
    wp-allow-ping-backs-uncheck
  4. Click Update on the post/page to save your changes.
    wp-discussions-allow-link-notifcations-pingbacks-update.png

Summary

To ensure you establish a good foundation and relationship online, there will be different SEO methods you may use. There are different linking features, such as WordPress's trackbacks and pingbacks, and they may or may not suit your needs for your blog or website. This guide shows you how to disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress feature.

Learn more tips about trackbacks and pingbacks in this Bluehost blog Exploit relationships (but only in this context!) in 10 Tips and Tricks for Improving SEO on Your WordPress Website and how the features relate to SEO for your website or blog.
If you are interested in learning more, further details can be found in this WordPress article: Trackbacks and Pingbacks

 

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You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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