Pingbacks and trackbacks – if you are using WordPress on your website you most probably know about trackbacks and pingbacks by now.
They are nothing but notifications that appear in the comment section – notifications that denote someone else has linked to your site.
But to be precise …
What is the difference between a trackback and a pingback?
Even though both are a way to notify someone that you have linked to them, there is a bit of a difference.
A trackback needs to be sent manually. And this is particularly useful if you want to notify someone else’s blog that is not on WordPress.
If you have linked to them in your blog post and if you want them to be notified, simply put the URL of the page that you linked inside the post in the space provided for trackback.
By default you will see this trackback option under your blog post editor and will look like this:
If you don’t see this trackback option under the post editor, you just have to turn it ON in the screen options.
The other website owner can either approve or reject the trackback. It will appear as an item for modification in the comment section.
If they approve, your trackback will appear in the comment section of their page (the URL of the page you entered in the trackback box) along with a link back.
This helps connecting with new bloggers.
A pingback, on the other hand, is an automatic thing. You don’t have to give a URL as in the case of a trackback.
If you link to a particular page or a post from another website, the corresponding owner will be automatically notified of the same in a pingback.
And just like trackback, a pingback will also appear in the comment section for approval. Once approved, it will appear in that page along with the other comments.
We, bloggers, already know about comment spam.
So it is not surprising that a pingback or a trackback can be misused by spammers.
Which is why most bloggers simply turn it off.
Let’s see how to do it.
How to disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress (and combat spam)?
In order to turn off trackbacks and pingbacks, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard.
Go to Settings > Discussion.
Now, in the “Default Article Settings” you will see an option that talks about link notifications: Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles.
Just make sure the checkbox is not ticked. If the checkbox is ticked, remove the tick. Don’t forget to click on Save Changes (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Now it is done. You have successfully disabled trackbacks and pingbacks on your WordPress website.