What Does It Mean to Leave a Trackback?

The Internet is filled with bloggers and journalists who share content daily on topics from business and politics to pop culture and education. Writers tend to spend time reading other content on the Internet to help them generate ideas for their blogs and websites. If a writer references another article or blog post on his site, he can leave a trackback to let the website owner know he referenced his article.

  1. Using Trackbacks

    • Individuals who share content online typically allow website visitors to leave trackbacks on their sites. The trackbacks show up before or after the comments section of each blog post or article. When a blog or website reader leaves a trackback, by placing a link to his article or blog post in the trackback section of the site he’s referencing, the site owner receives a notification. The notification provides the site owner with a link so that he may see which websites mentioned his post or crafted a response to a post he’s written.

    Examples of When to Use Trackbacks

    • You can use a trackback when you reference content from another site on your site, but a variety of instances may prompt a blog or website owner to leave a trackback. If you read an article and agree with the content, you might compose a post on your site and direct your readers to the other post. Similarly, if you disagree with a post you read, you may create a trackback. If there's content on the Internet that supports an article you are writing, you may also use a trackback.


    • The benefits for leaving trackbacks on another writer’s blog or website are numerous. Regardless of your opinion of the article or blog you leave a trackback for, the website writer is able to gauge interests and hot topics by the number of trackbacks he receives. Leaving a trackback can also help you promote your website, which is particularly beneficial if you leave trackbacks on popular blogs that receive a lot of Web traffic and comments.

    Trackback Cautions

    • Some websites don’t allow trackbacks because, in the past, the practice has been abused by spammers. Make sure that if you leave a trackback on a website, the title of your trackback is relevant and appropriate, and you link to a quality article, so that the website owner and readers don’t regard your trackback as spam.

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