Hi Ashley! I was wondering if you could explain pingbacks. I’m not sure if they’re good, bad, spammy, etc. I’ve been getting several a week, and I see there’s a way to reject them. I just don’t know what to do! Reject? Keep? Ignore?
Pingbacks are totally cool and awesome. They’re actually one of my favourite WordPress features.
What is a pingback?
Pingbacks are kind of like notifications. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you, a WordPress blogger, write a blog post called, “How to get more traffic on your book blog”. Another WordPress blogger has a regular feature where they create a post linking up to their favourite blog posts from that week. A few days after you publish your post, they publish their weekly recap and link to your post. Their blog communicates with your blog to say, “Hey, I linked to your post!” Your blog verifies that, then sends you the notification about the pingback.
So as you can see, it’s kind of like a notification to you to inform you that someone linked to your post in their post.
Are pingbacks spam? – Not always!
Some pingbacks can be spam, just like comments. However, Akismet is pretty good at filtering through those, just like it is with comments. Just make sure you look at what the pingback says before deciding whether or not to trash it. Does it look like it came from a spam blog or a sketchy URL? Or does it look like a fellow book blogger? Pingbacks will come with a short excerpt of the text surrounding the other blogger’s link and a link to the post it came from. So it’s easy to check whether or not it’s a spammy pingback.
Example of a legit pingback
But, if pingbacks annoy you, you can turn them off!
It’s very easy to disable pingbacks if you don’t want them. There are two settings for them in WordPress located in Settings » Discussion:
The first option is for pingbacks originating from your blog. So if you don’t want your blog to notify other bloggers when you link to their posts, you can disable it.
The second option is for incoming pingbacks. If you disable this option then you will not be notified when other bloggers link to your posts.