Should I Approve WordPress PingBacks

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Whether you are a seasoned blogger or new to blogging, you may be wondering why you are getting PingBack comments and whether or not you should be approving them. There are many opposing recommendations out there from professional bloggers, so in the end you will have to be the judge for yourself…

 

What is a PingBack?

Essentially, a pingback is a notification from another website that has linked to your website content. This transaction is handled automatically by server software such as WordPress, but there is really no need to go into the technical details. You will receive this notification as a Comment to approve. If you choose to approve this pingback, then it will show up as the next comment entry for your site’s related posting.

 

What use or benefit is there for a PingBack?

As a blogger myself, I think they are great for information purposes! At a minimum it provides you good insight into other website authors who are interested in your content enough to actually take the time to directly link to it. The data provided to you in a pingback notification request outlines the requestor’s website IP, exact originating URL link and a text comment. This will give you a good idea of who your current readers are and where additional future readers may start coming from. Hopefully, you are being linked to a popular and reputable site… :)

Now, as a site visitor or reader that is potentially interested in your website content, I would not be at all interested in seeing a bunch of pingback information in the comments area. A reader that is inclined to sift through the comments is probably scanning for relevant discussion points (something they are curious about themselves that someone else may have commented on) and having to scroll through senseless pingback data would become annoying. A reader might be frustrated enough to just move on to another web site for similar content.

 

Is there any real harm in approving a PingBack?

In short, no. Other than cluttering your posting with unnecessary comments, there is no tangible harm to approving pingbacks, but I would recommend that you consider the intangible effects of frustrating your readers. Also, pingbacks can be purposely sent as spam as a method to get backlinks posted online. Before accepting any pingback, you should thoroughly investigate the originating requesting link and determine if it is a legitimate source that you really want associated with your website.

 

Why am I getting PingBacks from my own website?

These are called “self-pings” and they may be a result of how you have set up URL intra-links within your own website. They offer little value from an blogger insight perspective as well as a reader interest perspective. Self pings can be prevented by setting up your URL links within your website as relative URLs instead of absolute URLs:

  • A self ping will be generated if you create a link from your site to another page within your own site using the entire formal absolute target URL link such as http://priceless-photos.com/should-i-approve-wordpress-pingbacks
  • To prevent self-pings, shorten the target URL to just the relative URL link such as /should-i-approve-wordpress-pingbacks

 

Conclusions?

In general, I do not approve pingbacks because they offer little value to my readers which is my #1 interest. If I receive a legitimate pingback from a very reputable website that I believe my readers would be interested in hopping to for further interest value, then I will approve the pingback. I am not a fan of approving pingbacks simply as bragging rights and distracting my readers from the content itself.

I hope this helps clear the mystery of PingBacks and why you get them.

 

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