Trackback is a facility that allows you to easily contribute and respond to feedback from around the blog community. As always it is a feature that is often best illustrated with an example.

Let’s say you are reading another persons blog site. You have just read a particular entry that you find interesting enough to leave a comment. Normally you would leave your thoughts in their comments field. While this is a great way to contribute it does starve your own blog of content. You may be inspired from the blog entry to write something slightly different or more thorough.

So instead of leaving a detailed and potentially long comment you can write your own blog entry in your own blog and create a special link (known as a trackback) to the original blog entry from where you were inspired. Ordinarily you could put in a simple URL to the original blog entry. Problem with this method is that the original blog entry doesn’t get to know or promote your new post.

To create the trackback you must find the trackback URL that the site promotes for that entry. This is found underneath the entry in the comment section. Using that URL you paste into the trackback field in the blog entry page. When you publish your new blog entry, the originating site will be automatically alerted that will then list your blog entry with the other comments. Thus you have now created a link between your two blog entries. It is just like comments, when someone trackbacks to one of your entries it will show up on your entries page next to the appropriate entry. If you click on this it will take you to a page that displays the title URI and excerpt from their entry.

This kind of remote commenting allows for greater detail without losing the readers.

Your own blog entries have trackback already enabled for others to remotely comment. When someone trackbacks to your blog there details will be listed under your own blog comments. A small title and the URL will be displayed that allows your readers to click to read more.

Trackback is supported by many blog sites and is a great way for you to comment around the blog world while retaining your own identity and many links back to your blog.

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  1. Some individuals abused the TrackBack feature to insert spam links on blogs so some blogs have now stopped using the Trackback feature while some have TrackBack spam filters similar to those implemented against comment spam on their blogs.

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