Why trackbacks matter

Good deeds deserve recognition!

Which of these actions do you think deserves the most attention?

Comments – which let other bloggers know that you are reading their posts.

Trackbacks – which let other bloggers know that you are writing about them.

If that doesn’t explain why trackbacks are so important as a PR and networking activity, let me give you an example:

I was browsing through my visitor logs today and discovered that I am receiving visitors as a result of an excellent post by Thom Singer which was written in August 2005.

I had never read this post by Thom before even though he had quoted me favorably, because he didn’t leave a trackback! As a result, he didn’t get added to my blogroll.

Thom left a comment to my original August post and I must have followed it back at the time because I knew of his site, but I had never seen this post. As a result, his excellent post had received no comments!

It has one now, because I finally discovered his post because of a visitor that came from his site. How much more effective it would have been if he had left a trackback.

The lesson here, for those who would care to hear it, is leave trackbacks when you write about someone’s post. It doesn’t matter whether you write favorably, as he did, or unfavorably. In either case, you will generate traffic to your site and will elicit comments.

No good deed should go unnoticed.
Use trackbacks!


This entry was posted in Possibly Helpful Advice, Weblog as Power Tool. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Why trackbacks matter

  1. David – I agree that trackbacks are great, but what do we do about those of us that are still using Blogger or something other than Typepad that may not offer trackbacks?

    Just curious your thoughts on that. Thanks!

  2. Phil,

    Blogger is a fine way to test the waters, but it doesn’t have the horsepower that a professional like yourself usually needs.

    If you are a serious blogger with any possibility of using your blog to advance your career or to generate income, I would suggest that you migrate to typepad as soon as possible.

  3. Chris Owen says:

    As a Typepad user, sometimes they don’t work even though I’ve selected the trackbacks feature. As a small business and little blog who’s trying to network, I get really frustrated when I write a blog about someone else (like Thom did for you) and the trackbacks don’t go through for some reason!

  4. But I don’t see how trackbacks are any better than simply doing a Technorati search on blogs that are linking, via posts or blogrolls, to your blog.

    I mean, trackbacks are a channel of the conversation that is tracked in many other ways.

  5. GBGames says:

    Chris, I’ve also experienced the frustration. It seems that while trackbacks links are available on almost all blogs, not all those blogs actually seem to notice when you use them.

  6. Trackbacks are another way of promoting your site. They are for you, the blog writer, because they leave a “track” of your post on some other post where other people will read it.

    Steven seems to be missing the point. A Technorati search is no substitute for a trackback. A trackback tells a visitor to some site that you have also written a brilliant article on the the same subject.

    If you have only a few words to say, leave a comment. If you have a lot to say, write the information on your own blog and leave a trackback so others will find it.

  7. We do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes trackbacks will not go through and other times trackbacks will go through multiple times.

    After I leave a trackback, I always check the target site to see whether the trackback took or not. If it doesn’t appear, I repeat the process. If it appears several times, I send an email to the blogger and ask them to remove the excess trackbacks.

    Trackbacks will lead traffic to your site for years after the original post. Do what it takes to leave an easy way for visitors to find you.

    You will not regret the effort.
    TITLE: Make It Great! – Now Powered by TypePad
    URL: http://makeitgreat.typepad.com/makeitgreat/2005/12/make_it_great_n.html
    BLOG NAME: Phil Gerbyshak Challenges You to Make It Great!
    DATE: 12/19/2005 11:09:51 PM
    Inspired by David St. Lawrence, I am moving haved moved my site to Typepad. My new URL will be at http://makeitgreat.typepad.com/makeitgreat/ though http://makeitgreat.org will reach me as well. If you’re viewing my site via an RSS feed provided by Fee…

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