“There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination you can get there.” Darren Rowse
Happy Holidays to All! It’s a pity to address this subject just before Christmas but, on second thoughts, it is not. What is a Pingback? Pingbacks are, as WP.com aptly put it, remote comments; a key way of linking and acknowledging similar posts by fellow bloggers. They are not useless, spammy comments meant to irritate the recipient, but another way to give a shout-out to a blogger. This link to WordPress.org gives more information on the distinction between spam and pingbacks. When a fellow WordPress blogger – Blogger A – sends a pingback, the primary purpose is to notify us that a similar post has been created and our post compliments it. The final decision to acknowledge or reject the pingback rests with Blogger B; no quibbles, no acrimony.
All pingbacks are not created equal; some are like weak pingball players and others like Rambo, so discretion is advised. If a pingback is on an unrelated topic, the easiest solution is to delete it. Sure, there are other important concerns we might have about spoof pingbacks and denial of service attacks, and those issues are reminders why we must be vigilant about the pingbacks we send and receive. Plus, Akismet does a fine job of helping us separate the wheat from the chaff.
In the four years I’ve been blogging on this platform, we have been blessed with an impressive selection of support tools and features; themes, Publicize, Likes, pingbacks, reblogs, mobile apps, Zemanta and more. All are meant to help us connect, communicate, and enhance our exchanges in our blogging community. Back in the days before we could send pingbacks via Zemanta and the Daily Post, we would write a post, then scour the internet looking for related topics. Now we have the ease of referencing other posts with a click and a copy. Is that a problem? I think not but, in fairness to those who object to pingbacks, there are common courtesies or a blogging etiquette we can observe with this practice.
“Blogs are a great way to monitor and even participate in the chatter about your new site.” Mike Davidson
For starters, don’t send random pingbacks and be careful to avoid passing on spoof pingbacks. Next, it is rude to send a pingback and not visit the blog in question. I rarely send a pingback without checking out the post first. I visit the blog I’m reaching out to and read the post… even if it takes me several days to visit. Visit the blog and read the post. I do that for all my pingbacks; including those from the photo challenge. When I do the photo challenges, not only do I visit and Like or Like/Comment on ALL the blogs I mention, I do same for other participants of the challenge.
Visit, read, and acknowledge the other blogger with a Like or a comment or both. The point of the pingback is to connect us with each other and keep the community connections and conversations growing. While it makes no sense to use a pingback when a post has nothing in common to offer, it is a helpful, productive tool, and I’ve never viewed it as something used to manipulate others. When in doubt, delete. Does it bring us more traffic? More below!