A member wonders if it is good practice to display pingbacks in the comment section of a post. I explain the purpose for pingbacks and discuss how they are created. I show how to configure WordPress to either allow pingbacks or to ignore them. Personally I believe that they interfere with discussion so I don’t use them.
Rick: Okay so then the 2nd one question you had was “Do you recommend keeping pingbacks in the comment area?” and I don’t. I think that it clutters the comment area myself. If the comment area is supposed to be a place for dialogue then having pingbacks just hampers the dialogue.
Jackie: Then can you…
Rick: If it’s the way of counting score by saying, “Look at all the people who have links to me.” Then it’s certainly useful for that.
Jackie: Yeah, but it really isn’t a link, is it? A pingback?
Rick: Well, it is. What happens is a pingback is when somebody links to your site and then your site finds out and saves that as a pingback. And so… and then displays it as long as you’re displaying pingbacks. Now if you’ve got a blog where you know, you want to show that lots and lots of people think this page is really important so you’ve got all these different pingbacks, well, that’s fine. But I prefer to use the comment section as a method of dialogue where there’s a conversation going on and the little pingback stuff just interrupts the conversation.
Jackie: Then do you just delete those pingbacks? I notice that the pingbacks that I’m getting, that when I do a post or something where I’ve done a link to like an area on my website, I get a pingback for that.
Rick: Yes, you do. And so what I do is I don’t display pingbacks or store pingbacks at all. So for example, on my site under… what is it? It’s under Discussion, Settings – Discussion… so I get rid of the attempt to notify any blogs linked due from this article, allow link notifications from other blogs, that is, pingbacks and trackbacks. I don’t have either of those checked.
Jackie: I see, okay. So that’s…
Rick: And without those things checked, then it’s not going to show up.
Jackie: Oh, perfect. That’s what I needed to know. So that’s under Discussion Settings in what part?
Rick: In Default Article Settings.
Rick: And that’s under Settings.
Jackie: Settings Discussion, right?
Jackie: Okay, so that’s why I’m getting all those pingbacks. I just unchecked them and you’ve helped a lot.
Jackie: Now they won’t come in every time I make a post with…
Rick: You’re right and the thing is that you should be linking internally to other places on your blog. You know, to your blog posts, to your product pages, to your articles and if you’ve got this thing checked then every time you make a link like that, you get some kind of a pingback which is, I think, also a kind of a pain in the butt.
Jackie: That’s exactly what’s happening ‘coz I do link you know, which is… I subscribe to Scribd which I recommend everybody does. You should tell everyone on your site about Scribd. I subscribe through your site, as a matter of fact, and absolutely have found that my SEO is so much better now that I have that and I owe you that ‘coz you introduced me to that so thank you.
Rick: Well and it’s worked for us too, you know. We’ve seen a huge increase in traffic these last few months, you know, maybe it was…I don’t know. Maybe 3 months ago or 4 months ago, we were something in the range of 5,000 hits a month and now we’re up to almost 10. So you know, the whole…using Scribd has been a very effective way of keeping us on track and I swear I’m going to do a thing on Scribd here sometime in the near future.
Jackie: You definitely should because you did something… you mentioned it somewhere and that’s how I found it and boy, I am so happy with it. Thank you, thank you.
Rick: Yeah, you’re welcome. Okay, so have a great day Jackie.
Jackie: Thanks, Rick. You too. I’m here listening.
Rick: Bye bye. Okay.