When do I use a trackback?

10 August 2009

When I want to write a blog entry I often think of a topic to write about, and then do a Google search “Topic of interest trackback”.

Notice the “trackback” in the Google search. It doesn’t always work – but quite often it will bring back blog entries of the same topic that allow trackbacks.

On a blog entry that allows trackbacks you’ll usually find a trackback URL, usually near the bottom of the page or often also near the “comments” area. If it’s not visible you can also view the website’s source code and look for the following piece of code:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
dc:title="How to run server side PHP scripts on my computer" trackback:ping="http://www.peternichol.com/entry/trackback/33/" />

rdf:about – The blog entry permalink
dc:identifier – Again the blog entry permalink
dc:title – The blog entry title
trackback:ping – The unique trackback URL for this blog entry

Change these 4 variables depending on the page/blog entry, but leave all the rest of the code as it is. The “<!--“ at the top of the code is commenting it out, so that when validating your page it still passes the W3C validations.

You may also see this code being called the trackback auto discover code.

I trackback as often as I can, as it’s always good to get my link out there on other people’s websites.


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