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Under Settings->Discussion there is the following option:

[x]Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)

Whats the real benefit for a blog owner to have them enabled? (besides knowing who is linking your content i mean)

Is there any downside in turning that off?

Thanks a lot

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codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging#Managing_Comments tels you about ping and track backs –  janw Apr 19 '12 at 18:33
    
Yep, i understand the idea of both, but my question was more if is there a real benefit of allowing them, and when i mean benefit i mean in terms of SEO. The only benefit i see of them right now is 'letting know' the reader that there are content in other blogs related to the post, but personally(as a reader) i see all that information useless because most of the time is a way to get inbound links, and i feel like having other blogers spamming our site –  jmserra Apr 19 '12 at 18:46
    
I don't realy have an opinion about them, still I'm interested what others will say –  janw Apr 19 '12 at 18:51
    
when I had them on (couple of years back), they attracted just spam. I have never used them since. –  Tara Apr 20 '12 at 0:58
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I think this is more of a general web development/SEO/content management question, rather than a WordPress-specific question. (Unless you were talking about WordPress specific advantages or disadvantages to trackbacks/pingbacks?) –  Chip Bennett Apr 20 '12 at 1:23
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they are pretty useless, in fact I would say they are even a nuisance. The idea was novel when it first came out and it was for a brief moment useful, but those days are over.

I never enable pingbacks because they seem to actually discourage discussion, and are highly abused by SEO spam.

Trackbacks might be interesting from an analytic perpective and slightly useful for the users but I still turn them off, because they also discourage discussion and attract spam.

Ask yourself how many times have you clicked a trackback, have you ever read a pingback??

As toscho has pointed out, sold/outdated sites can start to return spam pingbacks/trackbacks that were at one point valid, in fact I bet there is a market for this.

The pingback system is automated so your loss of control over it has attracted spammers because it's easy to abuse.

The web has evolved away from this type of service because it prefers actual people ( And the search engines try to reflect that as well).

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Thanks, i'll turn them off, i hope that won't discourage any blogger to mention the source if they are 'inspired' by one of our posts. –  jmserra Apr 20 '12 at 7:33
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@Wyck One thing you may add to your answer: Even a currently valid pingback may turn into a spam site one year later. And there is no economic way to check all those links. –  toscho Apr 26 '12 at 22:18
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Pingbacks and trackbacks are useful because they create two-way connection between similar pages and users can browse relevant articles. IMHO, two-ways linking is the main idea of the internet and why it was build.

Install Akismet or similar plugin if you are afraid of spam.

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