Are Pingbacks Good for SEO

Updated April 21, 2020

To be direct, yes and no…

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of doing “things” that will improve rankings on search engines with the understanding that sufficiently good search rankings will result in organic search traffic being directed to your website.

One of the classic approaches to SEO is to build links back to your site.  Links can convey authority (strength) and trust. While a very trustworthy site may or may not be insanely popular, links from highly trusted sites can be valuable in boosting search rankings.  Conversely, a link from a highly popular (powerful) site can add a tremendous boost in rankings. If that highly popular site isn’t trustworthy, however, the link from it can be unpredictable – potentially boosting rankings significantly, or sending rankings into the toilet.

As a site owner, if you link out to low trust, low authority sites, you risk being assessed by search engines as non-trustworthy yourself.  Once that happens, your rankings plummet. Don’t link out to poor quality, spammy, untrustworthy sites!

Less trustworthy, new site owners, may employ unethical link building tactics such as spamming pingbacks in high volumes, all in the hope of getting some of them approved.  Approved pingbacks mean they get a “free” backlink to their site.

As a site owner receiving pingback spam, you may be tempted to just approve any and all pingbacks.  It’s an easy way to handle the situation. After all, you click approve, and voila – it’s done. However, it’s also a great way to build a load of poor quality outbound links that destroy your site reputation.

Now you can see why many sites have completely disabled pingbacks.  They’re highly abused, frequently spammed and potentially fraught with risks.

If you’ve got the time to assess the sites who have sent you pingbacks, then by all means – DO IT!  Quality pingbacks are a great way of handling notifications about page referrals and popularity, providing you’ve got the time and inclination to manage.

For more tips about how to market your WordPress-based website, check out these search engine optimization (SEO) tips on the KnownHost blog.

Why are Pingbacks Important?

There’s likely half a dozen good reasons why you should use pingbacks with your site, though there are only a few well-known ones.  Most common reasons are that it makes the site easier to keep track of, boost SEO and drive referral traffic.


Most site owners are busy.  Most site owners are too busy to worry about a lot of things that really could be valuable.  Keeping track of how popular your site content (blog posts) means knowing who is mentioning you, who is linking to you, and what content they’re linking to in the first place.

When you receive a pingback, you become aware of sites that have made a post and in it have linked back to your site / your post.  It’s valuable intelligence and much easier to check your ‘approve comments’ part of your own site than trying to go out on Google or Bing or StartPage and trying to search for all the possible mentions of your own site.

Bottom line:  If you want to know who is talking about your stuff, pingbacks are an easy way of doing it.


We’ve written an entire section about whether pingbacks are good for SEO.  Check it out!


Pingbacks are links that appear in the comment section of sites, right below the blog post to which they’ve been linked.

Thanks to sites like Reddit, when people see interesting stories, or posts, they frequently keep going after the end, wanting to see the commentary.  The banter can be more entertaining than the posts!

If you’ve ever caught yourself clicking on a link in a comment, pingback or trackback, you realize that the link may have SEO value, in some small measure – but the real value comes in the form of referral traffic.

This is the same reason people try to sneak links in Wikipedia or other top sites….

Referring links can sometimes send loads of traffic to other sites.  So, by planting a link on YOUR site, using a pingback, they stand to siphon off a number of your site visitors, sending them over to their site, where they hope to inspire people to know, like, trust and ultimately buy something from them (or click on one of their paid ads if they’re running a made for Adsense (MFA) type of site).

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