What’s a trackback?
Simple, it’s when you write a post on a specific topic, and then link out from the same post to relevant content. In order to demonstrate the how and why, I’ll use the subject of foreclosures to illustrate how you can use larger sites to your advantage since you’re probably not wishing to trackback to your local real estate competitors.
Let’s say you just wrote a wicked awesome post on foreclosures, and how to avoid them, and you want to share with your audience the larger conversation around foreclosures- maybe your point is to say, that they’re not alone, and you’d like a shot at saving them the agony.
By adding a simple link in that sentence to a related post on a more highly trafficked site you have accomplished several things.
Here’s an example:
“So if you’re fearing the end of your rope, facing foreclosure and feeling your mortgage is no longer affordable, missing mortgage payments, or simply slow paying your house payment, you’re not alone!”
The result helps consumers
- What you’ve done by doing this is spoken to the reader through keywords (I bolded them only for illustration) by using search engine results. You’ve exactly targeted longtail searches that consumers are making right now, and you’re providing content wrapped around the exact subject they’re searching for- that is first and foremost.
- By linking to even more relevant content in the same sentence, you’ve placed a trackback link that should appear (once approved) in the related contents comment stream and possibly the sidebar of a more popular site, drawing attention and traffic to your article (search engines are following these links just as consumers would).
- You’ve gained the attention of the site authors and administrators of that site, and could potentially find your post linked to in future posts of that very same site giving even more authority to your article keywords and content- thus completing the circle.
Trackbacks do so much more than commenting around the blogosphere (although this is just as important) worrying about dofollow and other SEO tricks. In fact, what you’re doing is building authority around your keywords and real estate content, while providing your own audience with a well balanced article and plenty more related information.
What you probably shouldn’t do
Does this mean you should put millions of links in a single post? No. Weight of the trackback matters. The more you link, the less value the engine puts on the content you’ve chosen to link to. However, for each post, you should spread the love around to other sites with a link or two.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why not just drop a link in comments to my article?” Because, you’re not completing the circle of relevant related content. Also, you’ve violated the space of another site in what appears to be an attempt to steal attention and traffic from their site- aka spam, self-promotion, and truly piggish enough to get you sent to spam.
What about related post plugin links?
Sure, those spread link wealth throughout your own content, and if you’re not making sure those links are absolutely relevant, then you’re probably not adding any real value. However, it apparently appeared for a reason. Check into the post you don’t believe is really relevant, and make sure that it’s properly tagged and categorized- change them to better reflect their true categories to improve their relevance.
Taking it one step further
Here’s a recent post on wordpress titles from Agent Genius writer Mark Eckenrode that will help you think about your post titles from the consumer’s point of view. <- See what I did there? I’ve just tracked back to a post directly related to helping you build a better wordpress blog system.
In the examples I’m using, neither of the links to the post are very keyword rich, and in my next trackback article, I’m going to show you a neat little plugin that will help you improve titles to help you to add keywords to the actual link from your site.
So, in the meantime, try a trackback with a great title, and do it from the consumer’s searching point of view.