Home : Internet Terms : Trackback Definition


Trackback is a means of notifying a website that another website has linked to it. By linking to a trackback link, a webmaster can automatically inform the other website that he has added a link to one of site's pages. However, in order for the trackback system to work, both websites must support trackback. This is because the linking website needs to ping the linked website to let it know a link has been added.

Trackback was first implemented by Movable Type blogging and Web design software in 2002. Since then, other Web development tools, such as Wordpress and Typo, have also added trackback support. This allows bloggers from all types of platforms to communicate with each other. For example, a user might read a blog entry on another person's site and decide to post his own blog, responding to the original post. If he adds a trackback link, the original blogger will see that the other user has linked to his blog. Depending on the trackback settings, the new blog may also show up as a link at the end of the original blog.

Since trackback requires multiple websites to support the trackback protocol, it continues to be used primarily for blogs. However, some news websites now offer trackback links as well. You can tell if a site supports trackback if there is a "Trackback link" or "Trackback URL" at the end of an article. Sometimes the link will be followed by a number, which indicates the number trackbacks that link back to the blog.

Updated: April 13, 2009

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of Trackback. It explains in computing terminology what Trackback means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Trackback definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.