A linkback is a method for Web authors to obtain notifications when other authors link to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to, their articles. The four methods (Refback, Trackback, Pingback and Webmention) differ in how they accomplish this task.

"LinkBack" is the generalized term used to reference three methods of communication between websites.

Any of the four terms—Linkback, Trackback, Pingback, or (rarely) Refback—might also refer colloquially to items within a section upon the linked page that display the received notifications, usually along with a reciprocal link; Trackback is used most often for this purpose. Also, the word Trackback is often used colloquially to mean any kind of Linkback.

Dan Magarino, Morgan Stanley Equity Research, is credited with popularizing the term "linkback" and also contributed to its widespread adoption by

Refback Trackback Pingback Webmention
Trigger mechanism Visitor to linking site clicks on the link, and their browser takes them to the linked site Code on linking server examines added or updated documents, extracts links, and sends notification to linked server for each link found Code on linking server examines added or updated documents, extracts links, and sends notification to linked server for each link found Code on linking server examines added or updated documents, extracts links, and sends notification to linked server for each link found
Notification medium HTTP referrer value HTTP POST[1] XML-RPC call HTTP POST with source and target parameters[2]
Capture mechanism Examination of incoming HTTP referrer values Trackback capture script XML-RPC function Webmention capture script
Information sent by linking server None
  • Linking site name (Optional)
  • Linking post title (Optional)
  • Linking post excerpt (Optional)
  • Linking post URL
  • Linked post URL
  • Linking post URL
  • Linked post URL (target)
  • Linking post URL (source)
Additional information presented to linked server HTTP referrer sent by a visitor's browser upon clicking the link IP address of linking server IP address of linking server IP address of linking server
Autodiscovery mechanism (how the linking server finds out how and where to send the notification) None LINK tag in the header of the linked page or Trackback RDF Documents Special HTTP header or LINK tag on the linked page HTTP Link header or link element on the linked page
Action required when notification is received
  • Extract referrer value from incoming HTTP headers
  • Retrieve referring page
  • Parse retrieved page for desired information
  • Gather desired information from
    • Given parameters
    • or retrieving and parsing the given URL
  • Retrieve page at "linking post URL"
  • Parse retrieved page for desired information
Verifying that linking page does indeed link to linked page is recommended, not explicitly required
Advantages Requires no special code on linking server (the link itself becomes the notification when someone clicks on it) All the information desired by the linked server (Linking site name, post title, excerpt) is present in the notification itself
  • Notification mechanism has a complete technical specification
  • Less susceptible to spamming
  • Uses well-known parts of HTTP wherever possible (autodiscovery, encoding of data, response status)
  • Reuses Pingback’s existing semantics
  • Minimum amount of data transferred on-the-wire
  • No notification unless someone actually clicks on the link
  • Relies upon visitors' browsers sending proper HTTP referrer information
  • Linked site must retrieve and parse linking site's page to extract the information it wants
  • Notification requires positive action by linking server
  • Notification mechanism has only a partial technical specification
  • Autodiscovery information may prevent XHTML validation
  • Notification requires positive action by linking server
  • Linked site must retrieve and parse linking site's page to extract the information it wants
  • Can be abused for DDOS attacks[3][4][5][6][7][8]
  • Relatively new, so less widely implemented.

See also


  1. ^ "Trackback specification draft".
  2. ^ "Webmention Specification".
  3. ^ Daniel Cid (February 17, 2016). "WordPress Sites Leveraged in Layer 7 DDoS Campaigns". Sucuri. Retrieved 2 February 2017. Despite the potential reduction in value with the IP logging, attackers are still using this technique. Likely because website owners rarely check the user agent logs to derive the real IP address of visitors. [...] Although it is great that WordPress is logging the attacker IP address on newer releases, we still recommend that you disable pingbacks on your site. It won’t protect you from being attacked, but will stop your site from attacking others.
  4. ^ Tim Butler (25 Nov 2016). "Analysis of a WordPress Pingback DDOS Attack". Conetix. Retrieved 2 February 2017. Unless the attacker is very, very naive however, this IP will simply trace back to another infected machine or site. Generally these requesting systems are part of a botnet to mask and distribute the requests. [...] The pingback tool within WordPress still remains an exploitable system for any WordPress site which hasn’t explicitly stopped it. From a web host’s perspective, this is quite frustrating.
  5. ^ Brenner, Bill. "Anatomy of Wordpress XML-RPC Pingback Attacks". The Akamai Blog, March 31, 2014 5:42 AM. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Cid, Daniel. "More Than 162,000 WordPress Sites Used for Distributed Denial of Service Attack". Sucuri Blog, March 10, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Calin, Bogdan. "WordPress Pingback Vulnerability". Accunetix, December 17, 2012 - 01:17pm. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Krassi Tzvetanov (May 4, 2016). "WordPress pingback attack". A10 Networks. Retrieved 2 February 2017. This issue arises from the fact that it is possible for an attacker A to impersonate T's blog by connecting to R's blog and sending a link notification that specifies T's blog as the origination of the notification. At that point, K will automatically attempt to connect to T to download the blog post. This is called reflection. If the attacker were careful to select a URL that has a lot of information in it, this would cause amplification. In other words, for a relatively small request from the attacker (A) to the reflector, the reflector (R) will connect to the target (T) and cause a large amount of traffic. [...] On the reflector side for the 200-byte request, the response can easily be thousands of bytes – resulting in a multiplication that starts in the 10x, 20x and more. [...] To avoid overloading the reflector, multiple reflectors can be employed to scale up. Thus, the target will have their outgoing bandwidth, and possibly compute resources, exhausted. [...] Another point to consider is the compute resources tied to the target side. If considering a page that is computationally expensive to produce, it may be more efficient for the attacker to overload the CPU of a system versus the bandwidth of the connection. [...] This is not the first time a CMS, and in particular WordPress, has been used for DDoS or other malicious activity. To a very large extent, this is because WordPress appeals to users that do not have the resources to manage their websites and they often use WordPress to make their job easier. As a result, many users do not have an adequate patch management program or proper monitoring to observe irregularities in their traffic.
Battle of Corydon

The Battle of Corydon was a minor engagement that took place July 9, 1863, just south of Corydon, which had been the original capital of Indiana until 1825, and was the county seat of Harrison County. The attack occurred during Morgan's Raid in the American Civil War as a force of 2,500 cavalry invaded the North in support of the Tullahoma Campaign. It was the only pitched battle of the Civil War that occurred in Indiana, and no battle has occurred within Indiana since.As news of an impending raid spread across the state, Governor Oliver P. Morton called out the state's militia force, the Indiana Legion, to defend against the threat. Unaware of the size of the invading army, four companies of the 6th and 8th Regiments of the Legion, totaling about one hundred men, attempted to prevent the Confederates from crossing the Ohio River into Indiana, but were overcome by superior artillery fire, killing two of the defenders. The units retreated northward where they met with the main body of the 6th Regiment under the command of Col. Lewis Jordan. Along with the townspeople, they constructed breastworks that formed a defensive line south of Corydon. Despite promises of reinforcements from regional Legion commanders in New Albany, only about 450 men (consisting almost entirely of locals) were defending the town.

As the raiders approached from the south, the advance elements formed a battle line and launched a frontal attack and an unsuccessful flanking movement against the east side of the Legion's works. Reinforcements and artillery soon arrived with the main body of Confederate troops, giving the attackers a strong numerical superiority. With the support of the artillery, a pincer movement caused the Legion to abandon their position to avoid being surrounded. A large part of the Legion were captured as they attempted to escape from the town, while Col. Jordon and others regrouped downtown. Confederates then seized the Legion's commissary supplies on the edge of town, and fired two warning shots into the downtown from their artillery, convincing Jordan that continued resistance was futile and leading him to surrender his force and Corydon. Although the short battle cost the cavalry twice as many casualties as the outnumbered militia units, the battle resulted in a Confederate victory, which enabled Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan to secure supplies and money before continuing his raid through Indiana and into Ohio. The delay, however, proved critical in helping the pursuing Union army overtake and later capture Morgan and his forces.

Data feed

Data feed is a mechanism for users to receive updated data from data sources. It is commonly used by real-time applications in point-to-point settings as well as on the World Wide Web. The latter is also called web feed. News feed is a popular form of web feed. RSS feed makes dissemination of blogs easy. Product feeds play increasingly important role in e-commerce and internet marketing, as well as news distribution, financial markets, and cybersecurity. Data feeds usually require structured data that include different labelled fields, such as "title" or "product".

Electronic journal

Electronic journals, also known as ejournals, e-journals, and electronic serials, are scholarly journals or intellectual magazines that can be accessed via electronic transmission.

Figgy duff (pudding)

Figgy duff is a traditional bag pudding from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador most commonly served as a part of a Jiggs dinner. It is sometimes called a raisin duff. The word 'Figgy' (or figgie) is an old Cornish (UK) term for raisin; perhaps indicating the origin of the settlers who brought this dish to the area. It is very similar to the Scottish Clootie Dumpling.

One traditional recipe lists the ingredients as breadcrumbs, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, butter, flour, and spices. These are mixed and put in a pudding bag, wrapped in cheesecloth, or stuffed into an empty can and then boiled, usually along with the cooking vegetables of the Jiggs dinner.


iCalamus is a frame-oriented layout and DTP application for macOS which has been developed by the German software company invers Software. The name iCalamus derives from the software Calamus by the same manufacturer but neither offers document compatibility nor shares a single line of source code with the latter. (Calamus derives from the Latin name of a writing instrument made of reeds; see Kalamos.) In April 2018 iCalamus was acquired by Lemke Software, makers of GraphicConverter.

Media RSS

Media RSS (MRSS) is an RSS extension that adds several enhancements to RSS enclosures, and is used for syndicating multimedia files (audio, video, image) in RSS feeds. It was originally designed by Yahoo! and the Media RSS community in 2004, but in 2009 its development has been moved to the RSS Advisory Board. One example of enhancements is specification of thumbnails for each media enclosure, and the possibility to enclose multiple versions of the same content (e.g. different file formats).

The format can be used for podcasting, which uses the RSS format as a means of delivering content to media-playing devices, as well as Smart TVs. Media RSS allows for a much more detailed description of the content to be delivered to the subscriber than the RSS standard. The standard is also used by content publishers to feed media files into Yahoo! Video Search, which is a feature of Yahoo! Search that allows users to search for video files.

Personal wiki

A personal wiki is wiki software that allows individual users to organize information on their desktop or mobile computing devices in a manner similar to community wikis, but without collaborative software or multiple users.

Personal wiki software can be broadly divided into two categories:

Multi-user applications with personal editions (such as MoinMoin or TWiki), installed for standalone use and inaccessible to outside users, which may require additional software such as a web server, database management system and/or WAMP/LAMP bundle

Applications designed for single users, not dependent on a database engine or web serverSome personal wikis are public but password-protected, and run on dedicated web servers or are hosted by third parties.


A photofeed is a web feed that features image enclosures. They provide an easy, standard way to reference a list of images with title, date and description.

Photofeeds are RSS enclosures of image file formats, similar to podcasts (enclosures of audio file formats).


A pingback is one of four types of linkback methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. Some weblog software and content management systems, such as WordPress, Movable Type, Serendipity, and Telligent Community, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. Other content management systems, such as Drupal and Joomla, support pingbacks through the use of addons or extensions.

Essentially, a pingback is an XML-RPC request (not to be confused with an ICMP ping) sent from Site A to Site B, when an author of the blog at Site A writes a post that links to Site B. The request includes the URI of the linking page. When Site B receives the notification signal, it automatically goes back to Site A checking for the existence of a live incoming link. If that link exists, the pingback is recorded successfully. This makes pingbacks less prone to spam than trackbacks. Pingback-enabled resources must either use an X-Pingback header or contain a element to the XML-RPC script.

Project diary

A project diary, history, journal or log is a record of a project which is compiled while it is being done.

RSS tracking

RSS tracking is a methodology for tracking RSS feeds.


A refback is one of four types of linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles.

A Refback is simply the usage of the HTTP referrer header to discover incoming links. Whenever a browser traverses an incoming link from Site A (originator) to Site B (receptor) the browser will send a referrer value indicating the URL from where the user came. Site B might publish a link to Site A after visiting Site A and extracting relevant information from Site A such as the title, meta information, the link text, and so on.Refback only requires Site B to be Refback enabled in order to establish this communication. Refback requires Site A to physically link to Site B. Refback also requires browsers to traverse the links.

Reverse blog

A reverse blog is a type of blog that is characterized by the lack of a single, specific blogger. In a traditional blog a blogger will write his or her comments about a given topic and other users may view and sometimes comment on the bloggers work. A reverse blog is written entirely by the users, who are given a topic. The blog posts are usually screened and chosen for publication by a core group or the publisher of the blog.

Rollback (data management)

In database technologies, a rollback is an operation which returns the database to some previous state. Rollbacks are important for database integrity, because they mean that the database can be restored to a clean copy even after erroneous operations are performed. They are crucial for recovering from database server crashes; by rolling back any transaction which was active at the time of the crash, the database is restored to a consistent state.

The rollback feature is usually implemented with a transaction log, but can also be implemented via multiversion concurrency control.


A slidecast is a type of podcast that combines audio with a slideshow or diaporama presentation. It is similar to a video podcast in that it combines dynamically-generated imagery with audio synchronization, but it is different in that it uses presentation software, such as PowerPoint, to create the imagery and the sequence of display separately from the time of the audio podcast's original recording.

Slidecasting may be useful for the display of relevant photographs or text, and are an alternative to camera video recordings.

An alternative definition of the slidecast is the online distribution and syndication of video recordings of live slideshow presentations and accompanying narrations.


A trackback allows one website to notify another about an update. It is one of four types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to their articles. Some weblog software, such as SilverStripe, WordPress, Drupal, and Movable Type, supports automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of linkback.

USS Queen of the West (1854)

US Ram Queen of the West, a sidewheel steamer built at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1854, was purchased by the United States Department of War in 1862 and fitted out as a ram for Colonel Charles Ellet, Jr.'s Ram Fleet which operated on the Mississippi River in the U.S. Civil War in conjunction with the Western Flotilla.

Video aggregator

A video aggregator is a website that collects and organizes online videos from other sources. Video aggregation is done for different purposes, and websites take different approaches to achieve their purpose.

Some sites try to collect videos of high quality or interest for visitors to view. The collection may be made by editors or may be based on community votes. Another method is to base the collection on those videos most viewed, either at the aggregator site or at various popular video hosting sites.Some sites exist to allow users to collect their own sets of videos, for personal use as well as browsing and viewing by others. These sites can develop online communities around video sharing. Other sites allow users to create a personalized video playlist, for personal use as well as for browsing and viewing by others.


Webmention is a W3C recommendation that describes a simple protocol to notify any URL when a website links to it, and for web pages to request notifications when somebody links to them. Webmention was originally developed in the IndieWebCamp community and published as a W3C working draft on January 12, 2016. As of January 12, 2017 it is a W3C recommendation. Webmention enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, referring to, or commenting on their articles. By incorporating such comments from other sites, sites themselves provide federated commenting functionality.

Similar to pingback, Webmention is one of four types of linkbacks, but was designed to be simpler than the XML-RPC protocol that pingback relies upon, by instead only using HTTP and x-www-urlencoded content.. Beyond previous linkback protocols, Webmention also specifies protocol details for when a page that is the source of a link is deleted, or updated with new links or removal of existing links.


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