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pingback is a protocol for web sites to notify other web sites when they've posted a link to them (respectively). It has been superseded by the webmention protocol.
How do I implement receiving
How do I implement receiving pingbacks?
- First, don't bother with XML-RPC.
- Second, implement receiving webmention instead (easier to implement, easier to send too).
- Lastly, for backward compatibility with those that send pingbacks, use the webmention.io pingback proxy to receive pingbacks on your behalf and pass them along to your server as webmentions.
- Add this pingback discovery link to your post permalink pages:
http://example.com/webmention with the URL to your webmention endpoint that you implemented in step 2.
You're done. Also see webmention.io for more docs.
How do I implement sending
Consider also sending pingbacks purely for backward compatibility with sites that support receiving them but are unlikely to be updated to support webmention.
- See this gist for code that can be adapted.
- Don't bother to formally construct XML-RPC structures - XML-RPC is deadend tech.
- Just concatenate the strings you need (as documented in that gist) to generate an XML-RPC response by hand.
How do I test receiving
How do I test receiving pingbacks?
- Ask someone in IRC to post a note that links to you and pingbacks your server.
- Create a test wordpress.com account and try posting links to your own site on it.
- Note that several creators have experienced unreliable service and lack of useful logs, making wordpress.com less useful as a pingback test implementation (conversation in IRC)
- Send a pingback to yourself manually using curl. See this gist for an example
How do I test sending
How do I test sending pingbacks?
WordPress is perhaps the top target of Pingback spam. So much so that Akismet is about to shut off (or has already?) pingbacks. As cited above:
spam blog plagiarisms
Summary: There are spamblogs that simply plagiarize popular tech publications (WIRED, TechCrunch, etc.) and then send pingbacks to all the links therein. It's a real world problem that's already affecting us because the spambacks show up in IRC via Loqi.
Spammers install WordPress, then simply plagiarize (sometimes they reblog and link/attribute) others' blogposts with links and send pingbacks to all the links.
We've seen it happen in the IRC channel when spammers plagiarized the WIRED article to their own WordPress blogs and we started to see pingback spam from them (sadly the WIRED article itself didn't send pingbacks).
Note that when spammers can easily install a WordPress plugin for webmention, this same problem will start to occur on sites that accept webmentions.
A brief history of pingback:
- 2002-07-07 (C): Pingback concept described (but not yet named) as "automatic trackback" by Stuart Langridge - first automatic way to let someone know that you linked to their site.
- 2002-09-02 (T): Pingback term introduced by Stuart Langridge
- 2002-09-02 (I): Pingback first implemented by Simon Willison ( - presumed UK timestamp). Additional source: @t conversation with Simon in Brighton, UK 2013-09-07), second implementation by Stuart Langridge (presumed US/CA timestamp).
- 2002-09-04 (S): Pingback first specified by Stuart Langridge
- 2002-09-23 (S): Pingback 1.0 spec published by Ian Hickson
- 2003(?) Pingback spam takes off (needs sources)