The concept of trackbacks, a protocol by which different sites could notify each other of referencing links, first emerged back in 2002. Since then, the blogosphere has grown in leaps and bounds, but the requirement for each site to explicitly implement this protocol has always stood in the way of adoption. If only you could crawl the web and build an accurate link graph. The good news is we already do that at Google, and are now providing this insight to Google Analytics users.
If you’re not familiar with Trackbacks, then think of it as automated Google Alerts for all of your pages: you publish new content, we scour the web for pages that link to it and build automated reports for you right within Google Analytics - simple as that.
These reports provide another layer of social insight showing which of your content attracts links, and enables you to keep track of conversations across other sites that link to your content. Most website and blog owners had no easy mechanism to do this in the past, but we see it as another important feature for holistic social media reports. When you know what your most linked content is, it is then also much easier to replicate the success and ensure that you are building relationships with those users who actively link to you the most.
To learn more about the new Social and ROI reporting, take a look at our announcement last month, and also take a look at in-depth example of how to use these new reports to measure your user’s engagement in Google+.
Posted by Ilya Grigorik, Google Analytics team