Dubious Trackbacks

Recently I’ve seen an increase in trackback SPAM to my blog here, and it is something that you need to be aware of. Remember that not all of the blogs that link to you are worthy of an approved trackback. Btw. trackbacks are according to my buddy Wikipedia:

A Trackback is one of three 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.

SPLOG Trackbacks

So what these authors of SPAM blogs, or SPLOGS for short, then ping a post on your page, and even take some of the content in a quote. They then link to the content once or twice. So are they really worthy of a trackback ? Normally yes, but if I find that a blog only contains posts like this, I will label the trackback as SPAM. A few days ago I posted some Preblogging updates , and this morning I saw that I was pinged by a few services, have a a look at this post here (note nofollow link) for an example , eg. 2. Essentially this person is stealing a little of my content, and a little of lots of other peoples content, in an effort to create a worthwhile blog. Their aim is also to get some link love via track backs and increase their number of visitors to the blog and hopefully ad revenue eventually.

A lot of these SPLOGS run automatically, and can interact with services like Technorati to find content from a particular niche. They can generate hundreds or thousands of posts, like the one I showed you, in a very should time. Some of them may even look like a real post when you see it first, but you should check a few more posts on the blog. Before approving a trackback, you should always take a quick view of the site that you are linking to.

Fighting against SPLOGs

what are trackbacks ?

One of my favourite thing to do when I come across a SPLOG and they have Google Adsense, is that I report them to google for copyright infringement and mention that they are splogs and reference where the content is from originally. See the image to the left for an idea of the report. I don’t think one report alone will get them banned directly, as far as I’ve heard, Google uses these reports to tweak their algorithm to be better at automagically detecting infringers. I mention this so that you won’t be annoyed when you go back a week later and see the person still using Adsense.

Remember, if you find that you have trackbacks on your site from SPLOGS like I mention, do remove the links, don’t leave them there. You don’t want to give any traffic to these spammers !

5 thoughts on “Dubious Trackbacks

  1. Like you, I’ve been seeing a lot more of these in recent weeks. They correspond to a recent traffic boost, maybe around the same time I entered the Alexa top 200k.

    I don’t approve them when Akismet catches them, but I usually let them go if they slip past the SPAM filter. I guess I’m just not that offended by their existence, and the higher comment counts make me happy even if I know it’s junk.

    Of course, some of them are kind of obnoxious. I know the text is autogenerated and pulled from a list of garbage, but when they quote your post and then add that they disagree or that your blog is of little value, I have to wonder why. Why couldn’t they just create an auto-splogging program that only says nice things about the blogs they are quoting? Crazy idiot sploggers.

  2. The thing is Rich, if these guys get traffic by having links on your website then they have accomplished what they set out to do. And they will continue doing what they intended to do. I would prefer to have no comments on my posts than to have those SPAM trackback comments.

    I don’t think I have really gotten any more traffic from these SPLOGS. Their goal is to get their organic visitors to click on their ads, rather than to visit my or yours sites. They are in effect stealing your content and potential visitors.

  3. Apart from giving traffic to them, you might have a little chance of getting banned by Google as well if these sites are going to get banned.

    As Google webmaster guideline puts it, linking to a banned site might get your site banned as well. This is why we need to remove these trackbacks.

    Other than deleting and reporting them, you can install plugins like AntiLeech to go against them.

  4. A lot of these seem to be using a splogging program that a get-rich-quick ebook was selling. The thing is that unlike pure scrapper splogs these “Here’s a quick excerpt” splogs are within copyright rules and Google rules. Sad but true. The best thing is to report them to Akismet and/or use a CAPTCHA.

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