Trackback_Spam_Explained

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					Trackback Spam Explained

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Summary:
In most blog applications, there is a feature called Trackback, which
allows the user to send a trackback or notification to a different site
or another blog that the user referred to in his own blog. Its main
purpose is to notify another site or weblog that you are talking about
that site or weblog or its contents in your own weblog. Blog applications
WordPress and Movable Type, to name a few, have this facility. When the
blog's owner receives the notification through his or...


Keywords:
Internet, Online Business, Internet Business, Spamming


Article Body:
In most blog applications, there is a feature called Trackback, which
allows the user to send a trackback or notification to a different site
or another blog that the user referred to in his own blog. Its main
purpose is to notify another site or weblog that you are talking about
that site or weblog or its contents in your own weblog. Blog applications
WordPress and Movable Type, to name a few, have this facility. When the
blog's owner receives the notification through his or her blogging
software, the said software will display the pertinent part of your blog
post in their website's comments section.

We might all have experienced receiving tons of spam email, and more
recently, many bloggers have received blog comment spam through their
personal sites. Trackback spam, on the other hand, is yet another
underhanded means of some Internet users and Web-based entrepreneurs to
promote their business, and consequently gain income. Moreover, this is
what they do to establish links to their own sites on other websites, in
order to move their sites up in page rankings of Google search engine.
Essentially, trackback spam are bogus trackbacks, a false notification
that someone actually posted on their blog about a post on your blog, in
hopes of having your blogging software show it on your blog site.

With more and more people cashing in on Internet technology, trackback
spamming has been on the rise, with some blogs receiving hundreds of
trackback spam everyday. In order to avoid being tracked down, trackback
spammers use botnets of different computers to distribute their trackback
spam, while none of those computers host the exact domains promoted in
any of the trackback notifications. In effect, the IP address of the
domain that appears in the trackback is different from the IP address of
the specific computer that distributed the trackback notification.

A basic thing to have in order to avoid trackback spam is a solid
comments policy for your site. Basically, you want to still be able to
receive and host comments without giving in to those who may want to try
to ride on your site's readership. Moderate the comments and trackbacks
that your site receives on a regular basis, so that only the genuine ones
get to be viewed by your site's followers. Some guideline questions in
moderating trackbacks on your own are: Is it relevant to the post or the
blog in general? Does it help in stirring reader discussion? Is it
decently written and not worded offensively? Does it add to the topic
and/or clear up misunderstanding? If the answer to all these questions is
a resounding yes, then the trackback in question should probably stay. Of
course, the choice of allowing any kind of comment or trackback to appear
on your blog is entirely yours, being the blog owner. Still, you probably
don't want anonymous spammers messing up your blog with misleading
trackbacks.

Fortunately for the common blog user, blog software creators, such as
Movable Type and WordPress, have developed advanced but easy ways to
prevent trackback spam from winning the game. In MT, for instance, you
can control the comments and trackback settings in such a way that
trackback spam displaying sites from the same webhost domain can all be
blocked. For example, separate trackback spam showing active links of
http://pay.soiledshirt.com and http://bid.soiledshirt.com can both be
blocked by including http://soiledshirt.com in the blocking list.

Meanwhile, in WordPress, trackbacks go through quite a handful of filters
so that trackback spam is blocked. Using anti-spam technology developed
by Google, WordPress is programmed in such a way that trackback spam are
put up on the blogs with all included links are given the “nofollow” tag.
This is done by the system automatically, and no input is required from
the WordPress user for his or her blog to have this function. In effect,
a trackback link has no bearing on a website’s Page Rank score, because
the search engine will sidestep each link that has the nofollow tag.

Perhaps a most valued means of blocking trackback spam is to check, or
have your blog system check, if the notification’s corresponding domain
IP location does not correspond to the IP address of the computer that
sent out the notification in actuality. In MT, the user can opt to use
this method of moderating spam automatically by accessing its plugins
page, clicking on SpamLookup, and then Show Settings page. On this area,
find Advanced Trackback Lookups, and select the option to “Junk
trackbacks from suspicious sources”.

As to the matter of stopping the problem right at the source, not all may
know that some companies actually make a living on offering generating
trackbacks and comment spam as a service. Those who do have voiced out
their concerns, and as such have publicly criticized the nature of such
services. Some creative minds have had the courage to demonstrate online
that even paying for this kind of service, discounting all trackback
restrictions does nothing but damage to a company’s business. Because
blog software developers are getting better at protecting their users
from unwanted backlinks and comments, those companies buying trackbacks
are just wasting money. This seems to be a promising means of preventing
any more trackback spam activity, because businesses owners are reminded
that there are better ways to spend their money than buying spam
backlinks and comments.
The alarming thing about this trackback spam activity is that more
software and services for preventing trackbacks are being generated and
made available for a price, outside of the more popular blog software
developers. As it may happen with viruses and virus detectors, is it not
possible that the best solutions come from the root of the problem, or
the propagators of spam, themselves? If it is, then it is also possible
that the profit from these solutions go to the spammers themselves. In
any case, as long as spamming propagates, bloggers will need to take
precautions, and blogging software developers need to take heed, lest
every blogging experience becomes bad for everyone.

				
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posted:3/2/2010
language:English
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