Is Trackback Dead?

[Note: If you’re not a blogger this post will most likely be too “inside baseball” for you. Feel free to skip it completely.]

Imagine my surprise to find various pronouncements (here, here, here, etc.) that trackbacks are dead. I’m not buying it… tracbacks work fine.

Have spammers started using trackback? You bet.

Will they use whatever is proposed as a replacement for trackbacks? Absolutely.

The funniest thing to me are discussions about such things as making sure comments are not rewarded in Google’s Page Rank, which is supposedly what the spammers are after [See the rel=nofollow discussions]. I’ve seen as much spam as the next person (in fact probably more), and the one thing I’m sure of is that attempting to use logic to explain the motives of comment/trackback/referral spammers is useless. Logic and spammers have no have no relation to each other. For all we know the whole endeavor is some massive Texas hold ’em dick measuring script kiddie game… Attempting to discern their motives is futile.

I’m not willing to scrap trackbacks because the combination of MT 3.14 and MT-Blacklist 2.0 does a very effective job of dealing with both comment and trackback spam. About the only feature missing is trackback moderation, which would shut the door on the majority of trackback spam.

One of the features that I would loose by closing down trackbacks is the inline trackbacks feature, and I’d suspect that other bloggers (especially those linking to Wizbang) wouldn’t want to see that feature lost – it drives too much traffic. I’m all in favor of adding Technorati links for each post; in fact I pioneered it in July 2003 (comment enable version of the post), but it’s not the same. I still believe that sites that do not accept tracbacks (i.e. InstaPundit) should list the Technorati Link Cosmos for each post, but history has shown that if you can send and receive trackbacks you can increase your traffic.

And it’s all about traffic….

Debbie Gibson Naked
For some things, there just ain't no curing...


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