Beware of trackback spam

Beware of trackback spam.

This is my warning to everyone but first, what is a trackback? Trackbacks are like a notification that somebody linked to your page. Here is an example of a trackback. Joiz’s post linked to my post, HostTracker – Free website monitoring service, so a trackback was created.

Example of a trackback image

It makes me happy knowing that somebody mentioned me in their posts. It can also add traffic to your blog since their visitors might click that link to your blog. However, nowadays, trackbacks are being used by spammers for their own benefit.

How do spammers do these?

Basically, they just copy your content WORD BY WORD, say that they found it somewhere and paste it to their blog. After that, they will put advertisements in that blog hoping that your visitors will go there and click on their ads. Here is an example,

The World’s Fair wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptSilkenhut Reaching Out Issue 18 Posted on November 20th, 2007 in Reaching out by Allen Another late issue for reaching out! Oh well… on with the links! [IMG :D]

As you can see, my post was copied. Even the headers of the posts were not spared. My name, category and the date when it was posted is there.

How can we stop them?

  • If they are copying our websites through feed scrappers (copying the content from our feeds) and posting it on their website, we can use a wordpress plug-in called Feed Footer. What this plug-in does is to add a customized message in your feeds that will show up only if that feed was scraped. You can add a copyright on those messages, a taunt or something interesting that will clearly show that the content was stolen from you.
  • If they are using the traditional copy-paste method, then you have to manually check if the trackback is from a spammer or not. All I do is first visit that site who linked to me, and if I see that that post is just a copy of my post, then I just press the SPAM button on my comments management. The trackback is gone. Although I can’t stop that spammer from stealing my content, at least I’m not linking to him anymore.

Btw, Akismet is doing a good job in capturing trackback spam. I combo Akismet with Spam Karma 2 for more spam protection.

9 thoughts on “Beware of trackback spam

  1. thanks for this kind of help. naging aware tuloy ako. keep up the good work allen!

  2. yay. di ko alam to ah.. at least aware ako.. kahit for wordpress ung feed footer.

  3. Be careful with them. I usually delete those trackbacks on sight. I even tried commenting on the blog that copies my content hehe ^_^

  4. thanks for the warning allen.

  5. John Wilberforce says:

    Thanks for the warning and the tips!!
    I’ll be very careful about this in future.

  6. Spammers have become really creative nowadays. Oh well. What’s the worst thing that can happen, right?

    • I think, spammers have yet to steal identities of authentic commentators and write spam in the comments.

      Imagine someone using “benj” and writing about drugs and stuff… hehe

  7. Thanks for the tip.. Ussually I am just deleting the, when I see that it is not really a nice link.

  8. I never thought about using this for my blogs. I have been trying to keep track of spammers who are doing this because I have had published articles that were stolen and looked similar to what you posted above. When I do a trackback to someone else’s blog, I will often give the name of that person and the link to the blog post that I found interesting. I never copy and paste the other persons post not even a little bit, this lets them know that I found their post interesting without having to steal their content.

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