All Pingbacks Must Die

I’ve had my last pingback spam.

Anyone who has a blog knows that the comment feature is what makes a blog stand out from a plain old Web site. The comment feature is what makes a blog interactive, it’s what gives readers a chance to share their point of view or additional information about a topic. It gives them a chance to ask questions and get answers.

The comment feature works with the pingback feature. Pingbacks (which are often referred to as trackbacks) are machine-generated “comments” that are added to a post when another blogger writes a post that links to it.

Huh?

Discussion AreaOkay, think of it this way. You’re blogger A writing post 1. Blogger B writes post 2 that includes a link to post 1. A comment appears on post 1 that links back to post 2. This is all done automatically in WordPress (my blogging platform of choice) if — and this is a big if — you left the Allow Pings option turned on for post 1. You can find the setting for this in the Discussion area of the Write Post administration panel.

Unfortunately, the pingback feature also makes it possible for sploggers to get free links to their sites. A splogger builds content on a blog by stealing it from RSS feeds. Their goal is usually to get hits on their Web sites, which are full of Google AdSense ads, but they sometimes are part of a “link farm” that boosts search engine ranking.

The problem lately is that my sites have been attracting more pingback spam from splogging sites than real pings from legitimate sites and bloggers. These must be manually deleted, since my spam prevention software doesn’t seem able to catch them all. And frankly, I’m a little sick of spending each morning deleting six to twenty of these comments.

So I’m going to stop writing posts with the pingback feature enabled.

And if you’re having this problem on your blog, I recommend that you do the same.

2 thoughts on “All Pingbacks Must Die

  1. Like you, I’m getting these darned pingbacks – half a dozen per day over several blogs. I’ve been thinking of turning them off altogether too, but haven’t *quite* reached that point yet.

    Some posts seem to trigger them more than others.

    What amazes me is the speed – sometimes I’ve had pingbacks within minutes of posting an item.

    Miraz’s last blog post..TiKouka in bloom

  2. My recent posts about the trip to Las Vegas and the Westin Casuarina attracted about a dozen pingback spams. One of them appeared within 4 minutes of a post’s publication. I think the word “casino” triggered them.

What do you think?