Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Dropping trackback

From looking at what everyone else is doing, the cool thing right now to do to your blog is to drop trackback and replace it with something like Technorati Cosmos. I’m wondering whether to follow suit.
The fact is, lately I’ve been getting very few legitimate pings. Of those, a number get filtered out by SpamLookup, which I’ve had to adjust to very low settings to actually make it useful. That, unfortunately, means I’m more vunerable to trackback spam attacks. I seem to spend more time sorting out problems with trackbacks than comments, even though I get far more comments (typically 5 per day) than trackbacks.
I’ve added a ‘incoming links’ section to the entry pages which polls Technorati for blogs that link to that entry – I’ll see how that goes and if I feel it is better than trackback will make changes accordingly.


  1. I was planning on dumping trackback when I work on my templates this weekend. I receive too few “real” pings to make the headache worthwhile.
    Congratulations to all the trackback spammers who killed an otherwise interesting idea!

  2. I don’t know if there is problems or I haven’t been hit as much, but I have had no trackback pings at all for over a month. I haven’t had any comments either.

  3. Any chance we can see the code you’ve added to check for the Incoming Links?

  4. I’d be interested in having a peek at the code as well.

  5. I think I only get valid pings from you andMike Mcbride – rest is spam. Mind you mtblacklist catches most.

  6. I’ve turned off trackback for all the blogs I host save for my own and the only reason that’s still on is because I’m a volunteer support tech for ExpressionEngine and we’ve been testing it. Soon that may be turned off as well.
    I’m hoping the next version of EE will include an option to have trackbacks auto-shutoff after so many days similarly to how comments can be configured currently. If that comes to pass then I may set things up so that trackbacks will only be accepted within the first two or three weeks of the entry’s life as that’s about the time frame for legit trackbacks to show up.