As a blogger, you’ve seen it. Tons of spam infesting your blog and wasting your time, and most of it’s coming in via your trackbacks (trackbacks, or pings are an automated means of notifying another blog that you’ve quoted them, by posting a comment and a link back to your blog), hitting your older posts, and basically robbing your site of it’s dignity.
I’ve noticed over the past few months that more and more bloggers are simply turning off the trackbacks – and Steve Rubel say’s their dead. I’ve left them enabled, but I fear it is inevitable that I’m going to have to eventually turn them off. Perhaps there’s a technological answer, such as handling trackbacks through a verification service (do you hear me, Technorati?).
So here’s my question: I generally link to a lot of blogs. At best 50% have trackbacks enabled, so I generally get no love in return. And when I do, there’s at best a 50% chance that Technorati will see it and apply it to my Authority Ranking.
Technorati is the defacto search engine for blogs, not Google. Just last week they added a new widget to their site that lets you see the “Authority Ranking” for each blog. That number is directly related to the number of blogs that link to you. There is no other qualitative analysis – it strictly goes by incoming links from blogs which are also listed in Technorati.
That’s the crux of my misgivings: if trackbacks and pings cease to exist, then we’re only relying on in bound links as a measure of how Authoritative we are. Hence while I may have 15 years of web design experience, Technorati will tell you that a blog that’s written by a newbie, but has tons of in bound links due to his wonderful pictures of Anna Nicole, is 10 times more authoritative. And we know that’s simply not true, especially if you’re looking for information on web design or anything other than Anna Nicole.
In watching my traffic stats, I am continually astounded by the number of drivebys (one time visits, that bounce at one page) searching for “Small Farm Animals.” Even worse, there was one term I used in a post two weeks ago that I am utterly disgusted to say has reached the top 5 of incoming search terms for this site.
Good blog posts: