Trackback Spider Review

What Does Trackback Spider Do?

From what I have read on the pre-release materials, it sends trackback notifications to create one-way links to your website.

That means:-

  • You are not being referenced on the site sending the trackback
  • You are not being linked to by the site sending the trackback

This is Blackhat, lots of tools have been available for this kind of thing in the past, and this kind of software is actually fairly unpopular even among most shady web masters.

Fortunately it is not very effective on active blogs for a number of reasons.

  • It is becoming much harder to monetise sites which are using trackback spam. Bloggers tend to be quite vocal and keen to report such sites to Google.
  • Blogspot uses linkbacks – even splogs have to reciprocate a link – Google should really provide a way to moderate linkbacks.
  • WordPress has a number of good solutions to handle trackback spam – my favorite is Spam Karma which always checks for a reciprocal link, and my installation also has quite a growing blacklist.
  • Most bloggers who receive a trackback actually check them

There might be some minor success on old abandoned WordPress blogs, and maybe abandoned blogs on other formats, but those generally are low quality, and fairly low traffic.

So even if you want to wear a black hat, this type of tool is becoming more and more useless daily.

Disclosure: I do have some past history with the developer, as I purchased Domain Dashboard his previous product, and whilst many people were satisfied, I have never managed to get Domain Dashboard working consistently for all my domains, the product hasn’t been updated for months, and support was unresponsive.
I didn’t ask for a refund – if the product had worked with my various hosting plans, it would have saved me a huge amount of time daily. Maybe in the future it will, because I am thinking about moving a lot of my hosting.

I don’t think there is much of a legitimate market for this new product. Most people I know who dabble on the dark side already have similar solutions, and those who I would look on as “grey hat” don’t dabble with this kind of trackback spam.

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  1. says

    Blogspot uses linkbacks – even splogs have to reciprocate a link – Google should really provide a way to moderate linkbacks.

    They do Andy. You can delete backlinks that you do approve of. My only beef is that you have to be viewing your post to see the links, there is no panel that you can go to view them all through. Makes it tough to catch spam with.

  2. says

    I’ve always wondered about how effective such trackbacks would be. It seems that, like spam, such techniques wouldn’t be in use if they didn’t actually work. Perhaps only a tiny percentage of a very, very large effort need “stick” to make the whole effort worthwhile.

    • says

      It is about as effective as comment various forms of automated commenting – over the last 2 years I have studied other people’s sites that were promoted primarily through comments, and they are still ranking in all 3 major engines, even though they haven’t made any effort for the last 12 months for the term. Top 10 on Yahoo and MSN

      There was a huge amount of discussion on the Howto Forum about it, and I even once wrote a post around the time of the New Orlean’s flood suggesting there are occasional specific ways were certain causes or promotion methods could be looked on as legitimate for commenting using a targeted system.

      I would hazard a guess that many people taking part in the Technorati Fave train were actually just using an automated commenting tool, searching on technorati favorites, and automating their comments. I did catch a few that were little too fast in posting a comment to be human.

    • says

      As a blogger, I think trackbacks can be pretty effective, if they are legitimate. In my opinion, Fake trackbacks have no real importance.

      I can still recall the day when I got around 800 visitors from TechCrunch for leaving the first trackback.

  3. says

    But there would be value to a service that managed auto-trackback/pingback for references/links within a legitimate blogger’s post, no? TOS could bar automated splogs etc. The time savings alone is almost worth paying for.

    If we rely on existing clunky trackback tools, we miss 99% of the interconnected thought across posts. Unlocking those hidden references should accelerate knowledge/perspective exchange and probably increases commenting as well. Crazy?

    • says

      There are a few service like that already, Haloscan being one, and that could be used probably in an illegitimate way.

      It is really only blogger, and possibly Typepad blogs that are meant to issue trackbacks and don’t where there is a problem.

      Plus one fundamental problem, encouraging people to link to posts or with blogs that have autodiscovery switched off, such as, you have to know how trackback links work on WordPress, normally /postname/trackback/

      Just spotted your reply to a previous comment on your blog, we can continue it there a little ;)

  4. says

    The only benefit I can even imagine someone getting from a fake trackback would be a slightly better search engine ranking. But even then – 99.9% of blogs are ‘nofollow’. That said, yours isn’t Andy, so get ready for the onslaught. ;) Hehe…

    – David

    • says

      Well with Spam Karma I never have problems with fake trackback, they never get through. Legitimate trackbacks from people repurposing content does get through, and I tend to block those if they aren’t doing it in a useful manner.
      I do get to edit manual entries occasionally though ;)

  5. says

    By default NucleusCMS’ trackback does not allow a trackback to show up if the Spam API flags it OR it fails to find a link to the item. Result pages and pages of junk that never get seen. Evn before I releaslised some one was spammng the living crap out of my site (TB spam doubles my bandwidth per week) I had exaclty none show up.

    On the subject of domain Dash – I’ve never heard of it but never-the-less lets talk features. Mayhap I can produce a competitor (that works) ?

  6. says

    This reminds me of referrer spam; it serves no useful purpose except to aggravate the website owner and separate fools from their money.

    My blogs have been trackback spammed for quite a while now, but none actually makes it through. For my OptiNiche blog, I actually enable trackbacks selectively on certain posts — that combined with moderations, plus Akismet traps them all before they see the light of day.

    As already mentioned, the only reason these people do it is because of the 1% rule. Basically, it will make it through on 1% of the blogs and these spammers don’t really care that these blogs are worthless or have no traffic, they just want the back link.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, but bloggers do need to be ever vigilant.

    ~ Teli

  7. says

    It may not be a correct place to mention, but the most benefit I have ever experienced was from the trackbacks from PRWeb but I think even PRWeb may have some problems with spam trackbacks.

    Andy, do you ever plan to post a detailed tutorial about Spam Karama? I never used it on my blog but today after installing it it ate up some legit trackbacks with good number of comments just on the “default” settings. I am moving trying to move my blog to K2 and math plugin will not work, so I am on the hunt for Spam Karma tutorial. Have you come across one? If not maybe in one of your future posts you can write a little about it. So far all the Spam Karma settings and configuration like a rocket science to me.

    • says

      Yes I am aware about page views. I do not have that many comments on my blog so I do not expect the difference to that significant- unless it is going to affect Alexa ratings? Oh well I am going to give it a try anyway.

  8. says

    Thanks Andy I have just been getting emails about this trackback spider for the last 3 days. I was poised to buy but thought I best research, glad I found you! I too bought domain dashboard I got it working but never use it … Just like my exercise bike

  9. Kim says

    There is one trackback tool that claims to get around Spam Karma.
    Here Never tried it but learned of it after using Trackback Spider.

  10. says

    I was tempted to invest in Trackback Spider and your article quickly reminded me that white hat (whilst tedious) will return the best long term results.

    Thanks again!


  11. says

    Hi Everyone

    I’ve been trying to get a refund. even after three requests they still took another months subscription! All I get is autoresponder messages so am going to take up a dispute though Paypal.

    I’m pretty new to internet marketing. Perhaps you would like to vist my blog

  12. Robert Barrington says

    Well, I never got to download the product after I paid the $97 through PayPal. I am in the process of asking for my money back. I made several calls to 866-855-6614 and several emails to and all I got was more spam to buy. I paid the money got booted off the site and never got to download or read anything. When I try to log in with my username and password all I get a page saying that the positions are closed and if I wanted I could be notified when some positions will open again. It’s a scam.

  13. says

    There's always something knocking around that promises the earth and Trackback spider seems to be the latest to new miracle cure for link building laziness!

    I have to say the sales info looked tempting but I'm not a big blogger so a lot of the detail went over my head and I'm sure that's what happens to a lot of people.

    Just glad that you made the effort to sound the alarm Andy and people time and money.


  14. says

    I just hate seeing wool pulled over people's eyes.

    If a “Blackhat tool” is marketed to blackhats, fair game – some of my best online friends are blackhats, or former blackhats