On Blogging: Are Pingbacks A Pesky Problem?
“There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination you can get there.” Darren Rowse
Happy Holidays to All! It’s a pity to address this subject just before Christmas but, on second thoughts, it is not. What is a Pingback? Pingbacks are, as WP.com aptly put it, remote comments; a key way of linking and acknowledging similar posts by fellow bloggers. They are not useless, spammy comments meant to irritate the recipient, but another way to give a shout-out to a blogger. This link to WordPress.org gives more information on the distinction between spam and pingbacks. When a fellow WordPress blogger – Blogger A – sends a pingback, the primary purpose is to notify us that a similar post has been created and our post compliments it. The final decision to acknowledge or reject the pingback rests with Blogger B; no quibbles, no acrimony.
All pingbacks are not created equal; some are like weak pingball players and others like Rambo, so discretion is advised. If a pingback is on an unrelated topic, the easiest solution is to delete it. Sure, there are other important concerns we might have about spoof pingbacks and denial of service attacks, and those issues are reminders why we must be vigilant about the pingbacks we send and receive. Plus, Akismet does a fine job of helping us separate the wheat from the chaff.
In the four years I’ve been blogging on this platform, we have been blessed with an impressive selection of support tools and features; themes, Publicize, Likes, pingbacks, reblogs, mobile apps, Zemanta and more. All are meant to help us connect, communicate, and enhance our exchanges in our blogging community. Back in the days before we could send pingbacks via Zemanta and the Daily Post, we would write a post, then scour the internet looking for related topics. Now we have the ease of referencing other posts with a click and a copy. Is that a problem? I think not but, in fairness to those who object to pingbacks, there are common courtesies or a blogging etiquette we can observe with this practice.
“Blogs are a great way to monitor and even participate in the chatter about your new site.” Mike Davidson
For starters, don’t send random pingbacks and be careful to avoid passing on spoof pingbacks. Next, it is rude to send a pingback and not visit the blog in question. I rarely send a pingback without checking out the post first. I visit the blog I’m reaching out to and read the post… even if it takes me several days to visit. Visit the blog and read the post. I do that for all my pingbacks; including those from the photo challenge. When I do the photo challenges, not only do I visit and Like or Like/Comment on ALL the blogs I mention, I do same for other participants of the challenge.
Visit, read, and acknowledge the other blogger with a Like or a comment or both. The point of the pingback is to connect us with each other and keep the community connections and conversations growing. While it makes no sense to use a pingback when a post has nothing in common to offer, it is a helpful, productive tool, and I’ve never viewed it as something used to manipulate others. When in doubt, delete. Does it bring us more traffic? More below!
“The influence of blogging is overall a very positive force in the media.” Garrett Graff
Does it bring us more traffic? A pingback sent to the Daily Post page, and/or blogs generated by Zemanta, exposes our blog to others and produces some traffic. When we ping other blogs and share our posts with our social media connections or, better yet, with authoritative sites, we get some traffic too. But overall, I can tell you that when I look at my daily traffic on the days of the challenge, it is definitely not massively increased by pingbacks sent to fellow bloggers. Also, a pingback doesn’t steal your traffic or expose your blog to voodoo priests; It’s a simple hello, so there’s no need to question the veracity of the sender. Our pingbacks/trackbacks are “no follow” which means that you don’t lose any traffic juice or hits. Traffic building is both effort and organic anyway… I’ll address that in another post.
I thought you’d find this interesting: Of the pingbacks I send from my photo challenge posts, a good percentage of those folk don’t reciprocate. When I’ve gotten lots of feedback, it has come from my visiting and supporting lots of other blogs participating in the challenge. Some bloggers think pinging is black magic, but think of it this way: When you add 95 related posts from the Daily Post page to your photo challenge post and hit publish, maybe 40 of those folk show up and the rest might/might not trickle in over the next few days. The rest of your traffic must come from other venues, and the effort you make to expose your blog to friends, family, subscribers and through social media connections, will make a difference. A pingback from a fellow blogger might annoy you, but it is neither spam nor a pesky problem… Go ahead, share some blog love this season. Remember, you are in control, and can always hit delete! Enjoy the festivities! Merry Christmas to All!
What do you do with pingbacks? What are your thoughts?
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!
This post is encouraged by the Weekly Writing Challenge post for this week: Weekly Writing Challenge: Just Do It! Your challenge: post every day for a full week. We’re excited to see what you’ll post about — be sure to tag your post DPchallenge so that we can follow your progress. Feeling extra saucy? Write about your experiences overcoming procrastination. The tip or trick that inspired you to consistency might be just the thing to spur a fellow blogger to blow the dust off their blog and get to work.
Positive Motivation Tip: Ping Me, Ping You. Spread the blog love but be vigilant.
- What Goes Around, Comes Around: Writers, Artists, and Musicians Promoting One Another (lindathorlakson.wordpress.com)
- Bublish, Authorgraph, Pingbacks, Cool Stuff…And Goodbye (carrierubin.com)
- Please Moderate: New Pingback (Is this Spam?)| Zebra Designs & Destinations
- This is Only A Test About Pingbacks|The Panama Adventure
- Featured blog: Three Wise Men (zemanta.com)
- WordPress Pingback Vulnerability Can Be Leveraged in DDoS Attacks (ehackingnews.com)
- Pingback Bug in WordPress Can Be Leveraged in DDoS Attack, Router Reconfiguration (hotforsecurity.com)
- Blogging Trackbacks, Pingbacks & SEO (beanstalk-inc.com)
- WordPress Pingback Vulnerability (acunetix.com)
- On Blogging: Are Pingbacks A Pesky Problem? (eof737.wordpress.com)