Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Sunday, October 30, 2005
Trackback Etiquette?
A question for you, Freshblog readers, re: the etiquette of the trackback.

Let's say blog A writes about christmas, & blog B does the same without either a reference or a link to blog A. Is it still OK for blog B to trackback ping blog A?

Is that legitimate traffic-driving? (same topic, after all)
Is it spam? (you're getting a link without giving one?)

I think I know what I think....

Filed in: , ,
Posted at 2:26 PM by John.
10 Comments:
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Blogger Wayne Leman said...
Is it still OK for blog B to trackback ping blog A?

No, not unless blog B refers to blog A in the post on blog B.

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Blogger John said...
That's what I thought too!!

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Blogger JM said...
agreed.

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Blogger Jim said...
Okay, I have a question. But first I'll give my answer to yours: Blog A should link, or at least quote, A. Even if it's about Valentine's Day and not Christmas.

My question: Is trackback only about driving traffic, or are there deeper conversational issues there? I know I often enjoy following trackbacks, and in the case of the Forbes article following tb's on others' blogs has been quite informative, even when I didn't use the insights in my posts.

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Blogger John said...
It is absolutely a tool of the conversation. The point as I see it is to be able to connect your post with the posts that inspired it, and therefore to find yourself a part of a larger dialog.

So here's the dilemma & back to the question. If you ping a blog you haven't referenced, but your post is about the same thing, are you simply taking part in the conversation or are you elbowing your way to the bar and leaving your fingerprints places they don't belong...

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Blogger JM said...
Your elbowing-your-way-to-the-bar analogy is a good one. Unless there's a clear relationship between your post and the one to which the trackback ping is sent (which usually comes through saying something like "John wrote [blah], which I'm now going to talk about" and following it up with a ping) then you're just glomming on.

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Blogger Jim said...
Oh, and I just noticed my typo in that previous comment... though you obviously picked up that I meant Blog B should quote or link to Blog A. I feel better now.

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Blogger Willow said...
I'm relatively new to trackbacks. I use them if I directly reference someone's specific post. Otherwise, if I just want to mention their blog, they just get a link. And if I don't mention them or their blog, then I'm hanging out there all by myself.

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Blogger Singpolyma said...
I'm not all that familiar with how trackbacks work, but from my estimation it seems that their general purpose is to notify a blogger that you have linked to his post without cluttering his comments, so you need to link to him for this to make sense

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Blogger Mojotek said...
Tell you the truth, I'm still a little in the dark about trackbacks. Using Haloscan, I could see some parts working, but never really got the concept.

Now, that I'm only using Blogger comments, it seems even more obtuse.

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