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Are trackbacks spam?

Steve does think it is nearly close to spam if the originally posting is five months old. So an old posting is linking into a new one with the trackback. A bit strange I must confess, but is it spam? I do not think so. Jeremy linked to a posting which does matter. I think spam is linking to or from a source which has nothing to do with each other, so when there is no link or connection (on/in the content). So content which does not matter to the readers. That’s spam: content which does not matter to my readers on the topic I am writing about. Jeremy was linking to content which does matter to himself and to his readers, otherwise he would not have linked. Too much time,to search for your old post, set a trackback, post…..
And did Jeremy did it for more hits? Come on! Trust, is important. I would not have deleted such a trackback. No I think the other way round. Nice that someone takes the time to link to me. Let’s see what he is writing about and if I can comment on it.

In my opinion trackbacks are meant for:
– to let the other know that you built on on someone’s content
– to let the other know you are citing his content
– to start or build a conversation
– to give information to other readers that there is another posting which could be of interest in the context of your posting
– to build link love. Nothing wrong with that, letting another person know you like his content, his blog or what so ever. But again on content which is connected and in the context of the posting.
– building traffic? Oeps that’s a tricky one. But if the content again is connected, if the context of you topic is the same, if the trackback adds value to your or the other’s blog, no problem with building traffic I think. Readers see what is right or not. Trackbacks from odd things on posting are not seen as worthwile. Trackbacks which makes no sense on that particular subject or context do harm the writer of that posting (the sender of the trackback).

Normally trackbacks are from new to old postings. So I write this post and will set a trackback to Steve and Jeremy, because the content of my posting is directly connected to theirs. I want to let them know about my writing. I am part of the conversation then, adding my ideas.
But what about trackbacks from old to new. So I could set a trackback from a  posting some months ago to Steve’s posting of today. Would I do that? I think I could do that, to let the readers of Steve’s posting know that their is more content on this subject which might be interesting. The content is connected to the subject, so nothing wrong with that. I think as a reader I like that trackback, because I can also read what someone wrote about it (some months ago).
But I also could have updated my posting, saying hi I did a trackback or more fresh content on the subject. Could have done that. Or making a fresh one and saying: Steve has a great posting which I wrote about some months ago. With the links in place of course. Could have done that.

Yes I think in my case that is what I prefer to do: making a new post. But what I prefer need not be the same idea for other’s. So the Jeremy strategy: trackback from his old posting to Steve’s fresh one does not bother me. No it is certainly not spam. It has a meaning which makes sense with postings which are connected on the subject side. I, as a reader, like to know that Jeremy’s and Steve’s posting are connected. So what is the problem with showing that with a trackback? So both strategies are correct I think. But it is also the right of Steve to let this trackback not go live. It’s his blog.

Like more conversation on this? Try Bloglines citations, BlogPulse conversation tracker and Technorati (oeps).

About The Author

Hans Mestrum

Hans is al 12 jaar bezig op het gebied van Social & Media. Momenteel is hij vlogger bij de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN). Daarvoor houdt hij o.a. deze weblog bij met videoblogs van projecten, evenementen etc. Daarnaast schrijft hij op persoonlijke titel over trends, zijn (professionele) leven en overwegingen. Bekijk ook zijn profiel website

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Hans Mestrum

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