Support » Fixing WordPress » Trackback spam question.

  • Can someone please explain for me (as though I’m five!) exactly how trackback spam works? I get emails saying “You can view this trackback here:” but I never see anything when I go to the page. So how is this helping the spammers?

    Color me confused! 🙂

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  • they just take it as a challenge to break through ur Blog’s defense mechanism.

    Surely there’s more to it than that? I can see the reasoning behind comment spam but I too just don’t understand this trackback spam and what they get out of it.

    OK some more searching led me to this which helped make it a bit clearer for me.

    “Apologies if I presumed too much knowledge in my posts. If you are using a blogging application, like WordPress, there is a facility called Trackback, whereby, when you are making a post in your blog, and you refer to a post someone else made in their blog, you can add in the trackback uri of their post (normally displayed at the end of their post) to your blogging software and it will send a notification (called a trackback) to them.

    When their blogging software receives this notification (Trackback), it displays the relevant part of the post in the comments section of the site – as my trackback (no. 67 above) is displayed.

    Spammers post faked trackbacks directly to the blogging software, pretending someone has posted about one of your posts, hoping your blogging software will automatically display their spam on your site (thinking it is a legitimate comment).

    I hope this clarifies the situation for you – I will post this on my blog, as well as here, and if you require further clarification, feel free to contact me.


    Tom ”

    Okay, that clarifies the “what” — but what about the “why”? The spammer’s info doesn’t appear anywhere on my site, no matter how many “trackback” notifications I get, so how is it helping them? What is their purpose?

    I only ask because I was inclined to just leave it be since to my untrained eye it seemed completely unsuccessful, but the fact that it continues leads me to believe they must be getting SOME benefit out of it, and if that’s the case, I want to know how to stop them.

    Do you have the trackback moderation plugin installed? If so, look in your moderation page, and the trackbacks will be there.

    I don’t, and I’ll definitely install it just for curiosity’s sake, but if I need a special WP plugin to see it on my moderation page, then how can it be useful for the spammers? My visitors don’t see the backend of WP, they just see what shows up in my blog or comments, and the spammer stuff isn’t there.

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    It doesn’t matter if it’s helpful or not. The spam bots just throw this stuff around at a million trackbacks per second in random directions in hopes that they’ll hit something.

    I, too, need the “five year old” explanation. I just got hit with trackback spam. (WP 1.2 installation). I’ve deleted wp-trackback.php to prevent future problems.

    Here’s where I’m the confused 5-year old. Unlike comment spam (sent to moderation in my installation) there appears to be nothing to delete on my WP website for trackback spam. Is that right? I want to be sure that I am not advertising online poker.

    Usually if the trackbacks actually appear on your site, they appear as comments. You would see them where you would see the comments. In my case, they didn’t show up there because I had the moderation plugin that pushed them into the moderation queue instead. If you aren’t running that, I don’t know why you wouldn’t see those trackbacks on your site.

    I have comment moderation running on my site, so I think I’ve successfully cleaned up the mess. My current WP 1.2 installation is buttoned down successfully by turning off trackbacks and moderating comments. I’ll get to go through the whole process again, I guess, when I upgrade to WP 1.5 this weekend.

    So as long as I’m moderating comments, these trackbacks won’t cause anything to show up on my actual site, and I can just delete these notifications and not worry any further about it?

    Thanks for the help, guys! 🙂

    Tyrnill, they are doing this to increase page rank.

    I am getting a ton of spam too. I will fix it when I figure out how…lol

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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