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What is a Trackback and How to Deal with Trackback Spam?

What is a Trackback and How to Deal with Trackback Spam?

Blogging is effective when it receives interactive comments from other bloggers. Every blogger desires to receive lots of comments in relation to his subject. But, this doesn’t bring any benefit to the blogger who comments on other’s blog. Every blogger expects his subscribers to witness his comments. Hence, he comments in such a way that his content can be viewed by his subscribers, and the content can be checked by the target blogger too.

This is done by providing a link to the target blogger’s post, which also lets the target blogger to choose it as a comment in response to his post. This interactive process is called as trackback. As a general idea is not enough to know as to what is a trackback and the details about it, we have discussed it in details.

What is a Trackback?

what is a trackbackTrackback is the procedure of interaction between two blogs. In simpler words, it is a process allowing one blog highlights its comments, which is in connection to another blog, in front of its subscribers.
Gaining the attention of a remarkable amount of bloggers, trackback has lately been a source of sending spam that harms a blog. Therefore, bloggers seek for measures to deal with these spams.

Methods to Deal with Trackback Spam

Having a clear idea as to what is a trackback, it is quite easy to understand the measures of dealing with trackback spam. Given here are the most effective methods to deal with trackback spam.

Preventing Trackback Completely

There are a couple of ways helping bloggers completely prevent trackback option from a blog. Following the principle “Prevention is better than cure”, this method prevents the trackback content from entering a blog. This method is suitable for bloggers who desire the utmost security of their blog. Discussed here are the methods of preventing trackback from new posts as well as from existing posts.

Trackback can be completely prevented from new posts by making some easy customization. To do this, you can login to your WordPress administrative panel and click the Discuss button under the Settings tab. Here, you can find a “Default Article Settings” area. Simply uncheck the second box as the image showed in the following.

Default Article Settings

Note that this practice can block all the trackback spam on your future posts. As for the existing posts, you have to remove them manually.

To do this, you can delete them one by one from your WordPress sites. Or, you can make use of a SQL query. For this, you should firstly log into your control panel and then enter the phpMyAdmin. Here, you can find a SQL tab. Click it and enter the following SQL query to disable trackback features of WordPress.

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'closed' WHERE post_status ='publish' AND post_type = 'post';

from new postsThe majority of trackback comments and notifications are received on an old or existing post. Most of the webmasters find it a hectic task to find and remove trackback spam from existing posts. However, there are two easy ways of preventing spams from existing posts on a WordPress site.

Firstly, you can go to different pages that contain posts and disable the trackback option one at a time.

Or,you can visit the “Posts” menu by logging into the WordPress admin. Click on the Screen Options available in the top right portion of the screen. Customize the frequency of posts views as per the amount of existing posts and click on the “Select All” box. Then, click on “Edit” tab presented in the Bulk Action Dropdown menu. Lastly, check the “Pings” dropdown and select “Do not Allow”.

The two methods are preferable by different bloggers depending upon the size of their blogs. Method 1 is appropriate for blogs that have only a couple of posts whereas Method 2 is recommendable to bloggers who have too many posts in their blog.

Minimizing Trackback Spam

There are tremendous numbers of bloggers who desire to interact with other blogs and websites. These bloggers look for a technique, through which they can maintain the security of their blog without bargaining with the trackback procedure. As disabling the trackback feature is not a preferable option for them, the most effective thing that can be done is minimizing the trackback spam.

Presented on the internet are tremendous numbers of plugins that facilitate in avoiding trackback spam without causing any harm to the genuine trackback procedure. These tools filter every incoming message to avoid the spam ones effectively. Discussed here are some of the most popular plugins that minimize trackback spam.

It should be noted that all the plugins follow the same procedure for installation in WordPress, i.e. the developer should upload the file on the WordPress blog and activate it from the admin panel.

Simple Trackback Validation

This plugin provides an effectual service by checking if the IP address of the trackback sender and the IP address of the trackback URL server are same. It helps in detecting whether the trackback is original or program-generated. Also, it checks whether the website actually is supposed to be linked to the user’s post.

simple trackback validation

WP-Hashcash Extended

When compared to the Simple Trackback Validation plugin, this plugin is relatively less effective because it only checks the IP address of the trackback sender. However, it is preferred by bloggers as it minimizes an appreciable amount of spam.

Anti-Spam Bee

Anti-Spam Bee is used by thousands of WordPress users because of its premium features. There are several customizations that can be made in order to ensure a high level of security from Trackback spams. The features of this plugin are effective enough to minimize the trackback spams from the WordPress site successfully.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.