I’ve often touted the benefits of trackbacking. It’s a useful strategy, particularly for new blogs, for a number of reasons:
- You can usually garner some link juice from older, more established websites and gain valuable inbound links from relevant, high PR sites
- Trackbacks can be a good source of new traffic and new, loyal readers
- It engages conversation between professionals within the same industry
- Can save your butt when you borrow snippets from other blogs because a trackback is a form of attribution
While trackbacks can be good, there are some dangers to receiving the trackbacks of others and bloggers who get a lot of trackbacks should be very careful about which ones they approve. I recently had to go back and delete several trackbacks and comments that I’ve received over the months due to those comments and trackbacks hurting my search engine rankings.
Yes, it’s true. The wrong kind of trackbacks can ruin your SEO. Here are some reasons you might want to not approve specific comments are trackbacks on your blog:
- The trackback goes to a site that is a link farm
- When you click on the URL of the commenter you get a 404 page
- The comment or trackback is very generic and doesn’t add anything to the conversation
- You visit the site leaving a trackback and all they have there is your content and nothing else
- You try to visit the site leaving the comment and you are redirected to another URL
- The site linking to you is in another language
Many people leave comments that are legitimate, but many others do not. Some of the comments I deleted this morning from this blog were from scrapers who lifted my content and linked back to me without providing any other value to readers on their blog. This provides no value to you or your readers. They are just trying to steal your traffic. I also deleted comments from sites that redirected me to another URL. I think I am going to an Internet marketing blog and I end up on a camera sales page. Not good. These redirects could hurt your rankings. Broken links will also affect your rankings so get rid of those.
The most interesting comments I got were from bloggers who blogged in another language. These blogs are probably legitimate and likely won’t hurt my rankings at all, but they are written in another language. The blogger leaves a comment in English and links to a Russian or German site. I do not speak Russian or German, and I’m assuming that most of my readers don’t either. If the site provides no value to your readers then you should think twice about approving the comment.
When it comes to comments and trackbacks you have to be diligent not to approve every one. Bad inbound links can kill your site faster than good ones can benefit it.