Tips for Tricky Trackbacks
January 29, 2013
Trackbacks have been a feature on Typepad for more than a decade, created by our Founding Fathers to allow bloggers to keep track of who links to their posts and helping to build a growing community.
Unfortunately, spammers have abused the Trackback feature, using it to insert spam links on blogs - a phenomenon that we know many of you have experienced lately. As a result, many blogging services have stopped supporting Trackbacks entirely over the past few years, and Typepad is amongst the most recent to phase out the feature. We know you're tired of dealing with spam, and frankly, so are we.
Social networking and SEO have grown exponentially over the past several years, and today there are plenty of replacement options that offer lots of bang for your social buck without the risk of spam. Features like Facebook Like, Reblogging, and the option to add a post as a favorite are all great ways for your readers to endorse your posts. In fact, there are even more options available for sharing in the post footer - check it out.
Though we're phasing out Trackbacks on a global level for all Typepad blogs, we know that many of you will want to disable Trackbacks now, and we've made that easy for you.
You'll probably want to edit your older posts, since that's where a lot of spam comes from. To do that, go to Blogs > Posts, scroll down to the bottom of the list, click the Select All box, then in the More Actions menu, choose Do Not Accept Trackbacks, and click Go. You'll need to do that for each page of posts on your list, so go to page 2 and repeat the process.
Once you've disabled Trackbacks for existing posts, you can change the default setting for new posts. At Settings > Comments, uncheck the box to accept Trackbacks on new posts and click Save Changes, and you're all set. Once you've disabled Trackbacks on your posts, the Trackbacks link in the post footer and Trackbacks heading above the comments will not display.
We're standing right next to you in the fight against spammers, so we hope you'll take this opportunity to talk to us about it in the comments! Let us know what you think - we're all ears.
Thanks. I got my first spam trackback yesterday and it really puzzled me. Thanks for the heads up and I agree...they are not necessary.
Posted by: liza cowan | January 29, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Does getting rid of trackbacks basically mean you can't reply to comments anymore? I really don't know what trackbacks are.
Posted by: Mary Nguyen | January 29, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I'm glad you're disabling trackbacks but this process for doing it right away is too cumbersome. I have at least 28 pages of posts, and I have to check the box next to each on before I can disable trackbacks. No way! Please take care of the universal disabling as soon as possible. In the meantime I have set my blogs to require me to accept any comments or trackbacks, so the spam trackbacks aren't being published.
Posted by: Susan Trivers | January 29, 2013 at 05:10 PM
I have been accepting trackbacks for the longest time. Thanks for the heads up on that. Much appreciated!
Posted by: A Twitter User | January 29, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Hi Mary! Trackbacks and comments are not related. Disabling Trackbacks on your blog posts will not impede your ability to comment on the same post. Let us know if you have any other questions. We're happy to clarify further!
Posted by: Jen | January 29, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Hi Susan! Trackbacks are held in moderation by default, so you should not see any spam Trackbacks published to your posts without your permission. If you were seeing Trackbacks published to your blog, let us know by opening a ticket at Help > New Ticket so we can investigate.
We understand it's a pain to edit the post settings 20 at time. We're working on the retirement of Trackbacks entirely so you don't have to make the changes to the post status yourself.
Posted by: Jen | January 29, 2013 at 05:20 PM
I had to also disable a fair amount of pages for my blog.
If you go to the bottom of the page there is a blank box that you just click on and the entire page is marked for you. It is located to the left of the PUBLISH, DRAFT AND DELETE BUTTONS. Click on the empty box and a check mark will appear on al lthe items listed on your page. Then go to the select box and make your choice. It's easy and quick.
Posted by: A Twitter User | January 29, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Thanks for dealing with this, I was getting inundated with Trackbacks. I'm happy to see them go, as I was never quite sure what they were or how to deal with them anyway.
Posted by: Charlotte Dixon | January 29, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Gerry, Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try.
Posted by: Susan Trivers | January 29, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I have 106 x 20 pages to do this for??
Posted by: Love My Dress | January 29, 2013 at 07:50 PM
I'm just a little confused.
Because I started a separate blog a few days ago. I didn't have my trackbacks on and I wasn't able to reply to specific comments. When I did it simply replied without being threaded (and therefore making it confusing to whom I was replying) I was only able to get the threaded replies when I enabled trackbacks.
Am I misunderstanding something?
Posted by: Mary Nguyen | January 29, 2013 at 07:53 PM
"You'll need to do that for each page of posts on your list, so go to page 2 and repeat the process."
Yeah, tell us when you've disabled entirely. For very old blogs with hundreds of pages, this method would take me hours.
Glad you're attacking tho.
Posted by: Graham Holliday | January 30, 2013 at 05:19 AM
It's really not as time consuming or as difficult as it sounds. I've been disabling trackbacks for quite some time, because I didn't like the look of it when the option was displayed at the bottom of my posts. When I made this decision, I went back & disabled it on all my previous posts. It really didn't take that long...
Posted by: Eniko DeLisle | January 30, 2013 at 07:56 AM
Are you confusing Trackbacks with Typepad Connect by chance? Typepad Connect is the comment system which allows you to enable threaded comments. Trackbacks are not related to Typepad Connect comments, so if you enable Typepad Connect, you are not enabling Trackbacks.
If you just created a new blog, Trackbacks are disabled by default, so you may not have ever seen Trackbacks enabled.
For all the blogs attached to your Typepad Profile, Trackbacks are not enabled, only Typepad Connect comments.
If you have any questions about a specific blog's settings, let us know the blog in question. You can open a ticket in your Typepad account at Help > New Ticket if you don't want to share your blog here.
Posted by: Jen | January 30, 2013 at 08:13 AM
For context, I had 39 pages of posts. It took about 20 minutes.
Posted by: Jennifer | January 30, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Thanks. I have over 70 pages. Think I'll wait until they just turn it off.
Posted by: Graham Holliday | January 30, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Oh. No this was my fault. I did confuse the two. Duh, silly me. Thank you for your prompt and helpful responses.Even with tickets you guys are really on top of responding. Thanks.
Posted by: Mary Nguyen | January 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM
I'm glad we were able to figure this one out, Mary! Let us know if you need anything else.
Posted by: Jen | January 30, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Thanks a million! I've occasionally got trackback spam but this wasn't much of a problem as I set trackbacks to approving before publishing. I've also decided to automatically close comments after two weeks. And yet, I've recently got spam on the comments of a recent post. As I don't wish to approve comments before publishing, I believe it's very frustrating! I unpublished the spam comments , of course, as soon as I was online. I thought spammers were notorious for leaving their spam on older posts!
Posted by: Anastasia | January 30, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I'm with Susan. I have over 134 PAGES to scroll through and disable. ugh.
Posted by: Account Deleted | February 01, 2013 at 10:56 AM
I went to settings>comments and accept trackbacks was already NOT checked. (I never did understand what they were, so I never did want to accept them.) However, within the last two or three days I have started getting emails from you (Typepad) saying someone left a Trackback on one of my old posts. The e-mails say they were unpublished" whatever that means. (They are all from spammers.) Do I really have to go through my 50 or so pages of posts and check every single post to say 'do not accept trackbacks"? Really? It was never checked "accept" to begin with.
I've gotten only a very few spam comments on my posts...I think you guys do a real good job of filtering those!!! For which I thank you.
Posted by: Sallie (FullTime-Life) | February 01, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I have 1661 posts on over 85 pages of posts to go through to disable. I've suddenly been getting about 25 trackbacks a day, after 7 years of rarely getting one. What is up?? I hate spammers. Going through page by page to disable trackbacks is a lame way to do this, I'm sorry.
Posted by: Rachel Anne | February 02, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Hi Sallie! Looks like some of the older posts on your blog still have Trackbacks enabled. Disabling the option to accept Trackbacks on new posts, only impacts newly created posts and not existing posts. This is results in the need to go back and disable Trackbacks on older posts 20 at time from the Posts list which is time consuming if you have a lot of posts. You can opt to leave your settings as is and wait for the Trackbacks feature to be retired entirely which we are currently working on.
Since Trackbacks are not published to your blog by default, you can simply ignore the spam Trackbacks as it will have no impact on your blog. The number of comments and Trackbacks saved in your blog does not impact your account storage.
You may want to disable the option to be notified of new Trackbacks to prevent the emails from Typepad. At Settings > Comments, uncheck the "Notify the author of the post when new TrackBacks are submitted" box, and click Save Changes.
Posted by: Jen | February 03, 2013 at 10:34 AM
TypePad HTML Email
Thank you for the quick answer Jen.. This answers my questions.
I think I’ll wait until you guys get it retired entirely. (I tried doing
it manually on my older posts, but I’m getting older by the minute and I’d
rather use my time to create a new post ;)!
Posted by: Sallie (FullTime-Life) | February 03, 2013 at 11:14 AM
TypePad HTML Email
Oh, one more question which may or may not be related. Do you happen
to know why I suddenly stopped getting e-mails notifying me of comments on my
posts? (This started ...or rather, stopped...the day before
yesterday.) I wondered if it might have had something to do with my going
in to disable trackbacks manually. Don’t really see how that could be
related, but it’s odd that it happened on the same day. (I did create a
help ticket on this issue.)
Posted by: Sallie (FullTime-Life) | February 03, 2013 at 11:18 AM
I've always thought Trackbacks were useful. Actually, I still do. The features you mentioned above are nice to have, but they are not substitutes, since they do not have the same functions as a Trackback.
There are currently 1,164 Trackbacks classified as SPAM in one of my blogs, which means your anti-SPAM filter was doing a pretty good job. Until last week, at least. It seems to me that you have disabled this filter since then, because I spent the last weekend deleting almost a hundred e-mail notifications.
So, dealing with a huge (and growing) amount of SPAM seems to be the real issue here - and a fair one - but we, the clients, should not be penalized for that.
You might have thousands of clients struggling with the same problem here, which is having to edit dozens of pages. Therefore, on behalf of everyone else, I ask you earnestly to find a more practical solution to deal with this problem.
Maybe the sections with more than one page (such as Comments and Posts) could have an option that could apply an action to ALL items, and not only those on the current page. Would that be hard to implement?
Thanks in advance, Rodolfo.
Posted by: Rodolfo Araújo | February 05, 2013 at 09:27 AM
Seems like your anti-SPAM filter is not working properly.
Posted by: Rodolfo Araújo | February 05, 2013 at 09:28 AM
Yikes! Our site's been up for years and we never ever had visitors set Trackbacks -- now we've received something like 25 in the past two days. What gives?
Also, we already had our Trackback function turned off in "Settings" -- and we're still receiving Trackback spam.
Posted by: EarthShare | February 05, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Wow that nice , now we can get rid of spam post.This makes our blog heavier and even a big headache for the blogger admin.
Posted by: leanport | February 11, 2013 at 06:16 AM
Glad I saw this information. I've had this blog for over 5 years and never had a trackback. Now like others here, I've had over 3-5 spam trackbacks a day. Is there a way for me to "select all" of my posts instead of going through each page and individually selecting posts?
Posted by: Marian Casey | February 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM