I saw an interesting tweet fly by today from Ozh in which he offered advice to ditch the Trackbacks all together on a WordPress blog. Which got me to think, do we really need trackbacks or have the become just another version of spam most of you like to get rid of? The question has been on the minds of people for quite some time now, but with the recent outburst of trackback spam I think the question has become quite relevant again.
Ozh mentiones a few reasons why he ditched the trackbacks all together:
- I get too much of them to have the time to check them all
- They make ugly […]anchor links[…] in my comment moderation queue
- A third (on my blog at least) are spam (mostly caught by Akismet hopefully)
- And when they’re not spam, 95% of the time they come from a website I can’t understand because I don’t speak that language
Personally I don’t receive that much trackbacks on my own posts to the level that it has become a problem, but I do notice more and more sites turning them off and not displaying them anymore. Now, I can agree with Ozh that trackbacks certainly don’t look very nice, but by separating the comments from the trackback and only displaying the titles of the blogposts that placed a trackback you can still keep it relatively clean.
One thing I have done, is by using the plugin No Self Pings, is disable all internal trackbacks. I don’t see the point and if it’s relevance you’re after there a much more sophisticated solutions for that such as the wonderful YARPP plugin.
If trackbacks aren’t your thing the easiest way to do so is to disable the ability to allow trackbacks via your Discussion Settings, but I’m curious what you all think. Does it add value? Do you still allow trackbacks? Are you receiving a lot of spam?