Picture this: You’ve put in hours of hard work creating valuable content for your blog, only to see your comments section overrun with irrelevant, often nonsensical messages. Welcome to the world of trackback spam.
This under-the-radar form of spam not only clutters your site but can also impact your SEO efforts.
In this article, we’re going to explore what trackback spam is, why it’s problematic, and how you can safeguard your website from it.
What is Trackback Spam?
Trackbacks and pingbacks are methods used by WordPress blogs to notify each other about links in posts. Unfortunately, spammers have exploited this feature to send thousands of fake trackbacks and pingbacks to unsuspecting websites. This is known as trackback spam or pingback spam.
How to Stop Trackback Spam in WordPress
Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks:
- From your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Discussion’.
- Uncheck the box next to ‘Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)’.
- Click ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom of the page.
Disable Pingbacks on Existing Posts:
- From your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Posts’ > ‘All Posts’.
- Select all posts, then choose ‘Edit’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down menu and hit ‘Apply’.
- In the ‘Bulk Edit’ box that appears, set ‘Pings’ to ‘Do not allow’ and then click ‘Update’.
Use a Plugin to Prevent Trackback Spam:
There are many WordPress plugins available that can help manage and prevent trackback spam, such as Akismet, Anti-Spam Bee, and WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam.
Tips and Warnings
- Disabling trackbacks and pingbacks will not prevent all spam comments, but it’s a significant step in reducing the volume. Other types of spam comments may require additional methods to prevent.
- Using a WordPress security plugin can help block suspicious behavior and reduce the chance of spam and other attacks.
- Regularly updating your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins can also reduce your vulnerability to spam and attacks.
- Always have a recent backup of your WordPress site. In case of any mishaps or a sudden influx of spam, a backup will allow you to restore your site to a previous state.
The fight against spam is ongoing.
Keeping WordPress and all plugins updated, and regularly monitoring your site, will go a long way in keeping your site spam-free.