Whatever Happened To Pingbacks?

In the good ol' days of blogging, when your blogpost was mentioned on another site, you would receive a "pingback". A sort of meta-comment you could display which said "So-and-so's blog has linked here."

It enabled you to see who was driving traffic to you, if a "big name" had noticed you, and gave your readers a sense of where the conversation was continuing.

Of course, it occaisionally got abused by spammers, but it was still fairly nifty.

Last week my blogpost on Fake BBM Reviews got picked up by some fairly high profile sites - sending around 14,000 new readers to me. Sweet!

The first I knew about it was when I started getting hundreds of pingbacks from content farms.

Fake Pingbacks-fs8

These are sites which "borrow" content wholesale from popular websites and place it on their own sites. Sometimes they automatically translate it.

I got something like 200 pingbacks from these spam-havens, but nothing from The Next Web, Information Week, CNet, Network World, ars technica, The Verge, Gizmodo, or any of the other legitimate sites which covered my story.

I'm really glad they all covered the story and exceptionally grateful they linked back to me. I'm not even especially fussed about those sites which lifted my screenshots. But it would have been nice to get a pingback - if only to let readers know who else was talking about it.

Or, am I just old fashioned? Are pingbacks dead?

3 thoughts on “Whatever Happened To Pingbacks?

  1. Anon says:

    I hated scrolling through an endless list of pingbacks peppered with occasional actual user comments..... glad they're dead, hope they never ever. EVER. come back.

  2. says:

    After turning off the display of pingbacks on my site due to the high spam, little content, it seems stupid that I would then have my server loop from all the links and check to see if it could leave a pingback against them only for the others not to show them either.

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