Jan 22 2007


Published by at 11:58 pm under Tech

I used to wonder why people would want to use trackbacks. It seemed more like a gimicky stat for bragging or the paranoid. A while ago I had read an article from the start of google. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that pretty much told the tale of the power of trackbacks. Google based relevance on what they considered the basic web equivalent to citations, which was links. The more links you had linking to you, the more important or validation your page had. I don’t necessarily agree that that is the way things are, but google proved that in the context of the internet, it worked. They didn’t only use this, which is probably what corrected a lot of the egregious errors that you got with other search engines. It was really impossible to find what you were looking for with other sites, but google got it right.
Basically what google did was create the relevance for tracking trackbacks. You wanted to know who, or in the very least, if people were linking to you. Trackbacks just gave you the ability to verify when it happens. This built up the popularity of sites like technorati who built the infrastructure to try and track that information through the power of community.
There are some sites that aren’t sharing in this new commodity of the internet by not allowing indexing bots to follow the links from their site. Basically saying that we won’t feed the fuel to your sites popularity. I recently read on Kottke’s site that wikipedia has started to do this. They did have reasons for this. Basically the same thing is happening that made other search engines search quality deteriorate. Back then, the big thing was metadata. What you would get is people stuffing all kinds of metadata on their site just to attract people. Now people have to go to other sites to manipulate their sites relevance. This is wikipedia’s reason to implement such a selfish act. The funny part, and by funny, I mean sad, is that this likely won’t affect those that are spamming sites trying to get their mark out there, but it is punishing all the other sites. Likely it is going only be punishing sites playing by the rules and not trying to manipulate the system. It isn’t exactly the road to hell that these good intentions are creating, but maybe it is a slippery slope of sorts.


One response so far

One Response to “Trackbacked”

  1. [...] You get to see just how stupid some people’s ideas are. All I can think of is that this site is created by some right-wing, religious majority wackjob, or a group of right-wing, religious wackjobs (the more wackjobs, the better right?). Apparently The Doors, Metallica, Eminmen ( I can only assume this is because of that Grammy Awards performance), Nirvana, Nickelback, Audioslave and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are all either gay or spreading gay propaganda. I guess I’m totally fucked then. The good list points to a slew of Christian bands which makes it just that much more obvious where their agenda is.  Normally I don’t like to link to a lot of sites that I disagree with since in the world of cyberspace, links are power. But in some cases, they are just so ridiculous that they deserve to be pointed out. Link was from Ernie. [...]

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