Here’s a topic I’ve covered many times over the years, but haven’t touched upon in the longest time. The catalyst for writing this article came from a brief discussion with a long time friend of mine about the gripe I have with Google and my blog articles.
Truthfully, Google sometimes feels like they hate me. Many times my article don’t show up within the first 300 links on there and it irks me to no end. In those times, I’ve learned that the only time I’ll find an article of mine is when I type the entire title of the article surrounded by quotation marks (that’s how you search for anything that has specific terms in the way you want to see them). Continue reading Linking 101→
Curse you Panda, Pony, Red Fox, or whatever all those Google updates are called. You’ve caused a lot of trouble to many of us bloggers whether that was your intention or not. And to all of you phony SEO folks; fie on you as well (sorry for my language lol).
What’s the deal? By now I’m betting that every legitimate blogger in the world has gotten at least one email from someone asking if you’ll remove a link from your blog because one of their SEO “experts” has determined that it’s hurting their website. You’re also probably correct, if you’ve thought far enough ahead, to know that probably 99.9999999% of those links are on your blog because of comments, not because you’ve linked to someone in your content.
Frankly, it’s irritating as sin, almost as much as those things on some blogs that are irking me to no end. In this case I didn’t do anything except write my blog posts and put them out for some people to hopefully enjoy. I didn’t ask anyone to comment, though I’m always hoping to touch someone in a positive way. I can block lots of spammers because they’re easy to spot. But I can’t blog legitimate comments, so to speak, from people who are paid to comment and wrote something that was actually pertinent to the post; at least I haven’t figure out how to do it.
What’s worse than these requests? Some punks have figured out how to take care of their competitors, whose commenters might have left pretty good comments, by writing you as representative of those competitors and asking you to remove those links because of what I mentioned earlier. What?!?!? Now we’re tasked with trying to protect others who did the sneaky thing and hired someone to comment on blogs for them as well?
What’s a brother to do? Well, in my case I’ve come up with some rules for how to handle this sort of thing. I did it mainly because most of the requests I get are directed at my finance blog, the one where I allow guest posts, and it’s those very same people who had representatives beg to have their posts included who are asking me to now remove their links, including comments with those links in them; the nerve!
You’re wondering what I’ve done? Notice that video below? Check that out and find out; yeah, I’m mean, but at least it’s not on my channel. 🙂
Trackbacks are those links that show up on your blog as comments whenever someone has linked to you in some fashion from their blog. WordPress gives you the option of whether you want to accept trackbacks or not, as well as the option of whether you want to send a trackback to someone else if you link to one of their articles.
by Eero Mäensivu via Flickr
There’s this theory about trackbacks that they add a lot of value to your blog. You’ve probably seen the talk about “one-way” links, which is when someone uses a link to your content without expecting one back from you. If we’re being genuine, most of us will link to source material to help explain or enhance something that’s in our articles from time to time. I often link to another blog when it offers me inspiration, but I will also link to something like CNN if they post an article that makes me think of something to write as well. To a website it’s not quite a trackback, just a link.
The thing about trackbacks is that they’ll show up on the post on your blog that someone has used for their article. It’s flattering in a way because it means that in some way, good or bad, you’ve touched someone, got them thinking, and made them just have to write something.
However, the problem these days is that most trackbacks seem to be spam. I wrote about trackback spam back in March and even shared what I was seeing. For awhile I turned it off through the GASP/Antispybot plugin and felt pretty good about it.
Recently I decided to turn trackbacks on again to see what I might be getting. I did that because I haven’t been seeing any new connections to or about me through the Dashboard – Incoming Links area. What I’m seeing are blogs that I’ve commented on at some point, but no one actually using one of my links in their post. I thought it might be because I’d turned off the trackbacks feature and wanted to see what came up.
Unfortunately it’s all garbage that’s coming. Only one legitimate trackback came through in two weeks, and it was from a blog post from me on one of my other blogs. Frankly that’s not really worth it in my opinion; I could get that same effect just in linking to myself on my own.
I bring this up because I remember some time last year talking to someone who felt that you honored other people by allowing them to have a trackback in your comments back to your blog. I said I wasn’t sure it was worth this new spam that comes, even if most of it goes to the spam filter. I think I’m going the route of totally eliminating it once more, and then hoping the incoming links module will show me if someone ends up talking about me. After all, I think when people do include links to your content that it’s an honor most of the time.
Once again yesterday I discovered that someone had pilfered one of my business blog’s posts from November and presented it as pretty much his own ideas. Well, maybe that’s not quite fair. After all, he did say he was reading a column that he had agreements with, then proceeded to write his post, using at least half of my words for his article. Kind of a rewrite, kind of a plagiarism that I still wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not.
I wrote a comment on the post saying I wasn’t sure whether to be mad because some of my content had been stolen, or happy that he had at least read the article. What I was thinking, however, is that I was upset that I hadn’t gotten any attribution for writing the article in the first place.
We all love having someone notice what we write. It’s pretty neat when people comment on our blog posts. It’s even neater when we find out that someone has written something based on an article of ours, and has linked to it in some fashion. Sometimes, even if they disagree with what we wrote, we love the fact that they’ve taken the time to talk about our stuff.
I like to think that I’m pretty good at linking to people whenever they write something that sparks a blog post to occur. I hope that whenever I do it that some of you follow the link back to the original article to read what that person had to say. I actually hope that sometimes you leave a comment there showing your appreciation for what they wrote, and mentioning where you might have seen the link to their post.
In retrospect, I might have been a bit harsh with the guy who wrote the post based on what I wrote back in November. After all, I found that same exact post on another site as well, and that site copied the entire post. That site has copied other total posts of mine as well; someone wrote me once saying it’s a foreign site that’s supposed to be similar to Digg, but I’ve never heard of Digg posting someone’s entire article. I could be wrong on that one.
I’m not giving these people a link, but if you want to see the site I’m talking about it’s here: luacheia.soup.io. And this is the direction to the latest post I know they took from me: luacheia.soup.io/post/33702719/Three-Syndromes-Consultants-Face. Part of me is wondering how many of my blog posts are on that site; I wonder if any of the posts from this blog are on that site. And in case you’re thinking about asking, I did write these people multiple times; no response. The hosting company is who told me they’re like Digg and that they can’t do anything about it; that just seems so wrong.
Blogging really is about community, in my opinion. When we can, we should open up our community to others whose stuff we read. Some folks do that once a week, like Kristi and her Fetching Fridays posts. But everyone doesn’t have to go quite this far. Think about how good you feel when you know someone has been inspired by you; do the same for others.
Blogging, Social Media, Writing, Motivation and General Stuff