Webmaster Stuff

How Effective are Trackbacks Today?

If you are not new to website promotion, backlinks building and Internet marketing, most likely you heard (or even used) of world’s first automated trackback solution Trackback Submitter. Used by a small group of webmasters for months, and released to the public in late 2006, it was the real sensation. Hundreds of pissed blog owners looked for methods to stop the software from automatically posting dozens of comments, trackbacks and pingbacks on their websites. (Un)fortunately, there was no 100% working solution to stop Trackback Submitter from doing its job (thanks to innovative trackbacks posting engine and integrated antispam plugins “killer”). The only working solution was disabling trackbacks completely (and also limiting blog functionality this way).

You must agree that disabled trackbacks were a huge disadvantage for blog owners and they had to look for a better solution. And some “gurus” found it – they started writing dozens of faked articles and forum posts about low value of trackback links. Some “experts” even wanted people to believe that having too many trackback links can cause a negative effect in website indexing and search engine rankings (yeah, right… it would be the easiest way to knock your competitors – just post links to their sites using trackbacks and their sites will be banned… who could ever be so dumb to believe in this…). Needless to say, only newbies and idiots considered these posts to be true, while hundreds of intelligent webmasters continued using trackbacks to build thousands of backlinks, optimize websites and knock the competition easier than ever before.

However, it’s no secret that the Internet gets changed every day, and yesterday’s website promotion methods may not work tomorrow. As you know, trackbacks and blog commenting worked fine since year 2006 (more details: Is Blog Spam Effective Today?) and these methods were still effective in year 2008 (more details: Testing Effectiveness of Trackback Submitter and Blog Comment Poster Strikes Again!), but do they work today? Let’s find out!

It’s no secret that website indexing and ranking takes weeks or even months, so this experiment was started almost 4 months ago (in early November 2009).

Test Equipment:

  • 10 new domain names (without any important keywords in their names) ordered from ResellerClub;
  • Shared hosting accounts (located on 3 different servers) from DimeReseller;
  • Trackback Submitter software (version 5.4, released on September 2009);

Test Goals:

  • Promote 5 sites using automatic trackbacks posting software, and promote remaining 5 sites manually (time consuming);
  • Sell affiliate products/services from Plimus and sell someone’s Forex trading ebook with resell rights via 2Checkout gateway on all sites;
  • Compare the difference (if any) between manually promoted and automatically promoted websites;

Enough chit-chat, let’s get started! First of all, I built 10 new websites using free and simple templates from All domains had a similar amount of pages (from 10 to 100 internal pages, depending on category) and keywords related to the same niches. Two days later I started promoting all domains using these methods:

Manually Promoted Domains (5 Websites Total):

  • All domains were submitted to major search engines manually (no automatic submitters in this case);
  • All 5 domains were linked together (each of domains had links pointing to other 4 domains);
  • New accounts were registered on 10 forums and backlinks to these domains were added in signatures. Each of accounts was used to make at least 10 posts per forum;
  • Link exchange requests were emailed to 50 webmasters. 12 of them were interested in doing links exchange, so each of domains got additional 12 backlinks;

Automatically Promoted Domains (Remaining 5 Websites):

  • All domains were added to Trackback Submitter software for automatic backlinks posting using trackback protocol;
  • No more actions were performed and no more tools were used;

Probably you won’t be surprised if I say that no single sale was made during first week of the experiment. A small number of orders was placed later, and this number was increasing a bit every month. 4 months later it was time to compare final results. Sure, I could write day-by-day statistics here, but nobody would be interested checking hundreds of records (please remember that the experiment took almost 4 months), so I decided to output results the smarter way. Sales were grouped by month, and you can see detailed reports below. Check these out:

Manually promoted sites: Report #1, Report #2

Automatically promoted sites: Report #1, Report #2

The reports show that both types of promotion methods had very similar results during startup. To be more specific – almost no sales. However, a few weeks later Trackback Submitter promoted websites obtained a large number of backlinks and started winning over manually promoted pages (which took twice longer to reach the minimum payout level on 2co gateway). The real beauty and effectiveness of automatic website promotion became visible a bit later and went stronger and stronger every month due to dramatically growing number of backlinks.

If you look at the pictures carefully, you will see that number of sales was going lower and lower on manually promoted domains. Why did it happen? The answer is simple: both types of sites used similar keywords and these domains were competing against each other. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that automatically promoted domains quickly outranked manually promoted domains and took visitors and sales over. Sad, but true…

The Conclusion:

Recent experiment clearly shows that manual website promotion still works, but it simply can’t be compared to automatic promotion methods which are much more effective today. But that’s not all. Even if you spend months building backlinks and promoting websites manually, your competitors can will outrank your domains as easy as 1-2-3 using automated SEO tools, and there is nothing you can do. Even if you hire some people to build backlinks for you (not only time consuming, but also very expensive), competitors can install another low-priced yet effective website promotion tool and laugh in your face. So what should you do?

The answer is simple – if you can’t beat them, join them! Why should you waste your time and money trying to move your sites higher in SERPS and attracting more visitors (who can be converted into income) using strategies of your grandmother? Thanks to innovative website promotion tools, you can get even better results at lower costs and work smarter, not harder now. Automatically promoted sites had at least 3 times higher traffic and income than other sites, and only one SEO tool was used. Now just try to imagine how webmaster’s earnings will look like if he uses 2 or more tools at the same time…

Frankly speaking, I don’t say that you should buy all website promotion tools available, but it won’t hurt you to try some. If you are unsure how to select the best software for your niche, I’d suggest reading Webmaster Book (extraordinary website promotion and money making guide) first to prevent embarrassing mistakes and learn how to get more for your dollar. Honestly, I believe it’s the only way to survive… Now it’s your time to act!