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Saturday, October 18, 2003

Pinging Trackbacks Broke Google But The Register Readers Show Quick Fix 

Trackback, a utility from Movable Type that web bloggers are using to let readers note they have read the associated post, is causing tremendous changes in your search results at Google. The reason is that this ping caused by trackback creates a whole new ostensibly blank page linked to the contents of the associated entry. This might be a useful enhancement for the individual blog author, but it creates chaos at Google's results.

The Register did a test with a search term on both AltaVista and Google, and though the AltaVista top-ten results were all credible and active links, seven out of the top-ten Google results linked to blank trackback pages.

This is only one of the problems with Google these days. They have another big work-around scheduled as they figure out what to do to shut out the Page-Rank manipulators who figured how to raise their rank in the results by having linked similar pages and from mining keywords.

The Register readers offer two simple fixes to help amend your results. The first is to add '-trackback' to the search query. The other proposed solution is to add this variable to the search at Google: '-mt-tb.cgi' and we can only hope Google is listening.
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