What Does Nickelbacking Mean?
Nickelbacking refers to a relatively obscure type of URL redirect on the Internet. The term describes a practice in which a user clicks on a link or other cue, only to find that the device loads a YouTube video from the Canadian rock band Nickelback. In other words, Nickelbacking involves deceptively naming links in order to trick a user.
Techopedia Explains Nickelbacking
Nickelbacking seems to have originated with a June 2012 post by a Mashable editor referencing a Tumblr link that led to a Nickelback redirect. Many other online venues have commented on the phenomenon, comparing it to an older meme known as Rickrolling, where the video used for this sort of bait-and-switch was a performance by pop icon Rick Astley.
One of the main criticisms of Nickelbacking is that the YouTube video in question contains a preview ad, which changes the entire dynamic of the interaction. Where other types of redirects feature videos that immediately spring up on a device, users viewing the Nickelback video need to wait through an ad to see the actual video clip.