Nickelbacking

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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.

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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.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.