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Alert: Possibly Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs

WordPress.com News has activated a feature without warning that has many up in arms of protest, making it one of the least welcoming additions to WordPress.com.

Since the beginning of WordPress.com, one of the most requested features has been the ability to showcase related posts from our own blogs. WordPress.com has activated this ability, but the links link to WordPress.com blogs, not our own.

This is bad for many reasons, which I’m sure you’ve already thought of. No control. Implied recommendation or endorsement. Inappropriate links. And a lot of confusion for our readers who believe we choose these links or that they will lead to links on our blog related to what we blog about. I’m sure I missed some other bad reasons for not liking this new feature.

It’s important that we link to other bloggers, especially others within the WordPress.com community to support and encourage them. It’s wrong to do so without some control.

You can read the announcement, Possibly Related Posts, on the WordPress.com blog.

My apologies to those who have been led astray by these links in my own blog posts. Thank you to everyone who brought this to my attention, worried something was wrong. I even had a couple people warn me that my blog had been hacked as the links were definitely inappropriate. Thank you for worrying and watching out for me and my blog.

Note: According to a comment Matt Mullenweg made on a forum post:

In the next few days we’ll have an update that allows you to block specific blogs from showing up, and eventually that setting will also apply to the tag surfer, blog surfer, and top blogs so when you block a blog you should never see it again.

With 3 million blogs – albeit less than a million active – I don’t have enough life to block all the blogs that show up as “possibles” in every list on every blog post. I cannot imagine the implementation of such a process. I’d rather choose who I link to than have to exclude them.

Among the links on my blog posts here that I tested before turning off the feature, the average was 2 in seven links per post having a vague relationship to my content. The majority of the links went to non-English blogs, blogs no longer updated (since 2006 in several cases), and totally unrelated content, such as an article about a WordPress Plugin for creating, among other things, related posts, linking to A Third of Patients On Transplant List Are Not Eligible from the Washington Post. I just learned that the Washington Post has blogs on WordPress.com, but what transplants have to do with WordPress…well, it’s anyone’s guess. Either way, 28 percent average “success” rate isn’t good enough for me. Nor is adding to my workload.

To Turn Off Related Posts on WordPress.com

To turn off the new related post feature on WordPress.com blogs:

  1. Go to the Administration Panels > Design > Extras.
  2. Check Hide Related Links.
  3. Click Update.

Possibly Related Blog Posts feature on WordPress.com

Have Your Say on the New Possibly Related Posts Feature

If you are not a fan of the implementation of this related posts feature, let your voice be heard. Many are reporting links to inappropriate blogs and content, and some worry about where these links are sending their readers.

You can comment on the following WordPress.com Forums discussions:

Create Your Own Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs

I share how I manually create my related posts at the bottom of my blog posts in Which WordPress Plugins Does Lorelle on WordPress Use?, Adding a Signature To Personalize Your Blog Post, and WordPress.com Blog Bling: Signatures and Writing Code.



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61 Comments

  1. Jersey
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    So far, nothing inappropriate has shown up on my blog, but I turned off this feature just after reading how you stated that some links went to inappropriate material and content.

    People ask for links to related content…isn’t that what tags and categories are for, to connect articles that are related in subject? Or do people want articles that specifically related to each other to just up post-article?

  2. Posted April 26, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    @ Jersey:

    Tags created by WordPress.com automatically are also not restricted to your blog content or content under your control. It is to the general WordPress.com community, which also leaves these wide open to whatever is out there, which is why I don’t emphasize them but also manually create my own site search “tags” at the bottom of all my blog posts.

    I think it is critical to offer the ability to link to related content, if we can control the destination and not link to inappropriate or useless content. I’d love it if this feature was restricted to my blog content and my blogroll. That would be VERY cool and no one offers that kind of control.

    I don’t link to my blog posts which don’t have the “answers” even if they are slightly related. I want to serve the best content to my readers. They trust me to do so, and call me on it when I don’t. I like that. :D

    For me, it’s about integrity and reputation. I want my readers to know that I’m working my hardest to give them the best and most accurate information they need to know. I’m not going to risk that, and I know they appreciate it.

    But I also have been looking forward to the “community” within the WordPress.com Community to be recognized and honored. Tags aren’t it. Nor are “possibly” related posts, especially without a warning that tells the reader that I, the blogger, have no control over where these links may go.

    Community needs to happen outside our blog, within the WordPress.com Forums, within a new architecture that connects like content together, helping us learn who is blogging about the subjects of interest or related to our blog content. I want to learn from them, not someone who just happens to write one post about how to blog and then writes about nothing but repairing old cars.

    I want to go to the experts. If I’m working on repairing an old car, I want to go to those who have spent years passionately repairing and rebuilding old cars. Right now, tags don’t get me there, nor do searches. I only find isolated content, not collective, community content.

    WordPress.com has to go there, but they aren’t there yet. Almost three years and I’m still waiting for the community.

  3. Posted April 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Lorelle, as always, for bringing these important issues to the public’s attention. I happened to be online when this announcement was made, and I turned the feature off as soon as I could. Quite frankly, these WordPress.com folks seem to forget that many people have very professional blogs hosted on WordPress.com. For example, San Mateo County, California, the county that I live in, hosts a blog for its Elections Commission (a very professional-style blog) on WordPress.com (via the domains paid add-on). However, they aren’t yet aware of this new change, since when you go to their blog, there are some fairly inappropriate posts being displayed under the “Possibly Related Posts” thing about elections happening on the other side of the world. What kind of a place does that have on an official blog run by a government organization? Particularly when the formatting of those “possibly related posts” is such that it looks as though it’s a part of the actual content?

    This is a very inappropriate feature that was recklessly planned and implemented by the WordPress.com folks. This feature should have been opt-in (not opt-out) and should have been beta tested to receive the appropriate feedback before it went live. This is going to cause a lot of grief for bloggers who are now going to be embarrassed that they are using WordPress.com for their content and is going to encourage them to look elsewhere, unless the WordPress.com folks get their act together and start acting more professionally themselves.

  4. Posted April 26, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    @ Douglas Bell:

    Excellent point! It’s important that we control our content, and this is a prime example. Thanks for helping us see the road more clearly!

    I understand their intent, and I’ve wasted a lot of breath begging for a related posts feature, but I had NO idea that they meant posts not of my own creation. I do hope they fix this soon so we can benefit from such a feature while having some control over the results.

  5. Posted April 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    awesome. now to get that put into the self hosted wordpress version instead of having it as a plugin.

  6. Posted April 26, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle I am officially stalking you tonight, Woopra, BH and now here

    Yes I worry about content quality, I wouldn’t put a Digg top headlines in my sidebar, or even Techcrunch headlines.

    They should have gone the javascript route, but then the related links wouldn’t have given juice to your own content.

    You can only hope that the relevancy will improve with time with some way to block sites.

  7. Posted April 26, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I’d like “possibly related” but only if I can select the blogs searched for related material. In other words I don’t want to have to screen out, I would rather “select in”. I know which blogs are likely to have related content that I like and more important, trust. With gazillions of blogs out there, it’s about who you trust if you are in this long term.

  8. Posted April 26, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    This is why I host my own WordPress blog. Full control!

  9. Posted April 26, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    The more I think about this the less I like it.

    Firstly, as someone on the forum mentioned, the opt-out page is confusing. When I saw the announcement yesterday I immediately went to the ‘Extras’ page and saw that the box wasn’t checked. Experience and precedent (with Snapshots and Snow, not to mention every single online form I’ve ever filled out ever) tell me that checking the box activates the feature, so I left it alone. It wasn’t until tonight that I realized that this one’s backward; a checked box means deactivated this time. That’s a little underhanded, especially considering how many wordpress.com bloggers are Penguin kids who aren’t going to think this through.

    Secondly, the links are styled to look like the author put them in intentionally, much as you do here, Lorelle. No indication that they’re Sphere-added content, no indication that you might not have anything to do with them. Again, underhanded. Misleading to the reader.

    Third, you the author have no control over what your post is linking to. As I found a few minutes ago (and posted in one of the threads you linked to in your post), one blogger’s admonition of people seeking out pictures of a teenager’s underthings led directly to a picture of a teenager’s underthings! That’s beyond unacceptable. (And no, I’m not going to report every reportable blog I come across. It’s not my job to make sure WordPress.com’s links are appropriate.)

    Finally, one of the biggest reasons I moved my blog off of wordpress.com (my old blog just has one post that points people to my self-hosted blog): The direct attempt to pull people away from my blog. Again, the links are misleading. If I’m at a blog and I see links identified as “Possibly Related”, my first thought (after “Why possibly?”) is that the links will be to more of that blogger’s content. NOT to someone else’s.

  10. Posted April 27, 2008 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Actually, this was prematurely (I guess) revealed when the new “dashboard” was surprised. It initially affected only one theme. There were other issues noted, such as lack of accessibility, so maybe that is why the whinge was held in queue for a week.

    Also, tags are now doubled and tripled on individual posts and the sidebars on post are now removed. [may be theme specific-- at least it is Sapphire but not, thankfully, the other two themes I use] This goes back to the earlier discussions on why blog owners must advertise tags/categories on WordPress.com and not on one’s own blog. It also looks like an idiot wrote the post because the of the duplication of tags (in post footer; added by WordPress.com) I don’t want the redundancy and would like to opt out.

    I also need the sidebar back because I want people to see what else they might find of interest at my site. It also makes extra effort for a reader to go back to the “home” page (if they can figure that out) in order to keep reading the blog. Readers don’t need extra effort. I also had to re-do the sidebar to make sure that readers knew how to find the categories on MY site for related info. The new “Explore posts in the same categories:” tags inserted by WordPress are a mis-statement at best– They send readers to WordPress.com, not to my site, and to who knows what other kinds of entries. There still isn’t any evidence that these links to WordPress actually bring traffic back to the user and not to Automattic.

    April 5th, 2008 at 6:20 am

    April 6, 2008
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  11. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thanks for posting about this – it definitely needs a filter feature so that you can delete links you think don’t apply.

    I just wonder why the feature doesn’t work on my blog. Is it because it only kicks in on new posts? Or because I never use tags, only categories? Weird.

  12. Posted April 27, 2008 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I like Sphere, I really do. But as I blog in a non-monolingual manner, Sphere isn’t really for me, or better: it doesn’t get a high score on relevance in my non-English posts. So, while I very well understand that this is an “issue” only relevant to WordPress.com hosted blogs, I guess my question is whether that Possibly Related Posts option thingie is also enabled by default on non-English language blogs hosted by WordPress. If so, that wouldn’t make much sense, until Sphere “understands” other languages as well… Or did I misunderstand?

  13. Posted April 27, 2008 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    I have a similar question in reverse. One of the things I miss about hosting my own blog is the traffic I got from visits from Tag surfers on WordPress.com – is there any way or any plans to allow 3rd party hosted WordPress blogs to have their posts appear in the WordPress.com tag section?

    Its a cheeky request, but you never know your luck.

  14. Posted April 27, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    You might be interested in Engtech’s fix, which uses CSS to hide related posts from other blogs while still showing related posts from your own. Naturally this was censored from the forums, and hiding links brings its own set of problems, but if Automattic had done this feature right in the first place then it wouldn’t be necessary.

  15. Posted April 27, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Is there anyone else that finds it strange that the announcement for this feature has no dissenting comments, and only comments praising the new feature?

  16. Posted April 27, 2008 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks heaps for the help, Lorelle!
    One link I noticed led my readers to completely inappropriate material!
    Whew!
    I’m sooooo glad to be rid of that feature!
    Love your Blog!
    It is informative, witty, & downright scintillating!!

  17. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Professional outfits like electoral commissions and such have no business being on a free host like WP dot com. This kind of thing is endemic. They can switch to self hosting and / or move to another platform.

  18. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    @ Douglas Bell:

    Most of the announcements on the WordPress.com blog are sticky sweet from the very beginning. However, I did notice that there were a few complaints. Most of the real reviews happen in the forums.

  19. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    @ that girl again:

    Thanks. I’ve been working with Engtech on this whole issue as well as his other fantastic Greasemonkey scripts with revolutionize how we use WordPress.com.

  20. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    @ Root:

    Actually, businesses, electoral commissions, and anyone can be on WordPress.com as long as they are not involved with direct selling of products. It’s a fantastic public relations platform.

    Yes, they “should” have their own site so they can control what they offer, but why not use a free hosted blog service? They don’t make much money.

  21. Posted April 27, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I turned off this feature off after only two posts. The links inserted into my posts were not remotely connected to what I was writing about. Plus there was no way I could delete them and it was not clear to a casual reader that these were not my posts and not linked by me.

  22. Posted April 27, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Exciting news. I have a self-hosted WP blog so I can add or tweak on my own. Still, I am glad .com is an evolving option among blogger and the other lacking (in my opinion) platforms out there.

  23. Posted April 27, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Seems like Automattic has really conjured a lot of ill will lately: a buggy release after a three month delay, which was followed quickly with a buggy bug- and security-fix. Now this. Plus this weekend, I learned about the way they serve ads on WordPress.com. Serving ads per se is fine (they need to make money somehow), but they’re pretty secretive about letting users know who exactly is seeing ads. This is not really news, but it was new to me.

    Habari is looking better all the time.

  24. Posted April 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Yet another reason to use the .org product, not the .com product. You get full control of your blog when you do it yourself.

  25. Posted April 28, 2008 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    If “your” blog is hosted on WordPress.com, it’s not your blog. There’s a reason people spend a few bucks on their own domain. This is one of those reasons.

  26. Posted April 28, 2008 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    It’s a reasonable idea badly implemented.

    First the behaviour of the opt in/out button.
    The normal behaviour is checkmark checked = behaviour enabled.
    The implementation here is a bit sleazy. It should be off by default and users opt in.

    Of course this would be bypassed if it were a sidebar widget instead “show me other posts on WordPress.com that are like this one”
    hardcoding it into the template was shortsighted. It isn’t a case of who moved my cheese as who broke in and painted my cheese bright red and expected me to be happy about it.

    A better implementation might be to put it on the admin screen. Then when I write a post it can throw up some potential links and I can add them or not, as a static element, as I see fit.

    Also everywhere else when you see related posts they take you to related posts within that blogs posts.
    Like the behaviour of tags and categories on WordPress.com it’s not what you expect.

    Indeed perhaps it might be better if WordPress implemented standard behaviour for tags, categories and related links.

    Matt’s post likening it to YouTube. Well maybe, but I don’t see WordPress.com as a single site with lots of little articles. I see lots of blogs. Obviously their vision may be different and maybe they choose only to listen to the users that agree with them. The wording of the opt/in out button and in the announcement was a bit biased (very?) towards the feature in a “why wouldn’t you want it” sort of way.

    Things like this is why I went the self-hosted route.

  27. Posted April 28, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Rick, you’re confusing terms. You’re talking about ownership of the space, whereas everybody else, including the good folks at WordPress.com, is talking about the content that you provide. I tend to agree that the quickest way to keep this kind of thing from happening on your blog is to get your own space where you control everything, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t voice reasonable objections to decisions made about the service.

    There are plenty of arguments for getting your own space, but it isn’t for everybody, and there are honest-to-goodness reasons for using a service like WordPress.com or blogger.

  28. Posted April 28, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Hi all – very active conversation – :)

    The goal of the new feature is to create opportunities for readers to discover more content that is related to what you’re writing about. We’ve included content from your archives, from other WordPress.com blogs and for Mainstream Media sites (MSM).

    Like any technology, we’re making lots (and lots) of tweaks on the fly to get the filters properly tuned. While subjective, we’ve been successful in making these tweaks on a large number of partner sites (www.sphere.com) so I’m hopeful (with a little patience and goodwill), we’ll make improvements as we go along. In the meantime, you’re input is really critical for us to make those improvements, so please keep sending.

    Tony

  29. Posted April 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how long it will take blogspambots to crawl through blogs for text strings to copy into dummy blogs to get listed as “possibly related” on one’s blog?

  30. Posted April 28, 2008 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    The Washington Post example is not that strange, it is just a proof that WordPress it intelligent. Transplants are in fact plugins (although not of the “plug and play” kind, really). That’s some amazing relevance, don’t you think?

    No, seriously, this was not done in a good way. I hope that an option to select to include blogs will be added, it would be very welcome…

  31. Posted April 29, 2008 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    @sphere: before you do any more copy/pasting, I suggest you fix your grammar. Confusing ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in your professionalism.

  32. Posted April 29, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    @ that girl again – a bit harsh, everyone makes a typo, I’ll bet even you :) I’ll certainly B MOR KAREFUL in the future.

  33. Posted April 30, 2008 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I agree that a feature like this really needs controls, but I also believe it’s an important feature in terms of the user experience. It does beg for a strong Askismet type control to be included. As with all good ideas, it comes at the expense of potential abuse. Better to defeat the abuse, than kill the idea though.

  34. Posted April 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for being on top of this. I didn’t notice it until today and frantically searched through the dashboard to see how I could change it. I didn’t find out how until your post. Thanks.

  35. infopage
    Posted May 1, 2008 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    This is almost like Blogger’s nav bar which was an annoyance until I found out how get rid of it with a little coding. The application I use to truly display related content from MY site is YetAnotherWordpressRelatedPosts Plugin and it works great.

    How can you maintain “stickiness” if important links -such as the ones that are right on your posts- flow away from your site?

  36. Posted May 2, 2008 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip on how to disable. This unannounced “feature” was quite annoying.

  37. Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle – THANK YOU SO MUCH! I couldn’t how to find how to fix this problem (I thought it was because I’d just sorted the RSS feed and email subscription) so googled – and there you had the answer for me. Thank you again!

  38. Posted May 9, 2008 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Any info on that infamous update that will let us block links?

  39. Posted May 10, 2008 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    @ engtech:

    Block links? As in stop your site from being indexed by Sphere for this option so they do not appear on other people’s sites?

    Go to the Sphere > Contact Us Page and from the drop down menu, choose the remove blog option at the bottom. That will remove your blog from their database, though it make take a few days. I don’t know how response their system is.

    The instructions to turn off the links from showing on your blog is in the article. By turning it off, it only turns off the displaying of Sphere-generated links on your blog. It doesn’t stop your blog from appearing elsewhere on blogs using Sphere.

  40. creeping
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I was just reading Jacob Nielsen’s usability site and on one of his top 10 mistakes lists he talks about the sin of opening new windows.

    Since we link obsessively to so many background stories and research, we used our own preference of opening links in new windows.

    What is your recommendation for this – same window or new window? And do you find one or the other has any affect on keeping a reader in the blog and exploring other posts?

    Thanks in advance.

  41. Posted May 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    @ creeping:

    I’m actually quite vocal on this one. DO NOT OPEN LINKS IN ANOTHER WINDOW.

    His reasons are my reasons, and more. It’s natural for a link to open in its own window. With the introduction of tabs in browsers, a click on the link that doesn’t respond to those standards makes the visitor click, click, and click again, and then leave your site in disgust. Later, when cleaning up all those tabs, they find out they’ve opened 3-10 duplicate tabs…tell me what you think they are going to think about your choices. That’s two strikes.

    Don’t do it.

    The only time I ever think it is permissible is if if it is tutorial with examples that require flipping back and forth between tabs, which I try to avoid using screenshots instead. But you MUST warn users before they click that this is a link that will generate a new window.

    Does that help?

    The coolest thing about the web is that it is your job to send people away. What kind of business has that as their underlying responsibility? NONE! Yet, it’s our job. The best part is that the visitor comes back for more if the recommendation was good enough – and they bring their friends. That’s loyalty you can’t find anywhere else. :D

  42. Posted May 16, 2008 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Good advice on turning that off. I just helped a friend of mine turn hers off. Kudos to you for showing others how to do that.

  43. Posted May 24, 2008 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting about this – turning this feature off was a real relief.

  44. Posted June 4, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, I found this change to be appalling. I think I need to find a way to serve my own blog in future because of this kind of change, despite how convenient wordpress is at the moment.

  45. Posted June 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    @ Mathew:

    Luckily, you don’t have to use it. You can turn it off.

  46. Posted June 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for writing about this and explaining how to turn the “feature” off. I was horrified as soon as I saw this. The most important issue for me being the implication that I selected these links and somehow endorse them. Our blogs should be our own blogs, made as we see fit. It’s worse than an ad, truly insidious, because it usurps the bloggers authorship and lets wordpress act as if they are the author of the blog. I searched out WordPress originally, instead of using blogspot, because I believe in the open source community and generally consider it to be much more ethical. But this is a really thoughtless and unethical development.

  47. Posted June 22, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Going to Design -> Extras -> Hide related links should fix it.

  48. Posted June 23, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    @ Blackie Dagger:

    The method of removing Related Links feature is included in the article. Thanks.

  49. emevecita
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Lorelle I really appreciatte you writting this post I was about to add that feature and was not sure because wordpress adds every blog… just what you said. anyway I will be up until this gets better. Big hugs from Lima, Perú

  50. Posted July 2, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    @ emevecita:

    Just for clarification, this feature is turned on by default on all WordPress.com blogs only, not all WordPress blogs. There is a difference. :D

  51. Posted July 18, 2008 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Wanted to say thank you for the “related posts” information. My wife is a personal trainer and has just started to blog, and noticed that there were these additional links that may have not been suitable for what she was posting. A quick Google search and I landed here, now I’ve got you bookmarked in my favorites when I need additional info on WP. A sincere thanks.

    Stefan Holt

  52. andthegoodnewsis
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much on the how-to! I’m new and wasn’t too thrilled to see these possibly related blogs at the bottom of the page :)

  53. Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you Friends … To find it, I am very happy to be able to visit your blog, a lot of good information
    interesting, I hope we can share information…

  54. Chief Technical Assistant to the Guru At Large
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks. It might be a good idea to amend your post:

    Go to the Administration Panels > Design > Extras.

    —-> is now —> Administration Panels > Appearance > Extras

  55. Posted September 7, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing how to turn this off! The link on mine wasn’t inappropriate but rather distracting and tacky-looking! Now, if I could choose a limited set of blogs from which the links would come, THAT might be a different story…

  56. Posted November 7, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    thanks you for the time we have

  57. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing the solution for removing these undesired “related posts” links to non-related content. I searched long and hard in the admin panel(s) trying to find out how to disable this feature. I much prefer the control I have on my own self-hosted WordPress blog, but for my daughter’s first start at blogging WordPress.com works just fine. Thanks for sharing the fix.

  58. tessgold
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post Lorelle. I’m just creating my first WordPress blog and noticed those links showing up. I was startled and tried to figure out how to turn them off myself, but got frustrated and googled the problem and your post was the top hit. Saved me a ton of time.

  59. Posted July 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey, just thought I might offer a little suggestion for future viewers’ ease. I had trouble finding the Extras section because the “Design” part kind of threw me off. I didn’t notice any Design button anywhere, but I managed to find Extras after searching for a Design for about fifteen minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I was just saying that just in case you might want to change it.

    And thank you very much, I have been getting referals from strange blocks like online dating and fitness therapy for a while and I looked and realized that the Possibly Related Posts was the link. Then I found out that I had possibly relateds on my posts and that angered me, so I searched trustworthy google for help.

  60. Posted September 11, 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Dear all,

    I seem not to be seeing the Extras on the menu in the control panel.
    Thanks

    • Posted September 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Please contact WordPress.com support. I do not work for Automattic or WordPress. I believe that Extras are now part of Tools > Available Tools.


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  1. [...] those on WordPress.com who are worried about this feature, Lorelle now has a warning and no doubt WordPress Wank will be [...]

  2. [...] con blogs en inglés pero piensan implementarlo para todos los idiomas) . El problema es que al no tener control de este proceso se puede terminar con enlaces a blogs inapropiados. Mi recomendación es desactivar el mismo accediendo “Design>>>Extras” y [...]

  3. [...] de última hora: El directorio de blogs conocido como Blogalaxia ha comenzado a medir la popularidad de los blogs basándose en “autoridad” y tráfico. Lo que ha tenido como consecuencia que DigiZen asuma la primera posición en el directorio de [...]

  4. [...] eh? I wouldn’t have included any of those links by hand, and I would delete them if I could. Lorelle nails what’s wrong with this: This is bad for many reasons, which I’m sure you’ve already thought of. No control. Implied [...]

  5. [...] Lorelle isn’t a fan. I think the main issue she and many others are having is that it looks like the links are blogger-controlled and sanctioned. Why isn’t there a ‘powered by Sphere’ label to disclose how they’re being generated? Please don’t tell me it’s Automattic’s reluctance to give credit to third-parties in action yet again. This is one mess they shouldn’t want to be claiming responsibility for. [...]

  6. [...] parece genial nombre el que tiene, ya que están aceptando que no es un sistema perfecto (Lorelle se queja que 2 de los 7 links son relacionados, y muchos son hacia posts viejos) seguramente le [...]

  7. [...] parece genial nombre el que tiene, ya que están aceptando que no es un sistema perfecto (Lorelle se queja que 2 de los 7 links son relacionados, y muchos son hacia posts viejos) seguramente le [...]

  8. [...] probablemente el mejor servicio de blog gratis, implementó recientemente un servicio para indicar “entradas posiblemente relacionadas” en otros blogs de su red. La implementación trajo numerosos problemas (enlaces inapropiados, falta [...]

  9. [...] Alert: Possibly Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs [image]WordPress.com has activated a feature without warning that has many up in arms of protest, making it one of the [...] [...]

  10. [...] Alert: Possibly Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs (Lorelle VanFossen) [...]

  11. [...] exactly how to disable it, and offers other advice on “fixing it”. He also links to the always-worth-reading Lorelle, who is also very much not a fan, and who points out: Since the beginning of WordPress.com, one of [...]

  12. [...] problems with this are pretty obvious, you don’t want ten Tom Cruis3 disciples showing up and asking why you’re being such [...]

  13. [...] This is bad for many reasons, which I’m sure you’ve already thought of. No control. Implied recommendation or endorsement. Inappropriate links. And a lot of confusion for our readers who believe we choose these links or that they will lead to links on our blog related to what we blog about. I’m sure I missed some other bad reasons for not liking this new feature. Source [...]

  14. [...] thanks Lorelle [...]

  15. [...] Alert: Possibly Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs « Lorelle on WordPress – "No control. Implied recommendation or endorsement. Inappropriate links. And a lot of confusion for our readers who believe we choose these links or that they will lead to links on our blog related to what we blog about." [...]

  16. [...] OK, who decided that spamming multiple threads with the same chunk of ungrammatical copy/pasted text was a good way for Sphere to handle the fallout on this latest messy little linkbuilding [...]

  17. [...] not all of these links are appropriate and the only way to prevent WordPress from putting these links on your post is to remove the [...]

  18. [...] Posts feature on WordPress really annoys me, and thankfully I’m not the only one. Click here for more info on this, including how to turn it [...]

  19. [...] Lorelle > Alert: Possibly Related Posts Feature on WordPress.com Blogs [...]

  20. [...] Lorelle [...]

  21. [...] https://lorelle.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/alert-possibly-related-posts-feature-on-wordpresscom-blogs/ [...]

  22. [...] https://lorelle.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/alert-possibly-related-posts-feature-on-wordpresscom-blogs/ [...]

  23. [...] This is bad for many reasons, which I’m sure you’ve already thought of. No control. Implied recommendation or endorsement. Inappropriate links. And a lot of confusion for our readers who believe we choose these links or that they will lead to links on our blog related to what we blog about.Source [...]

  24. […] the past couple years my comment queue has been plagued by reblogging and Sphere (called Possibly Related Posts) and now Zemanta trackbacks. I get so excited about the trackbacks generated by these posts only to […]

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