Great idea, poorly implemented
In the last day or so, WordPress have begun inserting “Possibly Related Posts” and a series of links at the end of some blog posts made by hosted members on wordpress. The backlash was predicable.
This is potentially a great idea as it allows visitors a much greater range of posts that may be of interest to them. Its the kind of feature that allows you to click through to someone Else’s blog, find something interesting, click through to someone Else’s blog… repeat etc. This cascading exploration (which for example, Youtube do brilliantly) has always interested me and is the best way to find interesting stories / ideas online.
This kind of stumbled-across traffic is a welcome boost to those of us who like looking at our traffic stats (I am guilty of this) although at the moment I have seen no noticeable increase in traffic from this ‘feature’. My problem with this new addition is that, apart from a blog post a few days back by Matt (which most people would have missed) there was no warning at all from wordpress. This ‘feature’ has the potential to add content to every post we make here on wordpress and it should have been officially announced, not snuck into blogs surreptitiously like this.
I take time and care over my posts and I dislike the idea that an algorithm can add links to the bottom of my content with no approval from me. I have no way of filtering or proofing/vetting the links until they appear which is unacceptable. What would be interesting would be if this ‘feature’ was offered in the “Write Post” dialog either allowing you to add your own links (based on a pool of posts from an algorithm) or at least preview the default “Related Posts.” I have disabled this function for now, if you want to too then simply goto Design>Extras an check “Hide related links on this blog, which means this blog won’t show up on other’s blogs or get traffic that way“