Possibly an Announcement

Blog posts can be a total tease. You get to the end and you’re ready for more, but all that’s there is maybe some post navigation, and if you’re lucky a few comments. If your appetite was whetted by the awesome post you just read there’s no place for you to go, except maybe to a search engine to look for terms around what you just read.

Post or permalink pages probably account for about half of the pageviews on your blog.

One of my favorite things about Youtube is that you can start with a single video and then see something else interesting in the related videos and you lose yourself and next thing you know it’s four in the morning and you’re watching disco pilates videos. My fancy term for this is lateral navigation. (Which the rest of the world seems to think has something to do with flying.)

Well now you can have that same experience across WordPress.com.

In a feature we’re calling possibly related posts we’ll now try to show posts related to yours a little section at the end. If we find any posts on your blog that are related, we’ll put those at the very top and in bold. Next we’ll show other posts from around WordPress.com, and finally we’ll check if there’s anything in the mainstream media.

The result is a handful of links that should provide you and your visitors something interesting to check out. On blogs that cover the same topics frequently related posts could cause a 5-10% increase in traffic overnight. You could also start to see traffic from lots of other blogs. It’s a bit of an experiment, and we’ll be tweaking it a lot based on your feedback and the data that we collect once everything is live.

Right now this is just for English blogs, but we’re working on the technology to roll this out for every language we support. We’ll also be adding some ways for you to tweak the results to your liking.

If you want to remove the related posts from your blog entirely, just go to Design Appearance > Extras and check the box to do so. But if you remove related posts from your blog we’ll remove you from other people’s blogs, so you won’t get traffic from that.

We hope you like this new feature, that we developed in partnership with our good friends at Sphere, and that it nets you a more interesting reading experience and maybe a bit more traffic.


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Matt

585 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Xanik

    Wow! That’s pretty awesome!

    Like

  2. furtz

    This is probably one of the coolest tools you guys have come up with!

    Thank you very much.

    I blog in German, ich blogg auf deutsch.

    Like

  3. trevisan

    It may be interesting. Let’s see

    Like

  4. mudge

    Wow! I am eternally astonished at the resourcefulness of WordPress.com. Can’t wait to see this in action!

    Like

  5. pjmiller

    How wonderful!! I noticed this new feature in my latest post and couldn’t figure out how it got there. lol!!

    This is one new feature i hope is a ‘keeper’…

    thank you wordpress!

    Like

  6. Rushi Vishavadia

    Is this live yet? I don’t see this feature live on my blog yet.

    Like

  7. Aguair

    Holla!

    Nice idea, guys!


    ~Ag!~

    Like

  8. m@q

    Sounds great… but where this feature will be shown up? You mentioned, “…we’ll now try to show posts related to yours a little section at the end.” If it is the end of any blog? When I am commenting this post my blog does not show any thing that says “possibly related posts”. Are you experimenting it all blogs in wordpress.com or some selected blog?

    I am extremely waiting for this feature to be added in my blog…

    Like

  9. elproyectomatriz

    Fantastic!!

    Like

  10. techsadhu

    You start with a single ‘post’ and then see something else interesting in the ‘possibly related posts’ and you lose yourself and next thing you know it’s four in the morning and you’re reading, “Paris Hilton is having the best time of her life with new boyfriend rocker Benji Madden”. ;)

    Like

  11. Denise

    Sounds interesting! I’ll be watching to see how this develops…

    Like

  12. Matt

    Just a note, Sphere had a few temporary issues so the links won’t be showing up for another 20 minutes or so. Don’t worry though, they’re collecting data in the background and should be back soon.

    Like

  13. Jenny Live & in Color

    This sounds like a great new feature! Just what I need, another way to suck me into countless hours on the internet…

    Like

  14. Konstantinos

    Let’s see how this will work!

    Like

  15. Magistus

    Super!! Hopefully this feature will be for German blogs very soon …

    Like

  16. Jessica

    This is a great idea! Looking forward to seeing it in action.

    Like

  17. Matt

    And it’s back!

    Like

  18. Chittaranjan

    Goodie.

    I remember you saying about it way back in June 07 – in your Under the Post announcement.

    WTG!!!

    BTW, how do you do the “related” thingy? Is it via Tags or Keywords?

    Like

  19. Matt

    It’s done with all the content in the post, Sphere creates something they call a “document genome” and use it to do the matching, which can work a lot better than tags and categories.

    Like

  20. Lansdowne Montague

    Is it just me…or is it not working yet

    Ciao M

    Like

  21. muccamargo

    Yes! I was doing it by hand and is very tough.
    Thank you!

    Like

  22. techsadhu

    Matt,

    I can see the option for ‘Hide related links’ under Design > Extras.

    But since it’s enabled by default, where on earth can it’s visibility be sighted? On WordPress.com or on Individual Blogs?

    Like

  23. bytch

    Good boys! You deserve cupcakes for this.

    Like

  24. NAyK

    Wow, that’s cool… and scary. Now there’s more reason for people to leave my site!!! :)

    Like

  25. butnerblogspot

    You’re the bomb WordPress,I’m ready to see it in motion.
    Thanks

    Like

  26. Will Rhodes

    I think it’s a great idea!

    Like

  27. onecoolsoul

    Cool beans, I hope that this will work out quite well!

    Like

  28. thegirlfromtheghetto

    Sounds great to me!

    Like

  29. kbassler

    I don’t see this on my blog. Where is it going to show up? Can you provide us a screenshot of this new gizmo?

    Like

  30. Los Havros

    Sweet! It’ll be interesting to see how this performs; both traffic-wise for people’s blogs and actual user experience for readers.

    Like

  31. raincoaster

    I figured there would be WP global links in there somewhere. Don’t suppose turning those off and leaving internal blog links is on the agenda for becoming an upgrade?

    Like

  32. Rollin

    Feature sounds dope. Sounds

    But where is it? Is it theme-specific? I’m not seeing them.

    Like

  33. Red Skull 92

    G00d!!!

    Like

  34. Alex

    Always upping your game, team.

    Thank you. Very much! :-D

    Alex xx

    Like

  35. Jozii

    Cool thing, but I strongly dislike the fact that it looks like I wrote it myself in the actual post. Like, if I’d found posts related to my post, and finished the post by adding links to those related pages. I’d suggest a more clear border, and perhaps even smaller text links, so it doesn’t look like it’s a part of the actual post.

    Like

  36. James

    Good ideas boys and girls. Y’all might make something of WP yet.

    Like

  37. masterclasslady

    This is great news. I saw this feature on another blog – can’t remember which one – and I thought this would be a great idea. It was probably a trial blog? At any rate, this is superb. Love you guys!

    Like

  38. lastcrazyhorn

    Yeah, I’m wondering about the related thing too, since I can see that there are posts listed there now, but two of the posts have no relation to my post except through 1 word.

    Like

  39. Belinda

    how do i REMOVE that “possibly” thingie? honestly … at least give us an option to remove such useless things.

    Like

  40. Belinda

    found the remove sheesh

    Like

  41. Alasdair

    That is the best thing about you tube, will be great to try it out in a more ‘traditional’ blogging arena :D

    Like

  42. sugali

    wOOt, Cool guys, this should be really interesting. Thanks

    Like

  43. Ruhi

    Sounds interesting. Just one tiny thought though – why can’t I have related posts just from My_blog? Why is it “Everything or nothing at all”? I would love to have “Related Posts” from only my_blog.

    Like

  44. Grace

    I don’t see it. Is it down again?

    Like

  45. Keith Olbermann Is Evil

    Thanks for allowing us to turn this feature off.

    I looked at my blog and was appalled to see something on it that I hadn’t put there. At first I thought that someone had hacked my account.

    The way that it is currently worded makes it sound like the blogger put it there. I might like it better if it read something like “WordPress (or Sphere) thinks you might be interested in …”

    Or perhaps it could list possibly-related articles on the dashboard which the blogger can choose to include or not in a particular post.

    I don’t know. It seems like a shotgun approach to find related content for one’s blog.

    Like

  46. Hawk

    What a creative idea.

    I tip my hat to you all. I’d ask you over to join me in some single malt, but I think you are too far away.

    Cheers!

    Like

  47. D. Bell

    I have mixed feeling about this…I’ll try it out and see if the readers bite.

    Like

  48. coolieperson

    sounds great! just 1 question…………………………where is it? it hasn’y shown up on my blog yet.

    Like

  49. beltwaysnark

    I have the same question as Chittaranjan, how does WordPress decide what is a “related post”? Is by the text of the post or the tags? I have one blog that is mostly text, and I see the related posts at the bottom of some, but not all, of my posts. I have two other blogs that are mostly pictures, and I don’t see the related posts showing up on any of my posts for those two blogs.

    If you’re looking for opinions, I think the related posts should be picked by tag. That way you get a better look at the related posts from your own blog (provided you’re consistant with your tagging) and get better related posts from other blogs.

    I do think it’s awesome that we over here at wordpress.com finally have something like the related post plugin wordpress.org users have. Especially when you post a lot on a certain subject, it’s helpful for your readers to have a handy way of seeing what else you’ve posted on that subject. Tying in other blogs is icing on the cake :)

    Like

  50. dandelionsalad

    Thanks, another way to reach out to others here on WordPress. So far, I like it, some of the “possibly related posts” are very related, others not quite so related. Interesting, nonetheless. Keep up the great work!

    Like

  51. Pingback: WordPress.com Possibly More Spherical « Changing Way
  52. ajoy muralidhar

    Matt, that’s awesome. Thank you.. is it already functional?

    Like

  53. whyamistilltyping

    Interesting, can you make it optional rather than an automatic requirement though please?

    Like

  54. thebeanbag

    Sounds gooood.
    You guys are pretty smart, huh. ;)

    Like

  55. Steve Rebooted

    Way Cool!

    Like

  56. dissfunktional

    disco pilates videos?
    dude. wtf.

    very kewl toy; i’m hoping for an other freaky friday implosion @ wordpress tonight. seriously. start making keyboards jump up and down or something. it’s friday ;)

    Like

  57. skykid

    Still not showing on my blog ):

    But its a great idea I have been waiting for that ever since Matt mentioned it on that video podcast

    Like

  58. Gabriel...

    Is it possible to either turn this feature off, or maybe make it clear that it’s WordPress offering the “Possibly related posts”? The way it appears now it looks like I’m offering… lets call them “my readers” a selection of posts I think reflect what I’ve just finished writing about… but, so far as I can see right now I’ve got no control over them at all.

    Like

  59. gullybogan

    I hate it.

    It’s spam.

    Thankfully i can turn it off.

    How long before “and finally we’ll check if there’s anything in the mainstream media” becomes “and then we sell advertising space on your blog to the highest bidder”?

    When that happens, i will consider myself to be working for you, and i will expect a paycheque.

    I kind of like the way that bloggers link to each other; it’s called ‘community’. I don’t want a robot to do community for me.

    Like

  60. Finicky Penguin

    Huh. I put one of a McDonalds advertisement, and a possibly related post was Barack Obama speaking out against abortion.

    Like

  61. storymode

    I know exactly what you’re talking about in regards to YouTube. I’ll be looking forward to see where this takes off to.

    Thanks team! ^^

    Like

  62. Christ Almond

    My first provided links are almost impossibly related but at the moment I’m liking that. Kind of weird but good.

    Like

  63. livingjourney

    This sounds like a great idea, can’t wait to see it in action!

    Vee

    Like

  64. Dance

    Uh, I was a bit shocked and dismayed and deeply annoyed to see content I had not written appearing as part of my blog post. May I suggest some cosmetic refinement—for instance, add it in a box within the post, or perhaps as a comment (since it only appears on the individual page, where comments also show), and make it clear that “WordPress.com suggests these related posts….”

    I use pretty much that format: “See also” or “Related posts” at the end of a blog, so I find the presentation very deceptive and misleading to my (few) readers.

    Like

  65. Dance

    PS. The “related posts” were sort of related—but not really. Computers aren’t that smart. And I sense a fun challenge for myself—how many posts can I write that WP.com can’t find related posts for?

    Like

  66. Pingback: “Possibly Related Posts” « Prone to Laughter
  67. pKay

    I think it sounds and looks like a great feature!! I do not seem to be seeing any “possibly related posts” just yet on my blog though :s… Quite eagre to test it out hehe…

    Anyhow, keep up the great work!

    Like

  68. Pingback: Ma.tt » Web 2.0 Expo Announcements
  69. feww

    I just reported the ‘possibly related posts’ as a hacking.

    This is a potentially great idea to increase traffic; however, at least one of the links added to my page was completely unrelated. What are the criteria used for correlating posts?

    Like

  70. thecanvasgrey

    WOW! That is spectacular! Thanks so much!

    Like

  71. madsilence

    Sounds interesting… What logic is used to generate “possibly related posts”?
    On new posts only?

    Like

  72. skywindows

    I have an English blog and I also don’t see this in action. Is it working?

    I am very excited for this feature.

    Like

  73. The Bagel of Everything

    We’ve always done Related Posts at the bottom of each of our posts, linking to other posts on our site. The similar wording leads to confusion. I’m going to turn the feature off for now, but I’d be glad to turn it back on if it could be changed to something like “WordPress recommends”

    Like

  74. Flesh-eating Dragon

    I have turned this off for now, but I’ll definitely consider turning it on again if I hear word that it has been significantly improved. Improvements that are likely to sway me include: (a) letting me choose whether to make the feature available on a post-by-post basis (in much the same way that I can now choose whether or not to allow comments on individual posts), and (b) letting me make it available retrospectively on everything I have published in the past, right back to the earliest posts on my blog. Implement these improvements (and let us know), and I’ll give it another go. Also, it would be nice if the source blog for each related item could be named (perhaps in brackets).

    Like

  75. Catshade

    I hope the support for Bahasa Indonesia blogs will roll out soon… Go Matt GO!! :D

    Like

  76. accomthailand

    With this feature you will lost your reader to another blog !!!

    Like

  77. Narayanan Aier

    This is damn awesome! Thanks a ton!

    Like

  78. Pingback: Probably Unrelated Posts « Lingamish
  79. Vũ Phương

    this feature is so useful :)

    Like

  80. arealityofmyown

    This is great! Thanks for implementing it!

    Like

  81. sweetBeats

    How can we turn it off? I dont like it, it looks bad.

    Like

  82. Pingback: Raising Blog Interest « Here There and Everywhere
  83. lwayswright

    that is so cool!!!!! This is such a great blog site. I am really enjoying my experience here even though I am probably one of the least knowledgable bloggers on the planet! But…HEY i have almost reached 2000 people who have read my blog. That’s a HUGE deal for me. And if I have made one person laugh or cry or relate or taught them something about Lupus or whatever then I feel great about being the worst blogger ever! Thanks again guys!
    L.G.

    Like

  84. nikopsk

    I highly dislike the related posts feature and please bring back my beloved word count.

    Like

  85. hysperia

    Well can I take out possibly related posts from my individual posts? I don’t want to be removed from the possibilites for more blog traffic, but the first links I’ve received to one of my posts are repugnant, hateful and the opposite of what my post was about. But I linked to something hateful, which I was blogging about and, no doubt, that’s why these links come up. I’m very often blogging about things I don’t like so this simply won’t DO? What can I do?

    Like

  86. mclassen

    I think this is a great development that will make WordPress the essential and invaluable blog site. Bravo and thanks.

    Like

  87. akhdian

    That’s good.

    Like

  88. anizyn

    I like this idea very much. Well, let’s see how this thing will work! Thx…

    Like

  89. Suluh

    Wow! this is awesome

    Like

  90. ian in hamburg

    It’s a great idea, but it doesn’t show up on everyone’s blog even if the box remains unchecked. See active thread on forums.

    Like

  91. Vivek

    Interesting. Nothing showing yet though.

    Like

  92. ian in hamburg

    OK, looks like it is working, but you only see it if you are looking at an individual post.

    Like

  93. Ridzwan

    Sounds like a good feature that could boost my traffic up a little. Can’t wait for it!

    Like

  94. K.Mandla

    Hmm. I’m not sure I’m a fan of it. I’ve disabled mine for now.

    Like

  95. dryeyes

    How does your engine find related posts?

    By title, tags or scanning of the entire post?

    Cheers

    Like

  96. kanebt

    WOW! this looks awesome!

    I noticed it at the end of some of my posts and didnt know what it was. :)

    Definitely something wordpress should keep!

    Like

  97. sanjida shaheed

    I HATE IT! :(

    Sorry for being so vocal, I can’t help it. We have global tags under our posts that take the unsuspecting reader out of the blog. And now we have global posts!

    Bloggers have been whining for a “sphere it” widget for so long – it could help find related things all over.

    What we really need is a “Related posts” feature that will fetch related blog posts from within our OWN blogs! It’s common in many non-wordpress.com platforms. Can we have it pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese – cos we are supposed to be the best blogging platform? :D

    (I am keeping my figers crossed.)

    Like

  98. kosmopolit

    Interesting thing.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to have it after the comments? I don’t like it to be integrated in the blog post! At the moment it looks as if I chose the “possibly related posts”. Another thing is the name, maybe you should rename it to make it clear that it is a wordpress.com feature… Of course it would be great to have some sort of control over what kind of posts are suggested or even delete some of the “possibly related post” in case they are not related…

    Like

  99. Qritiq

    I like it. I love it. I want some more of it.

    Like

  100. A Z R A E L

    awesome! awesome!

    Like

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