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. Fire Fly

    When I read about this, I was enthused. What a great way to find new blogs!

    But then I saw that my hit statistics were reflecting that a racist, white supremacist blog was linking to me through the autolinks. There seems to be no quality control applied to the autolinks other than keywords. When you’re a woman of colour blogging about racial justice, this means that the feature is actually putting you in danger from people who have their interests set against yours. (In fact, white supremacists have attacked other woc bloggers in the past.)

    So because of the irresponsibility of this feature, I have to either turn it off and lose a potentially powerful means of networking with other bloggers, or accept the risk that I might be the target of a racist attack. Catch-22.

    There are quite a few woc bloggers who use WordPress who I imagine have similar concerns.

    Like

  2. Mas Kopdang

    aha…the best place for blogging and the best place for video posting…
    cool

    Like

  3. Matt

    Fire Fly, that’s terrible! We’ll be rolling out a feature shortly that allows you to block blogs to protect you against something like this.

    Like

  4. Fire Fly

    In fact, I’ve already had a troll show up.

    Like

  5. chroniciguana

    It’s doing the job. People are obviously clicking on the related links. Good work.

    Like

  6. Ajith Prabhakar

    Hi Matt.. thats a great news ..
    I cant find it working in my Blog, is it live now ?

    Like

  7. Jim

    Still doesn’t show up.

    Like

  8. Kanti Kumar

    This is a very useful feature. Most content management systems for big sites have this feature which helps to bring to the reader more information related to what s/he is already reading. Good to have this tool from WordPress for the blogs… How does your system recognize related posts? Tags seem to be the best option to group posts, but that will leave out lots of people who don’t tag their posts and/or wrongly tag them…

    Thanks anyway! I’m waiting to see it appearing on my blog!

    Like

  9. persikoglass

    Hot.

    Like

  10. ig

    Thanks so much for the feature. I like the idea that one can have this independent of whatever blog design template is chosen. A few things:

    – Would be cool to take up a notch and allow one to choose this feature on individual posts, as opposed to all posts. This way, we have more control on content and how our readers experience each post.

    – Not sure that the feature is picking up “related” posts from my blog, since the ones linked don’t relate to the post. Wondering how you find related posts?

    Thanks!

    Like

  11. pumpsandgloss

    Sounds totally cool

    Like

  12. riveroflifelisajoy

    I like the idea. Thank you for always thinking of us. I feel like I am at a high end hotel…the best accomodations.

    You guys at WordPress are the best!

    Thanks again!

    riveroflifelisajoy

    Like

  13. Pingback: Warning! The new WordPress feature is utter trollbait « She who stumbles
  14. iaoj

    Sounds good and thank you for new service. Though I am waiting for the links to be appear at my blog to show more global perspective and related links of the scenario but nothing showing yet and I didn’t see any related links at my blog. Thanks any way. (Indus Asia Online)

    Like

  15. Tristan

    Sounds Great

    Like

  16. Gabriel...

    Thanks for making it optional. It’s an excellent idea, but the way the feature is presented it appears the blogger is offering the links. I don’t like the idea of people thinking I’m endorsing a site I’ve never been to… with YouTube the related videos are clearly marked as being offered by YouTube. Would it be possible to make it clear that it’s WordPress offering the “Possibly related posts”?

    Like

  17. kbassler

    What is up with this new gizmo? Yesterday I had possibly related links on posts made before this new feature was launched, then later I only had possibly related links on posts made after it was launched, and today: Nothing.

    Like

  18. Scott Thong

    Dear sirs,

    Do we have the option to disable this feature?

    I got a complaint comment asking for me to remove a link from my blog post, but I cannot – as I have no control over the ‘Possibly Related’ links.

    Any fix? Thanks.

    PS. Still no option to use the old method of inserting images?

    Like

  19. Kunal

    awesome feature

    Like

  20. Joe Holland

    It is a fascinating idea. One thought though, not to sound anti-social but is there anyway an option could be created to just link to possibly related posts that occur only on your own blog rather than all of wordpress.com?

    Like

  21. m@q

    It did not showed up in my blog. I’ve not disabled it from my Dashboard. I am using the theme “Andreas09″. Is it something with the theme?

    Like

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  23. marylandonmymind

    “Possibly Related Posts” is an awesome leap forward in blogging. Such a research tool would have been considered a miracle or a magic trick when I was struggling to find just one more source for a college term paper 40 years ago.

    Of course I have no idea how thousands or millions of information sources can be scanned in an instant to find Possibly Related Posts. It can only be magic. — Bernie

    Like

  24. Pingback: Wordpress New Feature « Cathryn 101
  25. Nanang Suryana

    Thanks so much!

    Like

  26. Robin

    What happens when I end up with a link to a blog on a topic I can’t stand? We have links on our blogs already. We can control where those links go. I don’t like stuff I’m unfamiliar with showing up in my blog.

    Like

  27. trugiaz

    Thanks for the development, I’ll try and see how this works out for me.

    Like

  28. Matt

    Robin, right now you can’t do anything, but shortly we’ll be adding a feature that allows you to filter out certain blogs from showing up.

    Like

  29. Mark

    It’s not yet appearing in some blogs. I guess it takes time for the script to propagate. But this looks like an awesome feature to add.

    Like

  30. Marta

    It’s not working on mine? :(

    Like

  31. sockcavern

    Interesting idea, but crazy application.

    My blog has this featured on one post so far:

    The original post is about a local vegan bakery. The ‘possibly related posts’ are about eating pork and sausages (??), a figure skating sculpture artist in Kentucky (??) and nano-technology in Taiwan (??). I’ve got a pretty good imagination, but I’m missing the correlations here.

    I’d like to keep the feature if it were making sense…Is there a way we can delete just posts that are not remotely related (or even ‘antagonistic’)?

    Like

  32. Pingback: Links and Linking « Tiny Cat Pants
  33. VxJasonxV

    Pardon me for being pessimistic… but this should have been opt-in, not opt-out.

    Like

  34. susanj

    The Possibly Related Links I checked on my post of this morning were, in fact, related. But it seems to me from comments I’ve seen here and on the forum that there is a risk that some of the links may not be sufficiently related. Is there any way to be able to edit the feature so that if I am not happy with a link you’ve included I can delete it? Or is it all or nothing – completely enabled or completely disabled? thanks.

    Like

  35. Pingback: Possibly Related What? « Duhh
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  37. The Editor

    Uhhh, it’s still not showing up on my blog except the most recent post, and all the “related” links are in Chinese, can I report results as not relevant or something.

    Like

  38. erik

    I have to say, I’m not a fan. I wish I knew about it earlier, I would’ve shut it off sooner. But, it’s a small complaint, and obviously most of the WP feature are awesome. Keep on innovating, but for me at least, this was a whiff.

    Like

  39. erik

    features, that is.

    Like

  40. the forester

    Hmm, no “Possibly Related Posts” on my post pages. Should I be flattered that my writing is original? Or is it simply too weird?

    Like

  41. aboulet

    Is there anyway to disable this feature? I don’t want links to random blogs in my posts. It’s my blog. I want control of it.

    This is possibly the worst idea ever unless it can be disabled.

    Like

  42. Matt

    Aboulet, as it says in the post, you can disable it under Design > Extras. It’s right there!

    Still the worst idea ever? :)

    Like

  43. sigitpriyo

    I’ll waiting for Indonesia, :D

    Like

  44. iMuslim

    I think this a neat idea – you can already get a similar plugin for wordpress.org blogs – however I’m not sure how well it works because it has failed to pick up the previous installment of my latest entry (the Princess & the Ivory Tower). How does the code select related posts?

    Like

  45. Dan (Fitness)

    Really really cool :)

    Like

  46. aboulet

    You can delete my last comment since I found out you can disable this. Thanks!

    Like

  47. Vaibhav Pandey

    Great stuff.. I’m already seeing some traffic coming in.
    Cheers for this feature.

    Like

  48. icsouza

    It is always interesting to hear from people from all walks of life. There is always space for pluralism. We have to learn from others. Let us work together for being tuned to what is good and sound. Truth will always prevail.
    Thanks!
    Dr.Ivo da C.Souza

    Like

  49. Devin Murphy

    I’m not seeing it on my bolg. Is it ‘cause you are only rolling it out on posts posted after you realest it? If this is the case I suggest you also include this fetter for older posts as well.

    Like

  50. qbit

    I hope impatiently is available in Spanish soon.

    Like

  51. widsith

    Love the idea. Thank you so much! :)

    Like

  52. Pau

    Great stuff. I can’t wait this feature for the Spanish version.
    Great job

    Like

  53. الدكتور ياسر متولى

    People it is a very bad feature, what was shown in possible related links was not related in any way to the post, it is totally unrelated that is horrible. I removed this function from my blog. I do not mind seeing it if the libnks are related. But if they are not that is a very bad feature. The idea is good but the way it is working in real life is not

    Like

  54. Grace

    Oh, I see how it works now. It only shows up when you click on an individual post. You don’t see it on the homepage. Very cool idea, guys. I love it.

    Like

  55. twitterpaters

    This is a terrible feature. The blog I write on ended up with a link to Michelle Malkin.

    To turn this feature off, go to Design>Extras, and deselect the option to add the links.

    Like I said in the forums, if WordPress perhaps did not link to racist and offensive material, this might be a good idea.

    Since it makes it look like the writer of the post is the one making the suggestion, it really seems unfair to attach such obscene material without notice or permission.

    Like

  56. LOTGK

    Just a note.
    I followed all the links on my blog but noticed none of them linked back to mine. I would have assumed that if one of my posts were linked to another, then that post would link back to mine.
    That is not the case.

    Like

  57. ggratton

    I’m really excited about this new feature, but I don’t see it on my blog. Does it work only on certain themes?

    Like

  58. Raul

    Matt – I like the feature, in general. I am, however, worried that some of those links may direct readers towards SPAM sites. Ever since I moved from Blogger to WordPress, my blog gets FLOODED with Akismet-caught spam sites that ping back to my blog. So, I worry that it may happen too (I started noticing the feature just today).

    Like

  59. Pingback: Great idea, poorly implemented « Why am I still typing?’s Weblog
  60. usernamedenied

    can’t wait for this feature :P

    Like

  61. philvardena

    Can’t wait to have this new feature in Italian!!!

    A suggestion for future improvements:
    I’d like to have a “most popular posts” widget – configurable: most popular over the last day/week/month/year/ever (the webmaster chooses the applicable).
    And, what if one can put more than one of these widgets (text widgets for example are unlimited)? I would for example use three: most populare over week/month/year.
    Those who use WP as a CMS for news portal might choose day/week…
    OK, just a suggestion.

    BTW, WP is awesome… thanks to all of you!
    Regards,
    phil

    Like

  62. planetultramarathon

    Guys. You continue to impress. Thanks!

    Like

  63. tysdaddy

    Is this retroactive for older posts? I’ve only noticed it once, on a post from today (4/26/08) and not in any older posts.

    Interesting . . .

    Like

  64. dankprofessor

    I just posted a new post, and I did not see anything new.

    Like

  65. the rufus

    Guess, I’ll have to change to English at the moment – but I think it’s another great feature,

    Like

  66. secondchancetolive

    Hi Matt,
    I appreciate the hard work that you all do at Word Press and the services / options through widgets that you provide. I really like the option of using or not using a widget per my preferences. I like have the option of whether to include or not include people / web sites in my blogroll or otherwise. With this being said, I appreciate the availability of the feature — Possibly Related Post — however I am not too keen on having my readers believing that I am pointing them to these “possibly related posts”. I do not want my readers to be directed to some crude or vulgar web site, while thinking I am endorsing their material.

    In my thinking that by the “possibly related post list” being presented at the bottom of my post, WordPress.com is communicating to my readers — and I am not — that I am somehow endorsing or pointing my readers to those web sites. I do not want to point my readers to web sites, or their post (s) especially when I do not know anything about those web sites. For all I know the related post could point people to nefarious sites because those web site use similar wording or phrases.

    Please provide the option to include this feature “possibly related posts” as a widget and let me decide if I want to have the option — like other widgets — of placing that widget on my web site.

    Thank you Matt.

    Craig

    Like

  67. Don Smith

    I found mine this morning, not know if I hit the wrong key inadvertently or it was a glitch, I promptly deleted the entire post.

    Maybe some advance notice would be nice, instead of hitting us in the dark with this stuff.

    Like

  68. Phil Groom

    Neat, but can it be flagged as automatically generated or something, please, to make it more obvious that these are not part of the OP?

    “Possibly related posts (automatically generated by WordPress)”

    Thank you.

    Like

  69. croneandbearit

    Thanks – I’m always in favor of anything that will increase readership of my blog! Great idea.

    Like

  70. wildeny

    Interesting. I just noticed this feature. Well, I will see how this goes.

    Like

  71. VegeYum Ganga

    I am having trouble as I am a site that presents vegetarian (no eggs, fish, meat) recipes, and you are linking to sites with non-vegetarian food. Will this be fixed? It would be a pity to have to turn it off.

    Like

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  73. dontbesadblog

    How inventive. Well picked up from YouTube.

    Like

  74. Rick

    Ick, I’m totally hating this. There’s no way to judge the quality of a post that’s “possibly related”, and after reading through a few of the links that were added to my last post, I’m really not thrilled with my readers thinking I’d suggest something of such poor quality. Disabled.

    Like

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  77. sobiop

    Works for me!

    Like

  78. sobiop

    I’m not sure if I understand the order of events. It is still a very good idea and beneficial to every blogger on here whether they realize it or not.

    Who owns the algorithm that selects the links? Any way to add a bias for Word Press Blogs?

    Like

  79. Shane Bertou

    Thumbs freaking down. My posts are my posts. I don’t need your input or marketing attempts!

    Like

  80. paisleyandplaid

    Looking forward to seeing who relates to my stuff, i.e., literature.

    Like

  81. asimplesinner

    I am going to give it a week. To date I am not thrilled with having links to some articles that take a contrary position to my writing but I can handle that – debate is welcome… I am rather annoyed that some of what is linked to my stuff is on the vulgar side.

    I would like to be left with the option to remove problematic links and still be in the system.

    Like

  82. Pingback: “Possibly Related Posts” from WordPress.com « The Black Cordelias
  83. FXSmom

    I noticed that today and really dug it. WTG!! It was an awesome idea :)

    Like

  84. Fire Fly

    Disabling the feature doesn’t work. All it does is stop it showing up on your own blog. My blog posts are still being linked on other blogs.

    Like

  85. proverbs31woman

    As a business operator I would have concerns about ‘competitor’ blogs being on my blog – much like Adsense does, by picking up keywords – the very things I write about and do business in. I would want to switch it off if that was the case.

    Like

  86. krysjez

    As some people have mentioned, is this for everyone or just a few blogs?
    Can’t find anything on mine yet.

    Like

  87. The Humbug

    We’ve disabled ours. It’s an interesting idea, but the posts linked to our blog were not remotely related. It would be great if we had an easy-to-use formatting tool to list related posts of our choosing, not random word-search weirdness from the internets. Thanks.

    Like

  88. Gerry Sell

    I disabled the feature after I looked at the results for some of my favorite blogs.

    If people enjoy what I write, the best way for them to find something else interesting to look at is for them to follow my links, not ones selected by an algorithm.

    Furthermore, I’m not really interested in developing traffic for the sake of traffic. I’m interested in attracting readers/viewers who want to know more about the particular area of the world I cover, for whatever reason. I certainly pay attention to search terms, spikes in viewers, links – and I try to learn from them – but I’m in the narrowcasting business, not in broadcasting.

    Like

  89. Sheila

    WOW! I HATE it! What I dislike the most is not being asked first before someone else alters a project I’m working on!

    Like

  90. "Maggie"

    I sure wish we could make this apply to only certain topical categories or tags, however.
    There are times were I was in the past on a personal post is not at all where I am today. I’ve moved on and would like for readers to move with me.

    I also wish we could choose which types of tags we would link to. I’m fairly selective about who I link to.

    Like

  91. lnxwalt

    That’s awesome! WP.com rocks!

    Like

  92. Perakath

    Perhaps you could play around with the styling to make it clear that the PRP feature is appended by WordPress and not by the blog author(s)? Right now it flows cleanly with the post content, and could confuse readers from other blog communities. It certainly took me by surprise when I read one of my own posts and saw extra content at the bottom.

    Like

  93. Vish

    I’ll check it out. Have to say though, I prefer to surf and mix it up on my own…

    Like

  94. Pingback: Wordpress.com y los posibles Post Relacionados « Javier Aroche @ Wordpress
  95. geekyadam

    Sounds great, I’m on board for it!
    I just ask that you give a lot of settings for the final version, i.e. how many links are shown, layout format (columns x rows of links), custom/editable title text (“Like this post? There’s more on the same subject below:”), etc
    Thx in advance and keep up the good work!
    Adam <3 WP

    Like

  96. loranablog

    Matt you’re incredibly smart. I love this new feature. O.T. You know some weeks ago I was going to work here in Switzerland and on a Swiss newspaper a page with a picture of yours suddenly came to my sight. It was about your wonderful carrier and WordPress: nice feelings reading about it.

    Like

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  98. Flighty

    I don’t like and find it intrusive on my blog entries so I have disabled it.
    It should have been an opt-in option not an opt-out one.

    Like

  99. Rosie

    I’d like it if it was clearer in the title that the posts were on a different site.
    Like if it said “Possibly related posts here:”
    and then “Possibly related posts elsewhere”
    Because it gave me a surprise that there was a possibly related post called “Hash” on my potatoes recipe! and visitors who stumble onto a wordpress blog will not understand the way the links work unless it is labeled clearly to explain it.

    Like

  100. حسن إبراهيم

    simply amazing!!!
    waiting for arabic support someday ;)

    Like

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