I’ve been running my blog on WordPress.com for some time now and suddenly I have a section titled “Possibly Related Posts” at the bottom of all my posts, which is distracting my readers. Where did this come from and how do I remove it?
I came across this question from the webmaster of a Maltese political blog on WordPress.com, who was worried that the links to other blogs on WordPress really affect the readability of the website and is very distracting for the readers. More disconcerting was the fact that these had appeared out of nowhere and didn’t seem to be able to be removed. They look a bit like this:
Well, these have been added by WordPress.com as a way to promote traffic from one blog to another on their estate. Don’t forget, WordPress.com is hosting your blog for free, and at the end of the they, they are the ones who have full control of the platform and set the rules. They announced the feature in April and this is how they describe it:
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.
Now this may be fine for some people, but others have found this bothersome and think it should really be a nofollow link, as you’re not really recommending the page behind that link. Also, the pool of pages that are displayed on your blog are out of your control, and there’s nothing stopping WordPress.com from putting content you don’t agree with, or even commercial links in this space.
So, how do we turn off the feature. Turns out it’s not that hard:
- Go to the Administration Panels > Design > Extras.
- Check Hide related links on this blog, which means this blog won’t show up on other’s blogs or get traffic that way.
- Click Update Extras.
As the links suggests, if you don’t want to display “Possibly Related Posts” on your blog, then your posts won’t appear in the “Possibly Related Posts” on other peoples blogs, but I’m sure most of you can live with that.
You may be a bit upset that this change was forced up on you, but don’t forget, using a free blog means you don’t really have control over the platform your blog is running on. You still maintain editorial control, but there are aspects of the page you have no control over. (It’s like being a kid and having your clothes picked out for you. However, when you grow up, you might want to wear boardshorts instead of trousers). If you want full control, you might want to consider getting your own self hosted blog. It’s not that hard, you know 😉