Minor change

I trashed 88 comments today, all from me.

Actually, what I did was disable the WordPress gizmo that sends a ping back to a previous post on the same site, mostly because I thought it looked like clutter, and self-important clutter at that. (I want pings and trackbacks from the rest of you, not from me.) This has bothered me for some time, and now apparently it bothers Google:

Linking back is always good, however WordPress displays these links using the “nofollow” attribute. So is it good to allow a nofollow linkback to your own website? Considering Google’s new policy changes with regards to nofollow links, and how you might eventually lose ranking over it, adding an additional linkback to your own blog with a nofollow link definitely does not gauge well.

Not that I’m especially concerned about my PageRank, which has been 5 for several years, except for about an hour and a half when it was 6. But I figure I have nothing to gain by appearing to game the system even if I’m not.

So I installed this plugin, which coincidentally is three years old today, so there shouldn’t be any more of that self-referential stuff in the comment listings. I do enough of that in the actual posts.


  1. McGehee »

    4 October 2009 · 7:26 pm

    What I’ve seen about discussions of Google Page Rank leads me to believe it’s a metric designed to be completely worthless. It rewards sites that get links from “prestigious” websites, regardless of whether those links actually produce traffic.

    I’d rather get the traffic than the “Linked by Websites Everybody Likes but Where Nobody Clicks Links” award.

  2. Charles Pergiel »

    4 October 2009 · 7:45 pm

    I am torn between telling you how wonderful this is and asking WTF are you talking about? What a dilemma! Oh, that was sarcasm. My bad.

  3. CGHill »

    4 October 2009 · 8:17 pm

    What PageRank does, mostly, is give search-engine optimizers a reason to live. And if I were trying to make some money off this site, it would matter to me. Somewhat.

  4. Writer Chick »

    4 October 2009 · 8:24 pm

    Hey Chas,
    Well, I’m glad that all got worked out but I’m somewhat disenchanted with the whole page rank game myself. Your other reader makes a good point – it’s all about who’s who, instead of actual traffic or maybe I should say quality traffic. I practically killed myself with the self hosted blog doing all the crap they tell you to do to get traffic that will enhance your page rank – because I was trying to find a way to make some revenue from the blog. But then I realized that it was just making blogging a drag instead of something I love. So now it’s like ‘screw the page rank’ who care?


  5. CGHill »

    4 October 2009 · 9:18 pm

    I try to avoid getting caught up in the OMG I NEED NUMBERS! spin. I’ve been watching Beltway Blips, where I’m a minnow among whales, and I’ve had exactly one post that got voted up more than once in their Digg-like promotion process. I check this once a week at most, lest I become despondent.

  6. Steve Lackmeyer »

    4 October 2009 · 10:27 pm

    Um, your ticker says 1,860,025. Once again you downplay your awesome power in the local blogging world.

  7. Mihai Secasiu »

    5 October 2009 · 8:41 am

    Just in case you still want those pingbacks and you don’t want to lose pagerank on them I created this plugin that will make wordpress NOT nofollow them.
    You might want to look into it: http://patchlog.com/wordpress/follow-self-pings/

  8. CGHill »

    5 October 2009 · 9:06 am

    We ought to codify this as Mullenweg’s First Law: if a need is seen in WordPress, a plugin will arise to fill that need.

  9. Mihai Secasiu »

    5 October 2009 · 9:27 am

    @CGHill that’s what makes wordpress so great, don’t you think? :)

  10. CT »

    6 October 2009 · 8:16 am

    Screw Google. Trackbacking (or tracking back?) to my previous posts is an essential part of my blogging behavior. I think internal cross-linking ties together a blog better than categorization or tags can. There are limits, of course. And I know the splogs have, once again, ruined it for the rest of us. Still, I’m not going to modify my routine.

  11. CGHill »

    6 October 2009 · 10:39 am

    In the past I’ve occasionally tried to update the older posts with links to newer posts on the same subject, but given my tendency to repeat myself, not to mention my tendency to repeat myself, this got extremely complicated in a hurry. The pings are easier, but as a mere handful of text, they’re (to me at least) less useful than they could be. I have been looking into the Related Posts schemes, but they seem to have a hell of a lot of overhead.

    On the other hand, “screw Google” is a perfectly valid justification for rather a lot of things.

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