The new WordPress.com possibly related posts is game changing – and gaming changing if they get it right.
Some notes about these links
- It is not just WordPress.com blogs, as Doug Haslam is using .org
- These are all old posts, the newest is over 9 months old
- There have certainly been many more related posts, such as on Mashable.
- I tested whether the links were indexed in Technorati – they weren’t, but then the WordPress.com blog doesn’t have a normal feed and might be banned from Technorati as it might skew things a little with 3,000,000 sitewide links pointing at it
- The links were also not shown in Google Blogsearch, but again… no feed
As an experiment, I pinged the page in Technorati anyway to see if things update.
Other pages such as this one (new dashboard) on the WordPress.com blog has more relevant fresh links, so it does sometimes work.
So we need to visit a bloger who is obviously still in Technorati such as… Lorelle, with her most recent blog challenge
Lets see where these links point
http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/weekly-digest-quarter-through-two-months-of-guest-blogging… ok I shortened this URL a little
Notice 2 of those links are on her own blog, and they are highlighted in bold and listed first – that is useful if you don’t have an alternative using plugins such as Simple Tags.
I suppose from a reader point of view it also enhances the browsing experience… at least a little.
I checked all the URLs, and again Technorati wasn’t showing any links from Lorelle’s blog to those blogs listed as possibly related. So I gave them a ping as well, and we will see if there are long term results.
What Does Sphere Say?
The official Sphere announcement shows a little more information
A Sphere-powered module resides beneath posts on all WordPress.com index pages showing related articles from three sources: from the author of that article, from across the WordPress community, and from sources in our mainstream media index.
Sphere are owned by AOL
In Matt’s post there is talk of pushing this out to WordPress.org blogs, and probably that also includes WordPress MU as well.
If you decide to opt out, your links are no longer shown.
I had a little look at Sphere some time ago, and was accepted into their program for the widgets. I just got a little tied up around Christmas moving house so I did nothing with it. The acceptance email was actually still in my gmail inbox along with 9000 other emails (some of those are actually read and actioned, just not archived) – they didn’t send a followup reminder, and I had been waiting over a year to be included.
If I am included within the network by displaying the widget at the bottom of posts, I might then also be included within the WordPress.com possibly related blogs as being a “mainstream blog”
What is strange is that 2 of the above blogs originally mentioned are not running Sphere links or the widget.
Also significant is that the WordPress.com version which has the links in HTML doesn’t seem to include the links in feeds, which on many blogs is where the readers are. Maybe that is just oversight.
The lack of links in the feed might also be a reason that Technorati isn’t picking up the links (though they could have code to filter already) and why Google Blogsearch isn’t picking up the links, as that works just with feeds.
Hmm It Is A Link
<span style="margin-bottom:40px; border-bottom:none;"><a href="http://www.sphere.com/search?q=sphereit:http://andybeard.eu/2008/04/wordpresscom-subdomain-spam-with-tags.html"class="iconsphere" title="Sphere: Related Content" onclick="return Sphere.Widget.search('http://andybeard.eu/2008/04/wordpresscom-subdomain-spam-with-tags.html')" >Sphere: Related Content</a></span>
As far as I am concerned that is linking to a search query, thus it should have nofollow on the link, but it doesn’t.
That might need to be tweaked in the plugin.
So I now have a “Sphere It!” button, lets see if I start appearing across 3 Million WordPress.com blogs, and large news sites.
There are major issues among more controversial hate related blogging, and editorial control – I suppose the same problems exist having Digg headlines on your blog.
Also of note is that I forst spotted Lorelles new post when testing my Sphere widget after I posted. Not all the blogs listed are junk.