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Pinging Your Own Blog Posts? Good or Bad?

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October 4th, 2009
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WordPress Tips

WordPress provides users to automatically ping other sites when you link to them using trackbacks. In addition to that you also have an option to allow others to send pingbacks to you.

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.

On my tech blog I use a plugin called No Self Pings, which in turn does not send pings to my own blog whenever I link internally. Of course many might think that doing away with this functionality might gain lesser conversions. However, you can always try out a related posts plugin, which in turn adds posts that are related to the current one. You will find several of them in this search for “related posts”.

You might also want to read a post from Matt Cutts, the head of the Google Spam team to understand the changes to nofollow links, and why it would convert to lesser ranking for your blog.

Rest aside doing away with “nofollow” is not the solution. If you are against the use of nofollow in comments and pingback, you might want to read a earlier post of mine about dealing with spam.

What do you think? Should you ping your own blog and add “nofollow” links or should you use the plugin and get rid of it?

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Comments

  1. Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

    How about a plugin that will NOT add nofollow to the pingbacks if they come from your own blog or maybe a predefined list of blogs ?

    • Chip Bennett (63 comments.) says:

      You beat me to it; that was going to be *exactly* my suggestion. Removing “nofollow” from self-pings would seem to resolve the issue rather succinctly.

      • enad (1 comments.) says:

        Removing “nofollow” from self-pings. is there already this kind of plugin.?

      • Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

        I created the plugin, if you want to use it you can download it from: http://patchlog.com/wordpress/follow-self-pings/

        • DLE (1 comments.) says:

          Thanks, Mihai. Your plugin is timely and a great help. I have hundreds of self-pingbacks on my site. I see them as an aid to readers. To think that I could lose ranking because of self-pinging was distressing. Your plugin greatly helps. I appreciate your skills and your willingness to assist the WordPress community.

        • Jambiesh (1 comments.) says:

          I installed the ‘No Self Pings’ plugin before even if I really didn’t know the consequence of having self-pings. I just find it annoying having to moderate pingbacks to your own blog…Then I uninstalled it…Then after that, I became aware of SEO, pagerank etc…So I went back to asking if pinging my own blog can really help or harm. Good thing Google led me to both this post and your plugin, so now problem solved! Thanks :)

  2. Phaoloo (1 comments.) says:

    I believe it will affect your SEO but not much and difficult to realize the difference between ping or not.

  3. Fred Hart (3 comments.) says:

    An interesting post here; I’ve been trying to stop my own blog from pinging itself since I set it up in January. Although useful and allows my readers to see I am making another post it is quite annoying because I really want the comments to be for just genuine commenters and oings from external linkers.

    I think I’ll be investigating the ‘no self pings’ plugin! :)

  4. ePIKI (4 comments.) says:

    Hi,

    Though I’m working with WP for last few year but was not quite aware about this pinging factor. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jeff (1 comments.) says:

    I can only agree with Mihai. Unfortunately I’m incapable of such wonders myself, but if anyone with some know-how could create a plugin like that I’d be much obliged :) Thanks for the tip on “no self pings”. So far I’ve been manually deleting pings on my own posts. Having nofollow on internal links is very strange to say the least.

  6. George Serradinho (107 comments.) says:

    It is funny that one would ping itself and not have the correct attribute. I wrote a post on what plugins I thought should be part of WP core.

    This is not the only bug!

  7. Tinh (11 comments.) says:

    I think internal linking is necessary to make our posts stick to each other, they are parts of the whole blog, but whenever I inserted hyperlink in my posts (of course from other related posts) it showed a trackback in the comments. I will try this and heard from Matt about this a long time ago. Thanks

  8. Liane (2 comments.) says:

    I always found this “self-ping” kind of disturbing, good idea to turn it off. But I’m hesitating to install a plugin that has last been updated in 2007… Is there anything else that does the job?

  9. Romeo (2 comments.) says:

    Thank you for the advice. I ping my site and as i see its not that good.. Im goint to install the plugin

  10. Justin Tadlock (51 comments.) says:

    People put too much stock in what Google thinks. If the big-wigs at Google told me tomorrow that self-pinging would get my site de-indexed, I’d still continue doing it. Run your site how you want to run it, not how Google wants you to. You’ll be happier in the long run.

    I like self-pings for a simple reason: I want to know if there’s a post that’s directly related to this one in some way. This is much more accurate than a related posts plugin. I get the published time and a small excerpt of the text surrounding the link. This can be helpful for both my readers and myself.

    Plus, it makes your comment count just a little higher. ;)

    • Jessi says:

      Agree completely. Some people act like Google is the be-all/end-all of the internet. Uh, no. Not even close.

    • Nile (18 comments.) says:

      I agree with Justin. I come from the old days of web design and using WordPress before it was called that product. It is okay to ping your own blog.

      The thing that Matt is trying to say is if you are say, a person who literally does posts for a company that is questionable in Google’s eyes, you may have issues. You also may fall into this if you are a blogger who does pay per post type deals.

      Rather than not self-pinging, the real recommendationYou really have to watch and research sites you include within your blogs. If the source is questionable and possibly considered a spammish site, those are the ones you do not endorse – put the no follow.

      Though you might want to hoard all your PageRank with balancing no following and making sure to not ping pack on your pages, it is not always the way to go. This is one of those things that Google says may or may not help. Your best source is to keep your content flowing regularly.

      In fact, I will be writing about this. It has been on my long list of topics.

  11. Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend (25 comments.) says:

    I agree with Justin Tadlock: I’m not too worried about what Google thinks, because I’m in the user base they want. So if whatever I do provides long term value to my readers, Google will eventually come around… because it provides value to their results as well.

    But I’m writing into the long tail. Or for long term traffic. Or whatever you want to call it. One thing I’ve found by stumbling around the web is that there are some absolutely atrocious looking web sites with almost no “SEO” that have page rank 5 and 6. Typically, these sites are 5, 7, 10 years old.

  12. Brian Carnell (15 comments.) says:

    This entire article is silly and bizarre. WHAT GOOGLE POLICY CHANGES FOR HOW IT TREATS NOFOLLOW? Link or it didn’t happen.

    I assume you’re in a tizzy just like everyone else over the change announced months ago by Google about how it was handling nofollow links when it comes to internal link sculpting efforts by SEO idiots.

    Seriously, unless you’re doing stupid SEO stunts like that, the “nowfollow” from self-pingbacks aren’t going to mean squat for your pagerank.

    Worrying about this change is a waste of your time. If people would just focus on producing quality content and less on manipulating Google…

    • Brian Carnell (15 comments.) says:

      Sorry..missed the link on sculpting the first read through. Yeah, seriously, you’re wasting your time worrying about self-pingbacks *unless* you’ve been using link sculpting to artificially boost your pagerank.

      As the article by the Google flak notes, the nofollows from pingbacks from *other* sites or on comments are also going to cost you PageRank and I’d bet that’s far, far more common occurrence than the self-pingbacks.

      Should we now remove nofollow from *outside* pingbacks and comments? Only bother with removing nofollow on your self-pingbacks if you’re also going to do it for all comments and pingbacks from external sites.

      • Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

        As I understand it, the pagerank is dived between all links on a page, so if you link having pingbacks to your own posts why not have them “follow” since pagerank is “lost” on them anyway.

        You can’t control how others link bank to you but that doesn’t affect you negatively. If someone doesn’t follow your pingback, you don’t lose pagerank you just don’t gain any.

  13. Ian Glendinning (7 comments.) says:

    I can appreciate why some might not want self-pings (for traffic stats / behaviour reasons) but it is a great source of cross-linking to have new posts refer to older posts – every new link is a new piece of knowledge – joining up the dots. Self-pinging is defintely a good thing.

  14. Steve (2 comments.) says:

    Interesting topic..I would have never guessed that something like this would actually hurt your SEO, as it only re-enforces content on your site. I wonder what the true effect on visitors is if you have a ping from your own site on a post. Like a few stated above, I manually delete my own trackbacks.

  15. Elvenrunelord (1 comments.) says:

    I plan on continuing to allow word press to ping my own blogs because I have not seen a reason not too.

    WordPress itself adds this function into the program and if it was bad or if they even had an inkling that it was a bad practice they would take the function out.I read nothing in the Google paper that would make me thing that disabling this function is of any worth what so ever.

    No offense but it seems like you need to revisit the basics of what pinging is all about before writing articles such as these unless your engaging in the negative publicity article method which would not surprise me one bit.

  16. Kelson (20 comments.) says:

    I find self-pinging to be clutter, but I haven’t made up my mind whether it’s useful enough to overcome that. I’ve got two main blogs, one of which I started in 2002 that still does self pings (though I occasionally delete one that IMO doesn’t add much) and one of which I started last year on which I installed No Self-Pings from the beginning.

  17. Spyros (1 comments.) says:

    Didn’t know that ! This is very important. I installed the plugin at the very same time. I never thought that one could lose PR this way. Thanx for elaborating !

  18. bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

    what is a pingback anyway? I’ve been blogging for a decade, and still don’t understand what a pingback is….

    • Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

      when you write a post and create a link to another blog post from this post your blogging platform ( blogger, wordpress, whatever ) sends a “notice” to the blogging platform of the post you link to saying “hey bubazoo, linked to that post of yours” and then that blog might create a link back to your post , and that’s a pingback :)
      for more detailed info go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingback

  19. Milan (17 comments.) says:

    I find self-pings to be a good way to connect related posts. If I link New Post A back to Old Post B, the self ping ensures that there is a way for visitors to follow the link in the other direction.

  20. John (5 comments.) says:

    Just get rid of nofollow and suddenly you’ve got a great way to link your related articles together. I use pingbacks to show updates to my old posts, or as a path for someone interested in one article to find more on the topic… Its also a great (quick and easy) way to transfer some pagerank from a popular older post to a more recent take on the same or similar topic.

    SEO-wise, there can be issues with keyword cannabalism, but the analytics say actual users are using the internet link-backs to find content related to the interests that brought them there in the first place. And that’s the important part after all. It does suck to “destroy” link juice with a nofollow relation, but that unnecessary link attribute is easily deleted.

  21. Farnoosh (4 comments.) says:

    Hi, I am so glad other people are wondering about this too. I use WordPress and Thesis and I am approving Pingbacks to my own blog left and right, because there is genuine interlinking between my posts. So I’ll check out the plugin, thank you but ONE question:
    I have heard that Google actually ranks your blog BETTER if the content is related to itself and that means, to me anyway, that the posts are interlinked. Would the plugin remove that benefit. I plan to continue interlink naturally but want to avoid the pingback process.
    Thanks so much!!!

    • Mihai Secasiu (12 comments.) says:

      You shouldn’t have to approve every pingback to your own blog. In wordpress admin Settings->Discussion -> “Before a comment appears” you should enable only “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” and not “An administrator must always approve the comment “

      • Farnoosh (4 comments.) says:

        True, yes I know about that option but I DO want to moderate comments, just not my own pingbacks (which according to my other comment thread with you is still something I am debating) Thanks for being so responsive, Mihai!



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