Reblog Issue on WordPress.com

Posted on September 11, 2010

16


WordPress.com
Image via Wikipedia

and yes, I know it irritates Matt when I spell it with a lowercase P but I can’t be bothered to do funky capitalization for other people, just myself. So, anyway.

There appears to be a problem with reblogging on WordPress.com; an SEO problem. Normally WP.com (there, happy Matt?) has excellent SEO, and reblogging that is built into a platform would normally increase that, by driving more and more links to blogs within the platform. Well, that’s good for the platform and, as long as the links go to the “official” permalink, that’s good for the individual blogs as well.

That, however, doesn’t appear to be the case at WordPress.com. Take a look at this reblog of a post here.

Original URL:

https://raincoastermedia.com/2010/09/10/seo-secrets-for-wordpress-com/

reblogged to:

http://chimac.net/2010/09/11/seo-secrets-for-wordpress-com-via-raincoaster-media/

Both these blogs have domain mapping, but that shouldn’t matter. Now, if you look at the Chimac post, you’ll see at the bottom there are two links to my blog: one says Read More and the other says “via raincoaster media“. That link?

https://raincoastermedia.com/?p=1717

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a problem. Incongruent permalinks annoy search engines no end; it may even be that to Google, these look like duplicate posts instead of the same one, and that will kill your Googlejuice stone dead.

There are some possibilities that I need to investigate further, since the “ugly permalink” (which contains, you will notice, no keywords and thus is not SEO-optimized) is not something I’m familiar with, having always followed the very good advice to use the pretty, keyword-rich permalinks on my external blogs.

  • The “Ugly Permalink” could add googlejuice to WordPress.com itself but not the individual post which has been reblogged. That would be ugly indeed, since the Pretty Permalink would give it to both and there’d be no ethical reason to use one which penalizes bloggers.
  • The “Ugly Permalink” could somehow be more inclined to display advertising, again accruing more of a benefit to WP.com than to the individual blogger who, unless she’s got the Ad Control upgrade, gets no advertising revenue and unwittingly risks pissing off her readers with more ads than you can shake a mouse at.
  • The “Ugly Permalink” could be just a technical glitch, possibly because the wp.me shortlink goes to the “ugly” version. It appears the original reblogger got the link from twitter, so that would account for it.

I will have to log out, do the cookie dance, and investigate. In the meantime, feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

UPDATE: Here’s the word I got from staff via email:

The reblog tool uses the link with the post id ?p=1717 because it will always work in the future even if the author changes the post slug. This is the intended behavior.

This does not take me to my happy place, but there’s fuck all I can do about it, of course. I’d rather have the full SEO power of the pretty permalink and the occasional 404 if I change a link, because everybody knows that changing permalinks is a mug’s game, and it is my view that the web should not be optimized for mugs.