I recently developed this website, my first with WordPress. After working as an in-house SEO for a few months, I decided it was time to develop my own site, to practice what I preach.
One feature I knew that I needed to have was a way to interconnect my posts, not only for SEO purposes, but for usability purposes. So I did some research and thought that LinkWithin would suit my needs. Boy was I wrong.
The issue with LinkWithin
Once my Distilled Stole My Page Title post got some exposure, I was digging into my Analytics to see what was going on behind the scenes. I wanted to see how well my site was keeping users on the page. I was looking at Referring Sites as well, and started to see this:
I thought that was strange, and I had never really clicked around my own site to see how well it flowed (lesson learned). Much to my chagrine, I clicked on one of the “Related Posts” on the LinkWithin widget, and I was redirected through the LinkWithin site back to my own site.
LinkWithin is a parasitic widget. It redicts your traffic through their own site, effectively linking to themselves from all over your site and then 301 directing you back to your own site, thus effectively stealing your internal link juice. Ouch.
What I Switched To
I did some more research, and decided to change to nRelate Related Content. I found it easy to activate (others took some coding and I did not want to deal with it). Once I installed and activated the plugin, it took approximately 30 minutes (too long for the number of posts I had at the time, in my opinion!) to index and cache all of my posts and pages.
Why I Like nRelate
I like nRelate for a number of different reasons.
1) nRelate is a highly configurable plugin that uses a cool patent-pending (apparently) algorithm to associate your post with other posts on your site.
2) It requires no coding to activate on your site.
3) You have the option to show featured images of your posts, or only text links. If you do not have associated photos with all of your posts, they have stock photos that will show.
What I do not like
I was a bit disheartened to read Joost’s review of nRelate where he pointed out that because of the scripting used, the plugin does not pass much internal link juice. However, he did point out that it would be possible to do, and that the code overall is pretty good.
Maybe next I will try YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin), which requires a bit of coding to implement, so I hear, but is also highly recommended by other SEOS.
But for now, don’t use LinkWithin, whatever you do.
*Update* – I hear rumors that LinkWithin no longer redirects through its own internal pages. I am still seeing it, however, on a lot of websites. Use at your own SEO peril.