Switch from LinkWithin to nRelate

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:

LinkWithin Redirects
"Widget.linkwithin.com" redirected people through their site.

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.

49 thoughts on “Switch from LinkWithin to nRelate

  1. I just installed link within plugin in my personal blog…and was searching for ways to increase the post count shown. Found your post by accident. Very informative. I will take a look at nrelate. I will post my feedback later.

    1. I hope this post was helpful to you. I’ve found nRelate to be much better to use, and easier to administrate. I hear great things about Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP), so maybe check that out as well.

  2. Yeah, Linkwithin has been okay for a while – but seeing as I want to customize the thumbnail size and number of thumbs, I am trying nRelate – I hope it’s better. it says I have to wait about 2 hours for it to index my blog first… so we’ll see what happens. Some wordpress plugins are just too labor intensive on the server resources.. I hope nRelate is relatively light.

  3. By the way, (YARPP) also works well – but I removed it recently as it sort of was overkill to have both the YARPP plugin and the other plugins installed at the same time. It just junked it up too much. Less is more, sometimes.

    1. Good to know, and thanks for checking out the site! nRelate also took about an hour to indedx my site, but I have found it to work very well and does not bog down my site like LinkWithin.

  4. Your article really surprised me as I had no idea links were being redirected with LinkWithin.

    I actually don’t use either of the plugins mentioned in this post. I found what is in my opinion the best WordPress related posts plugin (my detailed review and customization instructions).

    It is just liked LinkWithin but much better. It wont display posts they’ve already read, more plugin options, automatically generates a thumbnail image even if you don’t have any pictures in the post (it’s a cool looking 3D view of the actual text of the article).

    It does redirect your traffic through their server as well, but (correct me if I’m wrong) since it uses Javascript (LinkWithin doesn’t) Google doesn’t follow the links anyways.

  5. Yeah, the only reason I was hesitated to use LinkWithin is the link they require below the widget. Though I understand that we are already using their service for free, I’d prefer if they provide an alternative or perhaps a once-off premium to remove the link

    Nevertheless, trying nrelate now. Let’s see how it goes

  6. I was disappointed with Link Within. After a full day to crawl, it was still only suggesting the same 4 or 5 posts on every single post! I wrote to customer service and no response. I used to have nRelate and didn’t like the flyout. Was relieved to find a nRelate product that shows at the bottom of the post. Just loaded, waiting for the crawl and crossing my fingers.

    Oh & yes, I was showing referrals form Linkwithin also.

  7. Hi John, I was using nRelate across my three blogs, but found the appearance of the thumbnails very temperamental. When they didn’t show, it affected the post footer design, so I ditched it.

    I’ve spend a few minutes looking around for alternatives, and was going to go with LinkWithin, but I’ll check-out YARPP. Thanks for the post.

  8. This was the problem I was thinking of when I was reviewing my stats. The LinkWithin widget (though really great) is giving away link juice as these are ‘Follow’ tags.

    Been searching for internal-related post plugins with Thumbnails and I hope nReelate will work for me. Glad I bumped into this page!

  9. Hey there!
    I came across your site minutes after I I installed linkwithin (rhymes with “much to my chagrin”). I noticed right away that posts with videos, which I have a lot of, doesn’t display thumbnails, and therefore the widget is kind of problematic for me. Trouble is, now I can’t remove the thing! I’m really new to html, and I’ve written to linkwithin, but have heard nothing. It’s not a removeable gadget thing, and I can see it in my html, I just can’t figure out how to remove it properly. I know this isn’t the function of your site, but any help would be appreciated. Here’s the code:

    Thank you!

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    1. nRelate wouldn’t work for me. I am still searching for an EASY alternative to linkwithin. There are many people complaining that it doesn’t show up on their pages.

  11. Inspide i already knew issues with linkwithin, and i spent 6 month before finding another related plug in, nrelated was my choice Look here.
    My web was quite new and i put the Linkwithin plug in which made my web lost each day visit untill i realized this plugin was the problem: It’s redirect visits.
    nrelate was installed 2 day ago and very happy with it.

  12. “and the ability to earn money via sponsored posts”
    Yes, that’s true, for the moment just 1 cent the click too.
    Would be a nice alternative too adsense, but it’s poorly paid.
    They would be serious competitor, but should negociate to pay somewhere 5/10 Cents / click as a minimum.
    But anyway the best related plug in.

  13. I was wondering how are they going make money from this plugin. As far as I know they need to spend quite some money to maintain the infracstructure.

  14. I managed to sign up with nRelate and login to start installing. I clicked Blogger and entered my website. And then I got this: “Note: The blogger widget cannot be installed while using the IE browser. Please switch to Firefox or Chrome instead.”
    What rubbish is this? I have to download and install Firefox or Chrome just to have nRelate widget? Come on!…

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  16. I am so peeved at linkwithin – scammers! – I removed the plugin but the linkwithin links still show up on my site and I can’t get rid of them! Neither will their “support” reply to my queries. These people shouldn’t be allowed! Any ideas how to get rid of linkwithin from a WordPress site??

    1. Dave –
      Did you deactivate LinkWithin? I still see it as activated on your blog. If it is activated, deactivate it. Then, if you use a caching plugin, clear that cache (or turn it off and back on). That should resolve your issue!

    1. yes, they are still redirecting the blog users to their site, it is better to switch to some other related post widget.

      Today i have removed them from my blog after reading this article ……

  17. I quit using YARPP because it was putting such a load on my server. nRelate works fabulously and there’s now a quick and easy check box to turn off the javascript and improve SEO.

  18. Hi John,
    I would like to use nRelate,I have Linkwithin now on my site, doesn’t work properly, can I instal nRelate on my Squarespace platform? I do not use the Blogger or WordPress pl. How to? Please help. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  19. Great post! I was really having trouble with LinkWithin because no posts were showing at all. I already tried so many ways on how to work around it. I was lucky enough to stumble upon your blog. Now I’ve got a fully working related posts section in my blog. Thanks a lot! This really helped. πŸ˜€

  20. Hi, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    I was wondering if you could help me, I just added nRelate on my blog but I really need to move it lower, under the comment line and I also would like to make my head for this action (You might also like) smaller.

    Is this something you can help me with?
    best regards,

  21. two years back i am using linkwithin but recently i understand that it is not good for seo. so i just find the reason and reached to nrelate. it is very good.

  22. Wow, I was looking around for information on how to customize my linkwithin related post plugin and came across your site somehow. But I am glad I did, I didn’t notice this redirect that was going on. So I went back to my blog, clicked the related links, or at least one of them and saw what you were talking about! Those sneaky bastards! I have installed nRelate Related Content. Glad I saw this post/blog.

  23. Hello John,
    Interesting post – I didn’t know a lot a bout Linkwithin (they don’t have much info on their website and I still struggling to find their user agreement)

    Also, a friend of mine runs a blog and told me that he uses Nster and Zemanta content discovery platforms – it would be great if you can give your opinion on these widgets from the SEO standpoint.

    So far, they’ve been showing good results in terms of gaining new audience.

  24. Thanks for this great info, now i have removed Linkwithin from my blog and currently using nrelate as its alternative, nrelate is much better than Linkwithin as it provide us more customization and the best thing it is not redirecting my blog users.
    Before reading this article i have never checked that Linkwithin is redirecting my blog users.

    Thanks again for such a great post…!
    Keep posting πŸ™‚

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