Do WordPress Self Pings Waste Pagerank?

Google PR, Nofollow & WordPress Self Pings

Google PR, Nofollow & WordPress Self Pings

By now everybody knows internal linking is very important – it gives you a chance to add keywords into your link profile and lets users navigate your website via contextual links. WordPress self ping trackbacks in comments (nofollowed by default) are a different beast though and if we are to believe the recent announcement on how Google treats nofollow links they might actually be sucking the PR right out of your blog.

I was reading a blog earlier today and noticed they’d self pinged an article about 50 times from their own blog posts!

If Google is treating nofollow as Pagerank sinkholes, why introduce 50 nofollowed links to a page that does not need them via trackbacks from your own blog that dissipate Google Pagerank?

Crazy stuff.

There might be an excuse for nofollowing external links in blog comments, (although we do not, using Hobo Linky Love)but surely not internals?

Advice – keep the comment area for comments, turn self pings off in WordPress with no self pings and conserve Pagerank pr link juice or whatever it is we’re working with these days, so you get more of your pages into Google.

QUICK TIP – Want to remove those trackbacks from posts? It’s easy, just go to your WordPress Admin panel, go to Comments, and search for “[…]” and you’ll see all the trackbacks you have and you can choose what to remove.

PS For beginners – What is a self ping? It’s when you link to a post on your own blog, and you get a trackback in the comments. Not only do you possibly waste pagerank unnecessarily, you insert duplicate content on to recipient pages, which is not a great thing to be doing these days.


  1. The Best WordPress SEO Plugin
  2. Advice – Nofollow Blog Comments
  3. Host WordPress blog in a subdomain or directory?
  4. How To Exclude A Category or Post From RSS Feed in WordPress
  5. List Recent Posts From Single Category on Posts Within Same Category
  6. Add Text To Home Page Only on WordPress Blog
  7. WordPress Contact Form 7 Redirect To Thank You Page
  8. Speed Up Contact Form 7 Plugin For WordPress
  9. Dynamic PHP Copyright Notice in WordPress
  10. How To Import Large WordPress XML File Above Default Limit Size

Loading Facebook Comments ...

19 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Hey Shaun, I appreciate the PS for Beginners at the end of your post. Trackbacks and Pings are things I haven’t given much time in learning about yet. I don’t think I’m victim to this however I did install InstantDebate as my comment engine. I know the content of comments get’s lost in the JS but it’s much nicer for community building I think. Do you have an opinion on the JS comment engines such as Instant Debate or its competitors?

  2. Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

    Hi Brian…. no I don’t bother with javascript comments etc… perhaps my friend Andy Beard can help you. He does a lot of research on wordpress comments for seo etc. :) I know what I like and generally I stick with it.

  3. malcolm coles says:

    Brian – I haven’t checked lately, so things might well have improved. but i blogged about the very topic of ID and SEO here: and before that here: You could repeat the tests and see what the case is now!

  4. Brian says:

    @ Malcolm & Shaun: Thanks for the quick responces and links. Malcolm, your January post upgraded ID on wordpress with the plgin at 7.1ish of 10, well I re-did your test and without JS enabled the page showed 11 of 13 comments… my blog is hosted on Blogger and without I’m showing zero… that’s probably because there is no blogger plugin… oh well, I’ll sit and ponder this for a while before deciding what to do. Obviously I could self-host wordpress but the point I was going for with Blogger was to keep costs of blogging microscopic at first. I guess I’m at least not losing PR to self Pings. :/

  5. Jeet says:

    @Shaun: You have raised an excellent point, I had already switched my trackbacks, pingbacks and comments to dofollow on my blogs when the nofollow PR leak bomb was dropped by Matt 2 weeks ago. I might disable self pings altogether now.

  6. Dan Alderson says:

    Hi Shaun Great description of what exactly self pings are and how to deal with them. The no self pings wordpress plugin is one of the first plugin’s I install when working on any wordpress site.

  7. Andy Beard says:

    More importantly I think Brian needs to take a look at this

  8. Brett Pringle says:

    Perhaps an idea to look into using a related posts plugin as well for the internal linking?

    • Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

      Hi Brett I do, of course. And I think it’ incredibly important to have some sort of related posts feature when blogging.

  9. Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

    THanks Andy… i need to make sure some trusted people’s links are allowed as ‘without Nofollow’ as i am killing it completely on my blog…….

  10. Andy Beard says:

    Could always just kill the hypertext link in comments All I did is look at Brain’s blog and notice a significant problem, thus the link is for him more than anyone else.

    • Shaun Anderson (Hobo says:

      @Andy – I’m happy to let people I know drop links to other articles. I’m going to do something about it – I hate seeing links that aren’t clickable – for me it’s a bad user experience. I’ll probably allow links from people like your self who’s left many a comment on the blog.

  11. Brian says:

    @andy – Thansk for taking the time to direct me to your blogspot seo problem page. I’ve gotta say that a lot of what you said is very difficult for me to grasp but taking some time with it I think I understand that my lables suck juice from the site because the pages cannot be indexed due to robots.txt. This can be fixed by adding rel=’tag nofollow noindex’ to the labels links though. Am I correct? To properly index however I need to get links over to those older pages. My archive is date based in the URL (so it should be indexed) and I only include post titles on these archive pages so as to not get hit by the duplicate content issue. You stated in the above comment “All I did is look at Brain’s blog and notice a significant problem”. Does this address the problem you saw or were you refering to something else? I want this blog to be as SEO friendly as I can make it despite all of Bloggers problems.

  12. Andy Beard says:

    Nofollow doesn’t really address the problem any more – Google messed that up – noindex/nofollow in the header is pointless, as robots can’t see it. If you need those links, I would suggest javascript. it is nasty, but then so is Google’s system There are alternative methods, buch as not using categories at all, or minimizing their use, and then maximizing the number of date based archives. I would show at least a snippet on archive pages if they have advertising. Who knows, maybe in 6 months Blogger will fix things.

  13. Gregor says:

    Hi Shaun, Any plans to update the Hobo WordPress plugin to sort out the trackbacks from other websites? Ideally I’d rather not have them as nofollow or dofollow. Perhaps a javascript link would be the best solution for them?

  14. Tom Bathgate says:

    Hi Shaun, What a great article. As someone that is about to launch a new site in WP I hadn’t really grasped self-pings and trackbacks yet but this article was just what I needed to grab the basics of it. Having found your website today its packed with great stuff and I now have an armful of bookmarks for reading. Thanks!!!

  15. Andy Beard says:

    I have a little global solution for anything left as nofollow almost finished Gregor

  16. Gregor says:

    @Andy Excellent – looking forward to hearing about it. Will you be announcing it on your own blog?

Learn how you can get more sales from your website

Subscribe for free and let us share with you:

  • how to submit your site to Google, Yahoo & Bing
  • how to optimise your site to get more traffic from Google
  • how to target the most valuable keywords for your business
  • how to make your site rank better in free Google listings
  • how to rank high & avoid Google penalties in 2015

Trust Hobo with your SEO plan

SEO Audit