Review: Zemanta WordPress Plugin

Over the weekend I installed the Zemanta plugin for WordPress.  I read about the Zemanta “content suggestion engine” on Weblog Tools Collection and TechCrunch.

I really like Zemanta.  Oringinally it was made as a browser plugin, and I believe it was released recently to work with some common blogging engines, like WordPress, Movable Type, and Blogger.

What I liked the most was the tag suggestion feature.  I like the tag feature in WordPress, but I don’t like trying to determine good tags for a post.  And so I didn’t tag posts.

So when I read about Zemanta, I decided to try it out.  I didn’t realize it at first, but the WordPress plugin adds a panel on the right of your ‘Write Post’ page.  I used Zemanta’s tag suggestions for some posts this weekend, and when I found out how useful it was, I went back and tagged many of my recent posts.

After adding these tags, I found determined the quid-pro-quo with the Zemanta service.  With every post that you utilize Zemanta, Zemanta adds a “reblog” button at the bottom of your post that links back to their website.

Now, I don’t mind Zemanta getting a little credit for their product.  But not on my personal website, without my approval.  Zemanta does not ask permission to add these buttons and links.  You can turn off the generation of the buttons and links, but by default they are added to all posts.  And if you turn this off, you then have to go back to all the posts you used Zemanta and manually delete their code.

No, thanks.  I don’t want the look of my blog to include your buttons.  And I don’t want my PageRank to slide downhill because of all the sketchy links that I didn’t approve or add myself.

Zemanta provides a great, even amazing service that is really useful.  But I don’t like the way they added images and links to my blog (without my knowledge).  Had I known about this before using Zemanta, maybe my view would be less jaded.  But for now, I’m uninstalling Zemanta.  And I’m going back through and manually removing all the code they added to my posts.