Comment feed link

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 years ago by Clark.
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  • #35836 Reply

    I can no longer find the link to any post’s comment feed. I found it before for The 9/11 Post; it opened a page that displays a chronological stream of comments for just that post, and I have kept that tab open ever since, This is its URL:

    The 9/11 Post

    I’m pretty sure I opened it from a link at the top of the page. But now, the link I think I used points to the feed for Craig’s posts.

    I thought I was presented with a drop-down menu to choose between a feed of posts and a feed of comments for the page I was on, but my memory is vague about this and I can’t find any such thing now…

    #35837 Reply

    Hey! Posting my above comment modified the URL I posted! It made it into anchor text taken from the post’s title and stripped “feed/” from the end of the actual href.

    #35844 Reply

    I don’t recall there ever being a comment feed link per individual post but that might be my faulty memory. Did you not just create the URL manually by tacking /feed on the end. I think there was a link to “Comments RSS” but that was all comments on all posts not per post.

    #35846 Reply

    No I definitely used a link, or I wouldn’t have known that such a feed was available. I think I found it on a 9/11 post page. It may have been the “Comments RSS” link that you mentioned. Where did that go? Did a theme update remove it?

    #35847 Reply

    Back in the expathos hosting time one of the ways bots were slowing the site down was by abuse of the RSS comments feed which wasn’t cached at the time. I think I mentioned to you the individual post comment feed being repeatedly called on certain posts (as were random comment pages of the posts themselves) and you said something like “what individual post comment feed” 🙂 It is a standard WordPress feature available whether you publish the link or not.

    Comments RSS probably went to discourage its use prior to the introduction of caching. Of course my memory could be faulty and maybe there was a separate link for and individual post’s comments and I’ve forgotten.

    #35848 Reply

    I’m pretty sure it /was/ that “Comments RSS” link, and I found it on a 9/11 Post page, and that it offered me a drop-down with “All Comments” or “Just comments on this post” or similar.

    #35849 Reply

    Well I was using that feed by April 1, because I recommended it to others – the following is a permalink to 9/11 Post page 108 comment 665014, though it’ll probably get mangled. I told others to use the link at the top of the page:

    The 9/11 Post

    I may well have tested it when I posted that comment, but I’m not certain. But I hadn’t been using it for very long by then; maybe a week or a month.

    #35850 Reply

    Okay I went and checked the WordPress Meta widget. It has Entries RSS and (all) Comments RSS options only. I also restored an old backup of the previous theme and it had (all) Comments RSS and Entries RSS also although not using the standard WordPress widget. The current theme does not have a built-in option either to display a comment feed link per post although it would be easy to add,

    I really am fairly sure I did mention it to you in 2014 and I’m also fairly sure (but not certain) that it was never a link on the site. But my memory is terrible!

    I suppose it is theoretically possible a parent theme update added a comments per post RSS link which was then subsequently removed in a later update but there’s nothing in the change log related to that and I would have thought I’d have noticed extra links appear and disappear.

    #35853 Reply

    Weird. Thanks for going looking. Yeah you probably did mention it in 2014 but there’s so much to remember when you tell me admin stuff; the mains things I remember were the custom denial of service bot that exploited showmore=1 or similar, and the one that kept requesting searches for strings of nonsense. Do delete this if you consider it sensitive.

    I’m sure a link in the interface offered me the comment feed because I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner. I’m pretty sure there was a two option drop-down. Must have been February or March.

    #35855 Reply

    Searches for nonsense strings wasn’t the major problem but it did happen. One of the biggest problems was related to search engines though – the old theme did not have a canonical URL feature which redirected search engines to the proper URL and it didn’t verify that comment page 49,999 etc didn’t exist. That meant it was simple for an individual to submit a fake link elsewhere to say comment page 49,999 which google etc would visit and incorrectly get a link to page 49,998 and so on. Or it could re-index the site with URLs with random params embedded which didn’t get redirected to the canon URL.

    The result was that the site was being continually indexed by google, bing and umpteen other random crawlers etc., etc. for millions of pages of content which didn’t actually exist as real different pages. All by someone simply placing a few doctored links anywhere on the web for google to find and then the search engines will do the rest.

    A canonical link element is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version of a web page[1][2] as part of search engine optimization. It is described in RFC 6596, which went live in April 2012.

    Other WordPress sites running older themes were also attacked in this manner and all current themes don’t have the problem. Half fixes were added for the problems in the old theme with a combination of code patches and SEO plugin but, as you know, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the old theme going and its parent theme had been abandoned years ago.

    That showmore one you mention was weird because it was a local site addition which was why it was so strange that random bots would target it by using it on large comment count threads and by firing SQL injection attacks at it. There was no SQL injection vulnerability in the code but that didn’t stop the bots continually trying variations!

    Nothing sensitive above as none of the issues are present in the current theme.

    #35856 Reply

    Oh and I forgot to add Google and friends then penalised the site for having excessive duplicate content, as it crawled the bad URLs, thus reducing search rankings as well as loading the server with the requests!

    #35857 Reply

    Thanks. It helps to see all that written down; I remember it now.

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