Why is it that the article title header of a single post page links to itself? Is this a throwback to when the single post page and the permalink weren’t necessarily the same url? Can I safely stop linking the single post’s title header to the permalink?
I doubt the designer of the theme intended it as a “throwback” to anything.
Most weblogs retain a permalink somewhere on single entry pages for those who wish to copy and paste the link elsewhere. Leaving it in the title just simplifies the design. But you can certainly remove the permalink from your single post’s title if you don’t like it there. Afterall, it’s your blog.
I keep it for SEO purposes, using it as a permalink is helpful because it’s the title of your post, linking to your whole post, rather than having the word “more” linking to all your posts (when using excerpts or the “more” tag – otherwise the word “permalink”), this way it’s specific keywords linking to the information they’re related to. It’s much better for SEO to have “10 ways to make a peanut butter sandwich” linking only to that post about doing so than it is to have “more” or “continue reading” or “permalink” linking to EVERY post you have.
You should know this already, Joel, since you profess on your site to know about SEO friendly sites and writing for search engines! 😉