Bloglovin’. More like Blogstealin’ amirite?

If you’ve been on social media this weekend, I’m sure you’ve heard about all the Bloglovin’ drama. It’s been all over Twitter, there’s a massive thread on it in the Official UK Bloggers group on Facebook and probably in other groups too. It’s caused quite a stir. But I’ve also seen some people commenting that they are confused about it all, so I’m going to try and summarise it for you.

  • Originally, Bloglovin’ was a service that helped bloggers to gain traffic, and also helped readers by having all the blogs they read in one place. ANYONE can add a blog to Bloglovin’, but only the owners of the blog can claim it.
  • Bloglovin’ works/ed as an RSS reader, so would get your posts from an RSS feed. When clicking on the links in your Bloglovin’ feed it used to come up into a frame with your actual blog page in it. This way both Bloglovin’ and yourself got views/traffic. However, since trying to become a blogging platform in their own right it looks like Bloglovin’ have made some changes.
  • Now instead of the iframe, Bloglovin now copies your post (either in its entirety, or an excerpt depending on your RSS settings, I’ll get into this later) onto their own page, pictures and all. If you have your RSS settings set to only show excerpts then there’ll be a link to your blog for readers to read the full post. If you have your RSS settings set to show the full post then it shows it in full with NO LINK BACK TO YOUR BLOG.
  • More so it even has it’s own comment section!
  • This new format happens no matter how you click on someone’s post if you’re using mobile or tablet. On a computer though, you only get this version when you click on the date of the post. Click on the title while on a computer and you’ll still get the iframe.
  • Originally when all the drama was happening Bloglovin’ had canonical code put into the post. Canonical code is something that shows Google when there’s duplicate content which one is the original post. The problem was, was that Bloglovin’ had their URL of their copy cited as the original. This mean Google was ranking their version of the post higher than the original blogs, if the original blogs were even ranked at all. This has since been fixed so now the blogs are being cited as the original. Apparently, this was an “oversight”. Now Google will recognise our posts as the originals and Bloglovin’s as the duplicates.

Personally I see the last point to have been the biggest issue with this whole thing, and am so glad that has been resolved now. It’s one thing to copy our work, it’s another thing to say it’s your own. Not entirely sure I believe the whole “oversight” thing; The code must have been but in manually, and it’s obvious if you’re putting your own links in rather than the bloggers. But as it’s been rectified, I’ll let it pass. Though I’d still check from time to time that the code doesn’t change. They were sneaky enough to do all this without informing us, so they’d be sneaky enough to try and change the canonical links back to their own if it was deliberate and not an ‘oversight’.

But there’s still a problem that is still standing. And that’s the fact that people are copying the entire of bloggers posts onto their own platform, photos and all, with no link back to the blogs unless you have your RSS setting put to show excerpts only in RSS feeds. Not to mention they have their own comment section so people don’t even have to go to your blog to comment! They are stealing content and traffic from us.

Bloglovin’ are telling us to change it to that setting if we don’t want them showing the full post, however it’s not a good solution. A lot of bloggers don’t want their RSS settings only showing excerpts as it doesn’t just affect Bloglovin’, it affects all RSS readers, which some bloggers use for mailing lists.

Bloglovin’ is no longer the same platform that the majority of bloggers signed up to. This is such a big change to their platform, and therefore Bloglovin’ should have informed all their users about this change before it happened AND given bloggers the option to remove their blog from the platform if they were not comfortable with it. I have never seen such an email sent to be regarding these changes; I haven’t accept a new terms of service, and I certainly haven’t agreed for them to pull ALL of my content from my blog and copy it onto their own page. Given I haven’t given them permission to use my content, this has got to be some sort of copy infringement, right? Even more so as some bloggers who don’t use Bloglovin’ have their blog on the platform due to the fact a reader put it up there to add to their feed. Bloglovin’ certainly don’t have their permission to take their content.

And the big, awful cherry on this cake of misery is that; You can’t really opt out of Bloglovin’, either. On their site, regarding deleting blogs from their site, they’ve said this;

Bloglovin’ is meant to be a service where you can follow any blog with a public RSS-feed. Since we are a top source of traffic for many of the blogs featured on our service, we don’t ofter hear requests from bloggers to remove their blog.

To prevent services such as Bloglovin’ from using your blog, you can make your RSS private or turn it off. For further instructions on how to do this please contact whoever is responsible for the technical issues of your blog for further assistance.

If your blog is no longer publicly available, feel free to let us know by submitting a request using the link below this article and we will remove it for you.

Turning your RSS off is something Bloggers aren’t willing to do, as it affects many more services they already use. On Twitter today, after all this drama, they have said to contact support if you would like your blog to be removed. Some of the bloggers that have done this have been answered, others have been ignored. Some have been met with snarky replies that our blog can easily be added by someone else anyway (my answer to that would be that I’d just request for it to be removed again when someone re-adds it!)

Personally I’ve already taken my links to Bloglovin’ off my blog and will no longer be promoting them, and I’m more than likely to try and remove my blog from Bloglovin’, too. I know the canonical code has been sorted, so I am happy with that, and my RSS settings are now set to show excerpts only, so people have to click through to my blog to read the full post, so I’m no longer loosing any traffic (To be honest, Bloglovin’ doesn’t generate nearly as much traffic as Twitter does by a long shot! But at the time I thought every little helps). However I’m still uncomfortable about them pulling my photos and copying them to their site without so much as asking for permission. And why would I give them permission? If a reader reads my posts off of Bloglovin’ and decided to pin one of my images onto pintrest, they are pinning Bloglovin’s link and not mine. If they share the post from Bloglovin, it promotes Bloglovin’s link and not mine (my name doesn’t even get a mention). Bloglovin’ are yet again stealing my traffic!

I understand Bloglovin’ are trying to expand and becoming a blogging platform, too. But this is the wrong way to go about it. Like, I’m with WordPress for a reason, you know? If I wanted my content posted DIRECTLY only to Bloglovin’s webpage, then I’d be writing and posting my content with them, but I’m not. If people want to write and publish with Bloglovin’, then that’s entirely down to them. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing if you do. But to scrape other bloggers on other platforms posts off of their RSS feed and paste it all onto their own page is down right wrong. And I honestly don’t they’re think going to change it back since they’ve constantly tried to deny this isn’t stealing content.

I understand there are quite a few of you that use Bloglovin’ to receive new updates on my blog. Please understand that I don’t want to loose you as a reader, but right now, Bloglovin’ just isn’t something that is going to benefit this blog. If you want to keep up to date with my blog I’d suggest either subscribing via email with the button on the sidebar, using Feedly (another RSS reader, but doesn’t steal my traffic), or following me on Twitter or Facebook. I promote any new blog post on both these social media platforms whenever I post them, so you’ll still get the updates. If you want purely blog post updates, then Facebook may be a better choice as I really only use it to notify of new posts. — This is all assuming they will delete blogs like they’ve promised, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m just preparing you guys with other options should this happen. UPDATE: SOMEHOW I’VE BEEN LUCKY AND BLOGLOVIN’ HAVE ACTUALLY AGREED TO REMOVE MY BLOG AND AS OF NOW, MY CONTENT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON THEIR SITE. EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS AND FOLLOWING ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA ARE YOU’RE BEST BETS ON BEING NOTIFIED OF NEW POSTS NOW. OR USING FEEDLY.

If you want more details about this whole issue, I highly suggest you go read Jax’s posts about it over at Live Otherwise. She knows the technical aspects a lot better and is able to explain them a lot better, too!

What are you thoughts on this Bloglovin’ issue? Do you still care about content and photos being copied, or are okay now the canonical code has been rectified? Also do you think we should call this all #BloglovinGate or #BloglovinExposedParty because I really want to start a hashtag for this all!

johanna-montana

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. MamiSkilts says:

    Thank you for this. I have been extremely confused by this drama and this post is really informative. I will look at my RSS feed settings.

    Like

    1. Johanna says:

      No problem! I actually successfully got my blog removed from their site by emailing them asking for them to do so, and saying their social media teams and CEO said that we could if we emailed them. So if changing your RSS feed is going to affect other things like mailing lists, I’d suggest using this option.

      Like

  2. Olivia Alesha says:

    This post was so helpful, I feel like I fully understand what’s happening with Bloglovin’ now and can l will look into my blog settings for sure.
    -Olivia Xx

    http://oliviaxalesha.com/blog/

    Like

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