Many bloggers use bloglovin as a way for their readers to follow them and see their content. When it was just an RSS aggregation service, this wasn’t a problem, and many bloggers have built up hundreds, or even thousands of followers on the service, and see a good amount of traffic from it.
Right at the moment though, there’s something not healthy in the world of Bloglovin, and that something is a snippet of code, claiming that the bloglovin version of our blog posts is the original and definitive version.
It looks like this, and it’s called a canonical URL. Used well in syndication, it would point the copy of the article back to the original on the content provider’s site, as described by searchengineland here so search engines would know which version to rank in their listings.
Can you spot the problem with how Bloglovin are using it?
Now, there’s a whole lot of misinformation flying around social media about what the problems are with bloglovin right now. Lots of people saying the issue is that they’re displaying the full post instead of a snippet, or that they are using a frame, or that they’re not using a frame, that you can fix it by changing your RSS settings, or by putting in a page break, or linking to code snippets to break frames and so on.
I don’t see those things as the major issue here. Some are factors that make me doubt the value of the service, but not the problem I’m looking to get fixed right now. There are some ways to view your posts via a frame on bloglovin – if I’m using a laptop and I go to my profile and click through on posts, I see this:
. That’s showing my site, albeit wrapped in a frame, those are my links, if you hit the share buttons at the bottom of the post, you’re going to add my post to pinterest and so on.
However, if you go to a blog profile like mine and then click on the date link next to the title you get a page served entirely on bloglovin site, and looking like this.
Not a lot of point in paying for a theme, having sidebar, ads, follow buttons or anything is there? None of that stuff is visible. It’s just *my* content, on bloglovin’s site. Complete with *my* images, copied to their cloud network. This means if you hit a pinterest or facebook share on that page, you share the bloglovin page, which remember, has that lovely little canonical snippet of code in it, claiming the content as belonging to bloglovin. There’s even a comment field, and if people comment on there, you don’t get any notification of it.
As Zoe just pointed out on twitter, this takes Bloglovin from RSS reader to RSS scraper. Not where they want to be positioning themselves, surely?
— Zoe C (Mama Geek) (@zoecorkhill) March 26, 2017
Note *if* I were only showing a summary in my RSS (on wordpress in dashboard, see settings> Reading) then there would only be part of my post on that page. Like this from life in a breakdown
This is obviously better than having all my content on the site, but the canonical URL code is still there even on this snippeted code, and the picture has still been copied.
We need bloglovin to respond to this and fast. Bloggers lost faith in the service last night, and lack of any public reply to those concerns is worrying. I’ve raised a support ticket here and my tweet from last night is getting a lot of interest so now I guess we wait and see.
— Jax Blunt (@liveotherwise) March 25, 2017
If you’re a blogger, what do you think about all of this? Let me know, but in the comments on the original post please 😉
Read more about rel=canonical on Yoast.