I love getting new followers and I like getting like button clicks on my posts too. Who doesn’t? But I’ve been investigating and a number of followers and like button clickers are not are active bloggers or commenters. So what’s a reliable way to track audience growth on my WordPress.com blog?
I have merely skimmed through only the first 3 pages of my followers and made the following discoveries:
- some followers have usernames linked to Twitter accounts that no longer exist;
- some followers have usernames linked to Twitter accounts that are inactive and have been inactive for months;
- some followers have usernames linked to Facebook accounts that no longer exist;
- some followers have username linked to Facebook accounts that are inactive and have been inactive for months;
- some followers have usernames linked to fake accounts;
- some followers have deleted their blogs and are no longer active in the WordPress.com community;
- some followers have abandoned their blogs ie. the blogs have been inactive for months and in some cases for over a year.
As I have been unable to locate an active profile and or/blog for some followers anywhere online, I would like to have the ability to remove these followers.
I may seem reasonable to request that WordPress.com Staff provide us with the ability to delete certain followers and permanently block IPs, but IP addresses have not been unique for over a decade. ISP’s place hundreds of us in the same IP block to save money. So that means IP blocking can result in blocking legitimate potential readers and even existing followers. That’s not to mention that getting a new IP address and/or using a router is easily done.
Disable the follow blog link
It may seem reasonable to request that WordPress.com Staff provide us with the ability to disable the follow blog link completely. However, the follow link on the action bar and is under the control of the logged in visitor, not the owner of the blog being visited.
Anyone with access to the internet can read and/or subscribe to the RSS feed on any public website.
Did you know that your Gravatar.com account has always been a WordPress.com account? You don’t have to be a WordPress user or blogger to register gravatar and it’s simple and free to do so. When it comes to tracking “likes” it’s frustrating to click and find no blog has been linked to on the Gravatar profile page.
Dealing with Bogus Followers and Like button Clickers
1. Blog visibility settings
2. Comment moderation settings
We have complete control comment moderation but that doesn’t address the issue.
3. Like button visibility settings
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words.The image below came from an empty right out of the box WordPress.com blog. There’s no blogger created content in the blog.
What do you make of 105 people clicking a “like” button on an empty blog’s placeholder About page? What’s to like?
We can disable the like button on specific posts. We can choose the “Turned on per post” option to disable the like button site-wide. That allows us to re-enable it for any specific post. But if we assign any tags or categories to posts the like button will still display in the Reader. For more read New Way to Spam and Suspicious email addresses for a bunch of new “followers”. But do note those options don’t address the issue either.
Wishing and hoping
I’d like to manage my followers list by keeping it up to date so I can have some confidence in the numbers of followers reflected in my site stats.
I’d be happy to have as much management capability over followers as I do on my Twitter account. But others may think the ability to approve or disapprove follower requests is the way to go, or may even have another suggestion.
What are your thoughts on managing followers as a more reliable way to gauge audience growth?