When Google Reader was shut down, a lot of people flailed around for a replacement. Personally, I tried out four replacements: Digg Reader, Feedly, Bloganizer, and finally the one I went with: Bloglovin’.
Before the death of Google Reader, Bloglovin’ seems to have been mostly used by people who like to look at pretty things – fashion and some crafts, basically? But then an unknown number of people showed up who weren’t necessarily from the fashion and pretty craft fandom… and they imported their Google Reader subscriptions.
I first realized this could create problems when I started using Bloglovin’ myself. I searched for my own blog, to follow it, and… there were four different ones I could sign up to follow. Um, what? If someone wants to read my blog, which one do they pick?
Even if you don’t use Bloglovin’ to follow blogs, you should check YOUR blog in Bloglovin’, to make sure your readers are getting your posts! This whole process should take about 10 minutes.
Let me show you what I’m talking about, with the blog Joy Unexpected. I tried to follow her blog in very early August and this is what I found.
Here are the search results for Joy Unexpected:
Seven results! Now obviously some of these are not her blog, but entries for other places she posts content – two different options for her Flickr, and also a Tumblr. “Review Edition” looks like an old Blogspot blog that she hasn’t used since 2011. And then there are three separate entries for her main blog.
How did all this stuff get in here?
Here’s my guess: a lot of people never really pruned their Google Reader subscriptions down to the blogs that were actively posting. (Because they have lives.) Then when Google Reader went boom, they followed the directions to bring their Google Reader subscriptions with them and it created all kinds of entries in Bloglovin’. This includes old feeds that no longer work, old defunct blogs, and subscriptions to comment threads and other random things.
So why is this a problem? Let’s take a look. Here’s one of the entries for the blog Joy Unexpected.
So yeah, that entry in Bloglovin’ is looking for a feed that hasn’t worked since April, and 117 people are signed up for it.
Here’s another of the three entries:
And that one doesn’t work either, with 46 followers.
Here’s the third one:
There are only 58 followers on this, which is the only one that’s getting current posts.
Like with Google Reader or any other feed/blog reader, we assume that a decent number of these “followers” have a Bloglovin’ account but don’t necessarily use it every day, or at all. However, if only 60 of your blog’s 220+ followers in Bloglovin’ are signed up for a feed that works, you are probably going to get more of your readers to your content if you fix that.
Bloglovin’ does NOT have an automated / self-service way to do this, even if you “claim” your blog (prove that you own it). You have to email customer service. But in exchange for waiting patiently after you do that, they will not only get rid of the duplicate entries, they will also move your followers from the duplicates.
Here’s what to do:
Set up a Bloglovin’ account, and search for your blog. If you only find one entry, great! No problems for you.
If you find duplicates, or just one entry but it says the blog’s posts aren’t being retrieved, go ahead and claim your blog in their system (this link has instructions).
Then, while logged into your Bloglovin’ account, contact Bloglovin’ customer support using the form at the bottom of their help page.
1) The URL of your blog
2) The current feed URL on your blog that works, if you know it. (If you have Feedburner or Feedblitz set up and working, give them that URL. If you don’t use either of those services, your feed URL is like your blog URL but with some extra stuff on the end. You can usually find it by clicking on the feed button on your site, which may be orange.)
3) The URL of the Bloglovin’ entry you want to KEEP for your blog. Look in the URL bar at the top of the screenshots above, the one this blogger would keep would be http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5019801/joy-unexpected.
4) The URLs of any duplicate entries that should be deleted, and specifically ask that they move the followers of those URLs to the URL you are keeping. (In Y’s case, she could also report the “Review Edition” as an old URL for her blog that should also be consolidated.)
Then be patient! I am sure they have a lot of requests to respond to, since they also do this for people who change their URLs. I emailed them to clean up mine right as Google Reader was going bye-bye, and it took a couple of weeks for them to respond, but then they made all the changes I asked for and wrote back to let me know it was done.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!