“Like” Spamming

I am getting a little fed up with receiving lots of likes on posts. Great, I enjoy good feedback like any other blogger and I appreciate that you appreciate what I write. However, there seems to be a growing trend on WordPress for “Like” spammers. That is, people who trawl hundreds of blogs in a day liking every post that they see yet never post a single comment.

These people are not engaging with the content or using the feature in the spirit in which it is intended. It seems that the majority are not even reading the posts on which they are automatically clicking “Like”. How have I worked this out?

  • Firstly, several times in the last few months I have acquired several “likes” on posts that have (at the time) registered zero hits
  • Secondly, I turned off “likes” on 2012 And All That [EDIT: BLOG NOW CLOSED] several months ago yet I still get them

like spamming is still spam

It is clear what is going on. Using the reader (which shows only the first 50 or so words of the post) these bloggers are scrolling through a subscribed topic and hitting “like” on everything. Thirdly, I see the same gravatar icons appearing on a wide range of blogs covering a multitude of subjects and in each case, they have not commented. So as of today, I have turned this feature off on this blog.

I work hard to engage with other bloggers, particularly aspiring writers and novelists on WordPress. I work hard to ensure I use good keywords and good structure for SEO purposes.I do not subscribe to blogs that I do not wish to read and if I click “like” I also make sure to leave a comment. I love reading blogs on the subjects I subscribe to and I will always let a fellow blogger know that I appreciate the work they put in. For those of you that have used this feature as it was intended, I can only apologise but I know it will make no difference as you also comment here – thank you as always… you know who you are.

I do not subscribe to blogs that I do not wish to read and if I click “like” I also make sure to leave a comment. I love reading blogs on the subjects I subscribe to and I will always let a fellow blogger know that I appreciate the work they put in. WordPress is (supposed to be) a community of writing enthusiasts and small business owners looking to build an audience through positive engagement. A large number are not using the site for this function and it is those people that I wish to discourage. I also do not want them hijacking my traffic. Therefore, I have taken the decision to switch off likes on this blog too.

For those of you that have used this feature as it was intended, I can only apologise but I know it will make no difference as you also comment here – thank you as always. You guys know who you are.


22 thoughts on ““Like” Spamming

  1. “Like” Spamming. LOL I LIKE that!
    Although I have not experience this on WordPress, I HAVE experienced it on Facebook many times.
    Excellent post!

    1. mgm75

      Thanks! I did make a similar comment on the WordPress news page a few months ago, pointing out that I feel it is being abused.

      Everybody else was too busy gushing at how awesome the “like” feature is. I guess I have a lonely existence 😦

  2. Yes, it happens. A lot. I usually get the ones that just published some hot, steamy sex novel. (Does it seem as if I’m into that?)

    The thing is, it probably works for them. It does with me.

    When someone “likes” my post, I reciprocate by checking them out. The spammer gets a hit on their blog, thus their tactic worked.

    I can see why you disabled the “Like” feature. I’ve been thinking about doing the same. So far, it is not an issue, but we will see.

    1. mgm75

      I’d only visit sites of people who comment on my blog, I didn’t bother clicking through on “likes”. When I’m feeling partiularly generous I sometimes visit blogs of subscribers who rarely comment, just to remind them I’m here.

  3. I like your blog and I am following you. You do have a point about the LIKE feature. I click on the like button because I have read the blog’s post or admired the pictures of blogs, and when I have time I comment. Facebook likes and twitter follows…is clocking up figures really useful? Now, that’s another debate I’d like to read about 🙂

    1. mgm75

      Thank you Alison! I’ve lurked your blog several times.

      The thing is, I’d rather have 1 comment than 1000 “likes” because at least that one person has paid attention and absorbed it. As a writer I want readers!

      1. Ahh, that you are right. As writers, we do want readers. Thanks for lurking around 🙂

  4. I was just reminded of this post by something similar-ish… I like “likes”. I do. They’re lovely. But if I post a 1700-word post at 9:50, and get a notification at 9:56 that someone “liked” the post, I’m going to have to assume the “liker” is either a quick reader-with-retention or didn’t bother to read a word. When the same person hits the like button on every single post I post, I’m going to lean toward the latter. Flattering as it might be to think otherwise, not every post is golden and will appeal. They can’t all be. So the constant “likes” wind up being just kinda creepy.

    1. mgm75

      Precisely! Also, you will find that those “too early to have been read” likes also have zero hits at the time. Keep an eye on your hits before and after you post. If it doesn’t change, then you know they haven’t read it and are just skimming the reader on the front page and hitting ‘like’ – probably on everything

      1. Then there are the people who “like” every single review on Goodreads… but I digress. *sigh*

  5. Peaches

    Sorry I stole your brainwave, dude. You put it much more eloquently than me though. Thumbs up!

    1. mgm75

      Haha, that’s quite alright. Keep up the good work

  6. I haven’t turned my “Like” feature off completely, but have certainly opted not to be notified when I get liked. After reading the informative posts by you, ruinedchapel and Peaches- I just don’t feel the love anymore. On the other hand, a comment can mean so very much.

    1. mgm75

      Likes have just become meaningless for me now when it is the same people cropping up on every blog liking every post

  7. Erin Elizabeth Long

    Even though I’m flattered when people drop by and “like” something that I’ve written, I’m not always sure why they like it. I think that’s the aspect that becomes so frustrating; there’s not enough information.

    Comments, however, are awesome.

    1. mgm75

      Agreed 🙂

  8. http://margaretrosestringer.com/2014/03/07/ok-lay-it-on-me/ – definitely related … You have started me thinking on turning off ‘likes’ – thanks!

    1. Welcome! Maybe we’ll start a revolution and WP will start asking bloggers what they think works best 🙂

      1. Dream on, it seems … 😦

  9. Just came across your post through the comment you left on Sabina’s blog.
    I usually try to comment, but sometimes don’t know what to say or have nothing to add, or be short on time and then it will be a like to acknowledge that I read, it’s a bit like a read receipt for me 🙂

    1. Hi Solveig,

      That’s a perfectly fine way to use the “like” function. Unless I am very much mistaken, there is an option in the notifications for you as the reader to filter posts to see those that you have liked – in that respect, it works as a great bookmark for blog readers.

      Sadly, and I’m sure you have noticed too, that people do abuse the function in the manner that I describe above.

      1. When I first started my blog I was confronted with the like spamming, but at that time I saw it as positive feedback and the the genuine readers started to show up and I noticed the difference. Now that I have established a small readership, the phantom liker or follower is less bothersome as I do get real feedback.

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