Block Bloglovin from Scraping Your Feed

July 4, 2017  • 

Today we’re going to discuss how to block Bloglovin from accessing your site, scraping your feed and duplicating your blog posts.

The History

I’m sure the concept of blocking a potential traffic source from accessing your site will be a bit controversial. But hear me out on why I’ve decided to block Bloglovin.

When I first registered for a Bloglovin account, I was excited and intrigued by the platform. Although it’s little more than a public RSS feed, it made it easy to discover new blogs and keep track of favourites.

Quickly, however, the platform began to display some issues. For one, instead of showcasing bloggers from all levels, it skewed toward only showing off bigger bloggers. As bigger bloggers are generally known anyway, this destroyed the purpose of Bloglovin as a discovery tool.

But the real shady issues popped up in March 2017. It was discovered that Bloglovin was scraping the blogs on the platform, and showing them in their entirety. Initially, they were even claiming the content on their site as the original via canonical URLs. While they fixed this following an uproar, they still publish the content in whole on their site.

As with all RSS feed readers, the default behaviour is for anybody to be able to access the feed and use it as they wish. So, readers using another reader may not click through to your post. That’s life. However, private feed readers aren’t indexed by Google. Bloglovin is, which is why the republication of your content can impact your search ranking.

[bctt tweet=”Bloglovin has gone from feed reader to feed scraper… take back control of your content.” username=”prettycontentco”]

What can you do about it?

There’s no real way to remove yourself from Bloglovin as it’s based on RSS feeds, which can be pulled in by anyone. You don’t want to eliminate your RSS feed altogether as it may be used by other services. But now that Bloglovin has gone from feed reader to feed scraper, it’s important to take back control of your content.

A few people have figured out workarounds including changing feed settings to show summaries instead of entire posts. While this does work, for me, it’s not enough. Our blogs are so much more than just the content and photos (which are also uploaded to Bloglovin’s servers which doesn’t seem entirely legal without explicit consent). They’re the branding, the layout, the experience as a whole.

So for me, I’d rather block Bloglovin completely (it doesn’t send me that much traffic as the platform doesn’t benefit smaller bloggers in general).

[bctt tweet=”Our blogs are more than the content and photos. They’re the experience as a whole.” username=”prettycontentco”]

Here I will share a little code snippet to add to the .htaccess of your file which will block Bloglovin from accessing your site and scraping your feed. Usually, .htaccess files can be tricky to find and edit if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, but luckily there’s an easy way using WordPress.

Many of us already use the SEO plugin from Yoast, which actually comes with a built-in file editor for the .htaccess (if you don’t use this plugin, I recommend it, but there are also other .htaccess editing plugins available if you do a quick Google).

It’s simple. Just go to where it says SEO in your admin toolbar, then click Tools.

A screenshot of the Yoast SEO plugin options

Then, File Editor. A text field will be available wherein you can edit your .htaccess file.

A screenshot of the Yoast SEO File Editor

You do want to be careful since, as sort of indicated in the title, this file determines who, what and how people access your site.

In this file, to block Bloglovin from accessing your site, you want to add the following code:

# allow all except those indicated here
order allow,deny
allow from all
deny from 194.0.59.
deny from .*bloglovin\.com.*

This will block Bloglovin from accessing your site, and therefore from scraping your feed. To allow Bloglovin to access your site again, just remove the code and continue as normal.

Thank you for reading!

I’d love if you’d leave a comment and join the conversation! Also, if you found this post useful, please share it on social media (and/or you could buy me a little chai latte to fuel further post writing!)

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