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A Follower Question for Fellow Bloggers

This afternoon I decided to glance at my stats for the first time in a good while. I noticed something curious with some new followers.

In the last 10 days or so, I have a handful of new followers that piqued my curiosity. These followers all have different blog names, different user names, different Gravatar profiles, and guess what? They have the same profile photos.

I poked around a little on each one and they appear to be aggregate sort of blogs but they each share a few things in common.

  1. Each blog carries ads.
  2. Each blog has an affiliate disclosure statement (they make money off the site and off the ads if you click through them).
  3. Each blog writes on various topics unrelated to each other.
  4. Each blog was designed by the same person who happens to be an IT-type possibly from Russia.

I know a lot of my followers are not real. Many of us have fake followers. This one bugs me though. This is definitely black-hat SEO and it bugs me that they follow my blog, pepper their photos and links in my likes and follows which could lead one of my followers to inadvertently click through on their bait.

I followed this all the way through to the web designer’s LinkedIn page. I do not wish to interact with unscrupulous people so I am teetering on deleting the followers and blocking them.

How did I catch this? I show my followers Gravatar photos on my blog. It is easy to see the duplicate photos of ‘fake’ people. I even did an image search on the photos but received no hits. I am guessing these photos were taken from someone’s social media account unbeknownst to them.

It is a sad situation when people must take the low road.

What would you do?

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Blog Followers

Day 222

I had not been paying much attention of late, but last night I noticed my blog rolled over 200 followers. I started this blog 222 days ago — that’s a little less than one follower per day! Thank you all!

I appreciate it so much when people find interest in what I write. I appreciate the likes and the comments that turn into dialogue that turn into blogging friends.

The next few days are going to be busy and difficult for our family, so my blog may be short and sweet over the next few days.

In the interim, I plan to visit all my followers, check out their blogs, especially those I have not yet followed. I know among the followers I will find some advertisers that really aren’t interested in my content. I am always pleasantly surprised, however, to discover new content that I enjoy reading regularly.

My blogging adventure has really curbed my time on FaceBook which is an unexpected benefit of this blogging journey.

One piece of advice I appreciate from longtime blogger Pete ( beetleypete.com ) is the importance of having your Gravatar profile complete. It is one of the easiest ways to learn about other legitimate bloggers. I just checked my own and see it needs a little tweaking as well.

So, for those of you that follow and read and comment, I thank you. This exchange has made my life richer in so many ways.

As one of my dear friends always says…Go Easy.