Is It Time To Remove The ‘Like’ Button From Your Blog? #MondayBlogs

In my recent post, ‘Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog?’, the subject of the ‘like’ button came up in the comments section of the post. Some of those comments got me thinking and asking questions.

#bloggingtips #blogging #WordPress

WordPress says that clicking the ‘like’ button is a way of ‘tipping your hat’ to an awesome post you’ve just read and crediting the author of the post for a great piece of work. It doesn’t say anything else as to why or when the ‘like’ button should be used, yet I’ve heard and read other reasons as to why somebody clicks the ‘like’ button at the end of a post.

I’ve scattered some of those examples throughout this post.

“It’s a way to show support for a blogger, even though I’ve not read the post.”

“I use the ‘like’ button so that I can come back and read the post later.”

I’ve come across comments left on some blogs (which do not display a ‘like’ button) saying that they miss not being able to click on a ‘like’ button, and some even almost beg the author of the blog to reinstall it.

On my own blog, I regularly have some readers who will ‘like’ a chunk of my posts within seconds of each other. I’ve never known any of them to have ever left a comment on any of those posts. I also found out that some of the same readers, who do this, also do it on other blogs. And, how many of us have had somebody, we’ve never seen on our blog before, ‘like’ one of our posts (even those that contain over 500 words) within seconds of the article being published?

“Pressing the ‘like’ button on blog posts (without necessarily reading them) is a great free way to promote my blog or site.”

Recently, I’ve also begun to see spammers ‘liking’ posts in the hope that a reader will click on their Gravatar and be tempted to click on links that lead to sites selling certain medical remedies, followers, webcam shows, or pornographic images. These spammers are getting more and more ingenious in ways of getting spam links onto our blogs. Did you know that you can unsubscribe readers from your blog but, other than removing the ‘like’ button altogether, there does not seem to be a way to stop anybody liking one your posts? Unless, of course, you know of a way? However, you can report suspicious Gravatars and blogs to WordPress.

“When I click the ‘like’ button, it shows the blogger I’ve visited their blog even though I have not read the post.”

“I click on the ‘like’ button of all the posts of certain bloggers because I’m good friends with them. They’d be upset if I didn’t press the like’ button.”

I don’t know about you but, until recently, I rarely (if ever) look at who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any of my posts or those of other bloggers. Clicking the ‘like’ button (as I have discovered) doesn’t mean to say that the reader has actually read the post. So how many of those ‘likes’ at the end of your posts are from readers who have actually read your post?

For me, and more important, are the comments left on posts, especially those that clearly show they have read the post (I’m not talking here of comments that just say ‘great post!’). In my post, Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog, it was clear (with just about everyone that left a comment) that leaving and responding to comments on posts was one of the positives of blogging. Not only that, but it also made many bloggers feel good and valued about what they were writing and/or publishing on their blogs. Does clicking on the ‘like’ button do that?

“Bloggers would get upset with me if I didn’t ‘like’ all of their posts.”

“I use the ‘like’ button on days when I’m too busy to read posts. At least the blogger then knows I’ve visited their site.”

So, is it time to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Is there any value in having a ‘like’ button on a blog? Have you ever ‘liked’ any of your own posts and, if so, why? If it is time to remove the ‘like button’ from your blog, you can click here to see how to remove it.

As for me, I’ve taken the decision to remove the like button from all of my posts (past and present). However, I can always be persuaded to reinstall it, but you’re going to have to give me some good reasons to do so. Not only that but, from now on, I’ll only ‘like’ a post in line with what WordPress says it should be used for. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from leaving comments on your blogs. In fact, if I like a post then I will probably leave a comment.

“I always click on the ‘like’ button on all of the posts of certain bloggers, even if I haven’t particularly liked the post or have given up on it halfway through. They’d be upset if I didn’ ‘like’ all of their posts.”

What are your thoughts on the ‘like’ button? Have I persuaded you to remove the ‘like’  button on your blog? Leave me your comments and thoughts, and let’s start the debate.

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255 comments

  1. Such a great topic of discussion. For me, I am on the fence about the ‘like’ button. As you mentioned in this post, I have encountered people who have liked my 2000-word posts within a minute of it being published. I get bloggers going through my WP feed and liking 20 of my posts in a row in a matter of seconds. These bloggers I pay no attention to. The ones who I know support my work are the ones who take time to leave some kind of reflective comment, and for that I will visit their blog and respect their work.

    However, I also see the Like button as useful thing when it comes to having read a post, having nothing to comment as ericlahti said yet still want to Like the post to support it. Sometimes some bloggers I follow write a few related poss – I might not be able to comment on all of them due to time so I would like them all and leave a comment on one of them. Some bloggers I follow don’t have the ‘Like’ button – like you don’t have it anymore in your blog, but really I am still inclined to like it in my reader. As you touched on in the post, it’s a way for me to gauge what posts I’ve read – because I might want to come back to the post later and having the Like star highlighted is a good way for me to find it, and then later leave a comment on the post.

    For me, I don’t define myself by achievements and the number of likes I get. Never paid attention to how many likes I have or even the number of followers on my blog. Most importantly is that I enjoy putting out the content I want to put and read the blogs I find interesting and want to read 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comments on this subject, Mabel. It’s been a very interesting debate, especially hearing all the different ways readers use the ‘like’ button. I will certainly be following this post up and touch on some of the comments.

      I’m still rather concerned about how easy it is for spammers to ‘like’ our posts and get their ‘spam’ Gravatar onto our blogs. I wasn’t aware it was happening until somebody pointed it out to me. I was horrified when I heard about it and found I could not delete the ‘like’.

      I do get why many people like seeing a ‘like’ button. It certainly helps when we’ve nothing to add to the comments already left on a post, but it does concern me that some people click ‘like’ without even opening the post up. I think some see it as a free way to advertise their blogs. You’ve done all the hard work in getting your blog set up and gaining followers, and they simply add a like in the hope that people will visit their blog and follow. It’s as bad as leaving nothing but a link to a blog on a post in the comments (I always delete those). It does beg the question if bloggers are concerned by this, and it’something I will ask in my followup post.

      Thank you for joining the debate.

      1. Definitely will look forward to another post on this subject, Hugh. I also wonder why we can’t delete ‘likes’. But if I did it would also take quite a bit of work. Sometimes I will get a comment that says great post and then a link to the blogger’s blog. Not a fan of those comments and I think it can be just as baffling as liking all of your blog posts in a matter of minutes.

        Thank you for writing so insightfully about blogging as always.

  2. Wow, Hugh. You really started a discussion here. Sorry I missed it. Since WP won’t consistently email me notices… I just can’t keep up. I like blogs to have a “like” button. I was agitated when I couldn’t find yours just now… LOL.
    I need all the support and encouragement I can get. So I like my “like” buttons. I also like being able to “like” comments without having to jump to the Reader to do so… I guess since I need the encouragement I also need to give it in return.. Hugs. Back to Mordor.

    1. I enjoy ‘liking’ comments as well, Teagan. I’d never remove that feature. It comes in very handy when you’ve nothing further to add to a comment you’ve received.

      As for the ‘like’ button at the end of blog posts, I’ve discovered that people use it for all sorts of reasons. I thought it was there to click if you’d enjoy reading a post, but it seems some people use it for other purposes (including clicking it without even reading the post). I’ve also had quite a few spammers ‘liking’ lots of my posts just so they can get their spammy Gravatar on display in the hope that visitors to my blog will click on it. It seems they’ve found an open ‘back door’ on getting onto our blogs. At least with comments, we can moderate them before they appear. With ‘likes’, we can’t do that. I was horrified when a reader informed me about a spam Gravatar they had clicked on, on one of my posts and where it took them. For now, I won’t be bringing my ‘like’ button back, not until WordPress can come up with something to stop these spam Gravatars appearing on our blogs. Sorry to tell you that, but I wanted to do something to frustrate the spammers. 😀
      Hugs to you.

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