Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Identifying An Available BlogSpot URL

When you create a new blog, the first essential task is to decide upon the BlogSpot URL. You want to do this right, because this is one of the most challenging changes, successfully, after the blog becomes mature and gets a reputation. What is the one most important characteristic that your new blog URL has to have?
Uniqueness.
The blog name has to be available - not in use, in any way, by another blog.

Many bloggers start their new blog by picking a name.
How do you find out if the name of your choice is available?
And there is really only one way to tell, and it's not obvious.

Here are three blog names.
anavailableurl
perryfx
anavailableurl2
Only one of these three is available. Which one is that?

"anavailableurl.blogspot.com" was apparently deleted by Blogger or by its owner. The URL is not available.



"perryfx.blogspot.com" was possibly deleted by Blogger, as a suspected spam blog. Review and restoration is (was) pending. The URL is not available.



"anavailableurl2.blogspot.com" is (was) probably available. The URL was probably available, though it may not necessarily be available now.



Some bloggers try to determine an available (non existent) URL by using the "ping" (aka "ICMP echo") command.
C:\>ping anavailableurl.blogspot.com

Pinging blogspot.l.google.com [74.125.19.191] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=158ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=861ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=206ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=128ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 74.125.19.191:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 128ms, Maximum = 861ms, Average = 338ms

C:\>ping perryfx.blogspot.com

Pinging blogspot.l.google.com [74.125.19.191] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=138ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=153ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=118ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=133ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 74.125.19.191:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 118ms, Maximum = 153ms, Average = 135ms

C:\>ping anavailableurl2.blogspot.com

Pinging blogspot.l.google.com [74.125.19.191] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=136ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=130ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=125ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=139ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 74.125.19.191:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 125ms, Maximum = 139ms, Average = 132ms

With many networks, you will see definitive proof when an address does not exist, or when an address may exist but no host at the address is responding. Long ago, BlogSpot would respond that way too. Then Blogger found out that spammers were hijacking previously used URLs.
  • Search for recently abandoned URLs by using the "ping" command.
  • Pick up URLs with search engine reputation left behind by the previous owner
    • Pinged previously as in use
    • Pinged now as not in use
  • Publishing to the URLs not in use.
Blogger decided to cloak the fact that a blog URL is not in use now, and / or was never in use.
C:\>ping nitecruzr-says-that-this-blog-does-not-exist.blogspot.com

Pinging blogspot.l.google.com [74.125.19.191] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=145ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=145ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=117ms TTL=56
Reply from 74.125.19.191: bytes=32 time=125ms TTL=56

Ping statistics for 74.125.19.191:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 117ms, Maximum = 145ms, Average = 133ms

Does "nitecruzr-says-that-this-blog-does-not-exist.blogspot.com" actually exist? It did not, when this demonstration was published. In reality, we don't know - for a certainty - that we might be permitted to create a blog using any of the 4 URLs above.

The only way that availability of an URL is truly known is after it's too late.

Go to "Create a blog", and enter the blog name of your choice. If the name is available, your new blog will be given that name, and it won't be available after that.

And that, in reality, is the only way of determining availablity.
If "Create a blog" says that it's not available, then you can't have it. If "Create a blog" creates a new blog for you, then you have it. And now, it's not available.
And that's reality.

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2 comments:

Mike said...

A great way to check if the actual URL is available (and not just the availableurl.blogger.com), is to go to -

http://availableurl.net/

For future purposes you may want to own your URL rather than use a blogger subdomain.

Chuck said...

Mike,

That's a Register.com utility, for determining available domains, so you can maybe buy a domain from Register.com. You're not going to buy a subdomain of "BlogSpot.com" from Register.com.

Did you test the 3 cases, and get useful information?
anavailableurl.blogspot.com
perryfx.blogspot.com
anavailableurl2.blogspot.com