Saturday, November 24, 2012

Redirecting The Traffic From Your Blogger Blog

Some Blogger blog owners are confused about their ability to redirect traffic to, or from, their blogs.

Sometimes this leads to problems, as in the need to report a problem with spam classification, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken
Why was my blog just deleted, for "Malicious JavaScript"?

Other people will want to know why, after renaming their blog, all the search engine references now point to a dead URL. Still others may want to rename specific posts, and yet have the post URLs match the new titles.

Blog URLs, and Post URLs, are complex details, for Blogger blogs. By default, both are managed for you. Not everybody understands how to manage blog and post URLs, when necessary.

Not every blog owner understands that ones readers are not possessions, to be manipulated at will.

Many spammers would love to use various Blogger blogs as gateways, redirecting their readers either to other Blogger blogs, or to non Google controlled websites. In order to discourage spamming activity, neither type of redirect is permitted, by the Blogger spam classifier.

Even if automated redirection was permitted, many redirection techniques may not work for everybody. Modern browsers, designed to prevent abusive activity like hacking and spamming, may have filters which explicitly block DNS settings, and scripts, designed to redirect traffic from one website to another.

If you design your URL migration strategy to require automated redirection - and even if Blogger / Google does not delete the blog for abusive technique - you may still not see a consistent transfer of existing traffic, to your new URL.

You can redirect a Blogger blog, to a non BlogSpot URL, using properly setup custom domain publishing - "CNAME" referral. That is the only valid way to redirect a BlogSpot URL, to a non BlogSpot URL. Any other method will eventually leave you posting, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken
Why was my blog just deleted, by Blogger?

If you rename your blog - and publish to a new BlogSpot URL, your only recourse is to publish a "stub" (empty) blog to the old URL, and visually redirect your readers.
This blog is now published as "blogger-status-for-real.blogspot.com". Please update your bookmarks.


One disappointment, experienced by non Blogger webmasters, is the lack of ".htaccess" based redirection. You do not have access to the "blogspot.com" root folder - and you cannot use ".htaccess" based redirection.

You can, if you wish, redirect the blog feed, after renaming the blog - but this should be done only when necessary.

There are several specific cases where the blog feed should not be redirected.

Blogger recently provided us the option to redirect traffic from one blog post to another - but the syntax used by the custom redirects wizard explicitly prevents redirection outside the base blog URL. That said, we have seen some imaginative redirections, between different URLs in the same blog.

Use of the custom redirect feature can generate interesting problems, not all of which can be prevented, easily. You can redirect some URLs - but you need to understand what you can, and cannot do - and why you cannot do everything that you would like.

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1 comment:

Deena Stryker said...

Thanks for this detailed message. Can I delete the blog that I don't want to keep - because I can't update the design - then assign the name to the template just created?