An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Being A Hacking Victim Is Not Always The Fault Of The Account / Blog Owner

Even though being the victim of a hacking attack is not (always) the fault of the account / blog owner, the blog owner may have to bear some of the responsibility.

Since hacking detection is a fuzzy process, it's not always going to be detected immediately. The previous article discusses what happens when Google does detect a hacking attack - and in some cases reacts too diligently.

If Google is not able to detect an attack, in some cases, an attack may be successful.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Repeated TOS Violations Are Punished Gradually

Some blog owners don't understand the serious nature of repeated violation of TOS Policy, in Blogger blogs - and how offenses are handled, by Google.

We've seen several reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners who appear to be unclear about the consequences of repeated TOS Violations.
I got email from Blogger, about my Blogger account.
We'd like to inform you that we've received another complaint regarding a blog that you administer. Upon review of your account, we've noted that you've repeatedly violated the Terms of Service: http://www.blogger.com/go/terms. Given that we've provided you with several warnings of these violations and advised you of our policy towards repeat infringers, we've been forced to disable your Blogger service.
How do I get my blog restored?

This example appears to represent the final step, in a multi step policy.

Blogger Magic - Pages Vs Posts

Not all blog owners know what pages are - nor how they differ from posts. We see confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How do I publish a post, which always appears on the home page?
or
How do I publish a post, which never appears on the home page?
or
How do I publish multiple posts on a page?
Long ago, we used workarounds, like publishing a post, using a future or past date. The workarounds would create a post which would always, or never, appear on the home page - but there were always side effects, from using either technique.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Recovering A Deleted Page Or Post, Chapter 3

We've been advising anxious blog owners, for some time, how to recover deleted pages and posts.

The easiest solution, in the long run, is to recover the PageID / PostID, and re publish the deleted page / post.

Unfortunately, all deleted pages and posts can't be edited and re published. With new posts, un indexed by the search engines, you won't be able to find the post in cache - and you'll never determine the PostID. This will be a frequent problem with deleted pages - as static pages generally won't get indexed by the search engines - nor will they ever be included in the blog posts feed.

In some cases, even when you know the PageID or PostID, the page editor / post editor may simply reject your attempt to re edit - and give you another bX code.

Even so, all is not lost. You may have to rebuild the page or post - but you can generally keep the URL, of the deleted page or post, operational. Just plan the rebuilding process.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reverting Your Blog Back To Blogger Comments, From Google+ Comments

We're starting to see regular evidence of dissatisfaction, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about Google+ based Blogger commenting.

We've known about some undesirable features of Google+ commenting, for a while now.
  • No ability to moderate comments, made against your blog, before they are published.
  • No ability to moderate comments, from the dashboard.
  • No controls for moderation, or for notification, of comments.
  • No ability to view all comments, made against your blog.
  • No ability to block all undesirable comments, made by people who don't like your blog.
These are just the undesirable features which directly affect commenting.

Not every blog owner realises that anybody in Google+, able to view their blog, can make comments about their blog. Unfortunately, just as you can't see the posts made in Google+, by people not in your circles, neither can you see comments made by people not in your circles - even if their comments are published against your blog.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

CAPTCHA Verification Is Broken, For Some Blogs, In Various Applications

We're seeing a number of problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about various problems which involve CAPTCHA verification processes.

The symptoms are fairly diverse.
  • Some blog owners report problems with commenting, on their blogs.
  • Some report problems with high posting volumes.
  • Some report problems getting abuse review requested, for their blogs falsely accused of hosting abusive content.
The reporting volumes, and perceived urgency, for each case, will vary.

The Mysterious URL Hashtag Suffixes

From time to time, we see evidence of anxiety, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
Why do my posts have hashtag suffixes?
and from some, more anxiety
How do I know what hashtags to add, when referencing my posts?
These two blog owners don't understand the purposes of the suffixes.

Third party post linking services, like AddThis and LinkWithin, add the hashtags, to give them the ability to track access of the posts - in a blog which uses their service to link the posts.

Use of the hashtags is not required, simply to access the posts. In fact, including the hashtags, outside the context of the service providing the post links, could interfere with the service's ability to consistently track use of their product.

Dynamic Template Instabilities Have Multiple Causes

For some time, we've been seeing reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about blogs using blogs using dynamic views, which display incompletely, and lack specific features.

Various blog owners have developed, and reported, a workaround to the problem, which involves using an unpublicised Blogger setting found in the template HTML code. This workaround sets a loading delay, known as Timeout.

There are several different causes of the dynamic view problem - some varying by the different blogs, others varying by the blog viewers - and some, varying by the Blogger / Google infrastructure. None of the causes will be universal in effect. This will result in varying success, when using a static Timeout setting as a workaround for the problems.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting Traffic To Your Blog - How Not To Do It 2

Here's a great investment idea.

Everybody who needs money (which is most likely, everybody reading here) can invest $10 each. Everybody, reading this, can send me $10. Surely, each of you have a spare $10, to invest.

What will I do with the funds received?
  1. I will, immediately, take 10% off the top. That's for my retirement account.
  2. I will let my friends (don't you wish that you were my friend?) take 5%, each, off the top.
  3. As I get investments from more blog owners, I'll send you - and the other initial investors - a token payment.
  4. At the end of a week, you, and the other investors, get to divide up the remainder.

Isn't that a great investment idea?

Friday, August 09, 2013

Dynamic Template Instabilities Have Multiple Symptoms

Recently, we've been seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about blogs using dynamic templates, which display incompletely, and lack specific features.

Various blog owners have developed, and reported, a workaround to the problem, which involves using an unpublicised Blogger setting found in the template HTML code. This workaround sets a loading delay, known as Timeout.

The currently recommended Timeout setting will force a fixed delay on blogs using the workaround, which may not be 100% effective in all cases. The effectiveness may vary, according to the specific problems reported by the various blog owners.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Maintaining Auto-Renew Settings For Your Domain - 2013

Recently, Google Apps redesigned their desktop GUI. Now, it's easier to maintain auto-renew settings for your custom domain.

Of course, "easier" may not be the same as "more initially obvious".

Along with the GUI redesign of Google Apps, Google changed payment procedures for domain registrations.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Dynamic Templates, And Network Problems - #2

We're been getting problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from various dissatisfied blog owners, who chose a dynamic template for their blog.

The problems reported involve various symptoms.
  • Blogs displayed will lack various gadgets, in the slideout gadget bar.
  • Some blogs, when customised, will display using default layout and template settings.
  • Some customisations, applied recently, just won't show up.
Various blog owners have discovered a solution, based on code present in newer dynamic templates. This solution has been publicised, in forum discussions - and in various blogs and web sites.
<script language='javascript' type='text/javascript'>
      setTimeout(function() {
        blogger.ui().configure().view();
      }, 1000);
</script>
The solution, as proposed, involves a very simple change - but the change won't be immediately, or permanently, 100% effective.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Recovering Stolen Blogs Is Not An Open And Shut Case

Recently, we've seen a few problems reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, requesting return of blogs stolen from the rightful owner.

Supposedly, the "rightful" owner is the person posting the problem report. We've learned from past experiences that this may not always be the case, however.