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...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Disable The "Mention people in your posts with Google+" Popup In Post Editor

We're seeing a new sense of frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
How do I prevent the constant offer to
Mention people in your posts with Google+?
in Post Editor?

This is a new Blogger / Google+ feature. Like many Google+ features, this one can be refused. Many blog owners, seeing this offer, refuse it - and are never bothered by it, again. Their refusal is retained, by Blogger, in a Blogger cookie.

If you refuse the offer properly, Blogger Post Editor will remember your refusal, and not bother you again - if your browser / computer does not unwisely block cookies and scripts.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Adding Author Identification, To Post On FaceBook

Similar to the Google Authorship feature, FaceBook provides an author identification feature.

FaceBook uses "Open Graph" code to accomplish what Google provides, with simple back and forward links. The required FaceBook OG code is added to the blog template, as metadata.

To add open graph FaceBook authorship identification to this blog, I added the necessary code to the blog template. You can do the same, with your blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Improvements To The Blogger Spam Classification And Review Processes

Too many Blogger blog owners ask what is allowed, when they publish a Blogger blog.

Asking what is allowed is a waste of time. We have explained, repeatedly, that whitelisting of blogs is not possible.

It would be better to ask what is required, when requesting advice or assistance, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Since the purpose of publishing a Blogger blog is to have content for people to read, what is required is unique content, that is composed to satisfy the targeted reader population.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some GoDaddy Hosted Custom Domains Are Showing Connectivity Errors

This weekend, a few owners of blogs published to custom domains are reporting problems viewing their blogs.

We are seeing various reports, such as unhappily reporting
CANNOT VIEW MY BLOG!
If we view the blog ourselves - or maybe if the blog owner uses one or more proxy servers to view the blog, the blog will be seen with no problem. Apparently the blog is actually online, regardless of the original observation.
Now what?

In many cases, the blog in question uses GoDaddy hosted DNS, and a specific set of GoDaddy servers, to provide domain addresses to the blog readers.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Internet Explorer Updates, And Use Of "Compatibility View" Settings

In 2011, Blogger announced their new browser support policy.
Starting next month Blogger.com will only support modern browsers.

This change, while seemingly dismissive and terse, appears to be necessary. With some browsers, however, a two version (the newest version, plus the version in use right now) support policy will cause problems.

Support for Internet Explorer updates will provide a challenge, for several reasons.
  • Each new version of Internet Explorer includes many changes, which makes the new version extremely incompatible with previous versions.
  • With the scope of the version changes being so broad, it takes Blogger Engineering longer to update Blogger code, to support the new versions.
  • The longer it takes Blogger Engineering to update Blogger to support each new IE version, the more blog owners are likely to accept the new version onto their computers - and to find that they now can’t use Blogger, because it’s not supported.

This month, Blogger Engineering, in addition to preparing for the new year, is trying to upgrade Blogger to support Internet Explorer V11. While they wait for IE V11 to be supported, many blog owners are using the current workaround.
Use "Compatibility View" Settings, and add "blogger.com".
This workaround, used in the past, is responsible for more problems, being seen this week.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Use Two Browsers, With Multiple Accounts Involved

Google has been providing single login access, to (almost all) Google services, for many years.

Properly maintained, we can have one Google account, which lets us access all services, using one login. The single login approach is a convenience, when all of the services, which we use, are part of the same Google account.

The single login approach becomes a challenge, when some of the services, which we use, are part of different Google accounts. As owners of Blogger blogs, there are some scenarios, where we have to deal with two different Google accounts simultaneously.
When we have to deal with two Google accounts, simultaneously, the single login approach becomes a problem.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Use Search Console To Target Your Audience

People who publish blogs which are relevant to a specific country may be able to focus search engine attention, for their blog - and better target readers in the country in question.

Google Webmaster Tools provides the "Geographical target" setting, which lets a blog owner select a single country. The setting increases search engine attention, for their blog, in the country selected.

What Are The Differences Between Pages And Posts?

Occasionally, we see a naive question, which requests a value comparison between pages (static pages), and posts (dynamic pages).
What are the advantages of using a page, instead of a post?
That question, worded in that vague way, cannot be answered. The various differences between pages and posts can provide advantages, or disadvantages. To evaluate a page or a post as an advantage, one must know the specific needs of the blog in question.

Long ago, Blogger blogs consisted simply of posts, displayed using the static Classic template. The "home" page of each blog was merely the most recently published post. Each post was published with an optional index, "Previous Posts", which listed merely the 10 posts previous to the post displayed. There was no

  • Archives gadget (Date sequenced post index).
  • Labels gadget (Topic sequenced post index).
  • Main page display (Date sequenced aggregated post display).

Other posts could be located, only one post at a time, by following the top link in "Previous Posts", from post to post - or directly, from any links in the posts.

With blogs published to Classic templates, important posts were directly accessed using in post links, intentionally added as the posts were composed.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blogger Blog Content Needs To Be Unique

I've been studying spam, in Blogger blogs, for over 5 years.

This year, we've seen improvement in the automated spam classification process, implied by a noticeable reduction in spam review requests overall - and in a reduction of false positive classifications. During the past few months, blogs requested for review are 2 or 3 times more likely to be confirmed as legitimate spam blogs (true positives), compared to this time last year.

Of the blogs confirmed to be spam hosts, when I am able to examine cached copies of the content, 3 out of 4 of those appear to contain material scraped or syndicated from other blogs or websites.
  • Content scraped (stolen), or syndicated (copied, with permission), from other blogs / websites. Content scraped or syndicated to other blogs / websites.

Account / Blog Recovery, With Team Blogs

We've known for a while, about account recovery for team blogs.
We've sent login instructions for the blog at http://mybloggerblog.blogspot.com/ to you and the other blog authors.

Apparently, team ownership recovery has its limits.
I used "Forgot?", and got the advice
Your blog has too many authors to email them all. Please enter your email address into the form below to look up your account information.
The blog has too many contributors. Since some of these contributors' accounts are no longer active, there's no way for me to easily identify the account which has now has the administrator rights.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Problems Adding / Editing The HTML And Text Gadgets

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, mentioning problems adding or updating the HTML and Text gadgets.

The most common symptom, when reported, is very simple.
When I try to update the gadget, all that I see is
javascript:void(0);
In this case, we have to first explain that "javascript:void(0);" is not the problem - it's simply a symptom of the problem.

Once we explore the problem itself, we see various possible causes.

The base cause for problems with the HTML / Text gadget is simple - the script which processes gadget updates provides no diagnostics when detecting errors.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Blogs Publishing Large NewsFeeds Can Cause Problems

We're seeing a few reports, which involve blogs with published newsfeeds with large volume, producing intriguing varieties of symptoms, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
My Followers are not getting email updates!
and
My blog does not update, on my Followers blogs!
and
My blog can't be viewed! All that I see is the gears turning!!!
All of these blog owners are publishing blogs which produce feeds, which are too large.

In general, a newsfeed can be any size necessary. There are two secondary details, however, which can make a Blogger blog, publishing a large newsfeed, problematic.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Various Problems With Blog Owners Using Internet Explorer V11

We're seeing a few browser related problems, possibly related to a recent update of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, reported in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I can't see my dashboard!
and
I can't upload pictures - all that I get is a blank box!
and
I am receiving messages, when I log in, that my Internet Explorer is not compatible with Blogger.
Too many blog owners use Internet Explorer for using Blogger - and automatically accept updates, applied by Windows Update.

Right now, Blogger Engineering is in the process of updating Blogger to work with Internet Explorer V11. This is not a minor task - with all of the many Blogger features required by the various blog owners and readers, all of which must be checked for compatibility with each new browser version.