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Showing posts from 2014

Diagnose Problems, With Blogs Using Dynamic Templates, Using Non Dynamic Templates

The process of examining browser source listings for a blog, and of having a blog owner carefully examine blog template code, is an important part of diagnosing many Blogger problems.

With blogs published to dynamic templates, neither source listings, nor template "Edit HTML", contain as much useful information, as with blogs published to non dynamic templates. Dynamic templates reference scripts, that are hosted in external libraries - and that cannot be updated or viewed.

The idea of having templates that were less customisable was originally supposed to encourage people to work on post content, and increase stability of their blogs - not create instability.

GeoLocation, And Our Use Of Blogger

Recently, we've seen signs of confusion, from people who have problems with their Internet service, which shows them moving around their geographic region.I logged in to Blogger, with no problem, yesterday. Today, after logging in successfully, I am asked for more details, to prove my identity!!This blog owner has a problem with location based security.

Not all Blogger blog owners or readers understand that Country Code Alias Redirection, and the ability to access one's Blogger / Google account (and prevent others from accessing it), both depend upon the ability to determine the geographical location of each blog reader.

Spam Review Requires Ownership Verification

Part of the spam review process involves verifying that a spam review request is needed.

Not every blog owner understands the reason for not requesting spam review, needlessly. A blog has to be owned under the Google account being used, and locked as a suspected spam host, for a spam review to be useful.

A spam review, when properly conducted, starts with the "Restore" / "Review" buttons, in the "Deleted blogs" section of the personal Blogger dashboard. As of December 2014, the "Restore" / "Review" buttons are not working for everybody - and this is causing some confusion.

If You Travel, Be Prepared To Prove Identity

We're seeing reports from people who claim to be traveling, and who can't login and access their blogs.

Google appears to now authenticate us using current location, as well as account name / password. We see occasional reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about new security procedures.I am traveling, and I need to access my Blogger account from another country. I know my account name and password - and I logged in successfully. But after logging in, I am still being asked to prove my identity!! This blog owner is finding a problem, with Google taking extra measures to protect our accounts and blogs.

Gambling Blogs Are Not Allowed In Blogger

Recently, we've had a few unsatisfied blog owners, with blogs deleted for TOS violation.

When able to research cached content, we see various posts with large, mysterious spreadsheets - and flashy ads with affiliate links.

When we look closer at the content, we see the spreadsheets appear to provide betting odds - and the ads link to various online betting services. The blogs in question are providing gambling services or bookmaking. Some blog owners prefer to call this "sports betting".

Your Reading List Is Unique To You

One question, that I have never seen specifically asked, is about our following, reading lists, and blog subscriptions in general.Why do I have to login to Blogger, to maintain my Reading List?The blog follower / owner has asked a question that is involved in various problems, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue - but with this question so easily overlooked.

Why Do You Publish A Blogger Blog?

One of the more intriguing questions, that we see in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, involves the Blogger / WordPress dichotomy.Should I migrate my blog to WordPress, where they provide SEO optimized themes, and various plugins?My answer to that question starts with the suggestion, that the blog owner should ask himselfWhy do I publish a blog?This question has many possible answers - but I will focus on two possibilities.

Design Your Blog, As You Develop Your Audience

Similar to starting a blog and immediately focusing on making money, we sometimes see people who start a blog, and immediately start designing the template, with custom features.

A beautiful, shiny design is useless, if your readers don't like it. Different blogs will attract different reader populations, who will respond to different designs.

Pages And Posts, Saved As Draft, Won't Be Visible

Some blog owners, when publishing a new page or post, really appreciate the "Preview" option in the page / post editor.

In some cases, some people may use "Preview" so instinctively, they may overlook the limitations. We see the confusion, occasionaly, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Where is my page? There's no selection, under "Pages to show", even!The blog owner does not realise that unpublished pages or posts won't be visible, outside the page / post editor, and the "Preview" window.

Confusion From Non Operable Dashboard "Restore" / "Review" Buttons

This week, we're seeing a few reports from anguished blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue. My blog was deleted for spam, and I can't request review because the dashboard button doesn't work!This blog owner is being hit by a double whammy - first, a spurious spam classification; and second, inability to request review of the blog, falsely accused, using the dashboard.

NeoWorx, And The Redirecting NeoCounter Gadgets

This week, we're seeing the anxious query, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Is my blog for sale? I try to view my blog, and I seeThis Domain Is for SaleHave I lost my blog?Fortunately, in most cases, the answer is "No, your blog is not for sale." - and "No, you have not lost your blog!".

In mid 2014, NeoWorx, the publisher of popular gadgets like NeoCounter, closed up shop. Back end code for their gadgets, installed on thousands of blogs and websites, had been served from their private libraries. Having closed their domains, the gadgets stopped working.

Confusion From Blogs That Use Smart Links In Titles

Some blog owners like to publish blogs that use custom colours, in the titles.

Carefully coordinated colours are important, in some blogs. Both the blog title, and the individual post titles, in many blogs, are clickable link captions. The blog title links to the blog home page, and / or the post titles link to the individual post pages.

Some blog owners get confused, when they try to set the colour of the titles, to a custom colour - and see link colours (which vary according to status), instead of the selected custom colours.

The Mysterious StatCounter Log Proxy Address Entry

We're seeing the occasional evidence of concern, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, from people who spend too much time examining their StatCounter logs.Why do I see "62.210.181.15:3130", in my StatCounter logs, as a referring site - reported as unknown "pool IP proxy" - and showing full BlogSpot.com and other sites' content?This sounds scary - but it's not.

Confusion From Comments And The CAPTCHA

This week, we're seeing complaints from quite a few angry blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Why do I have to solve a CAPTCHA, to comment on my own blog? andEverybody sees a CAPTCHA - even if they are logged in to Blogger! Previously, the CAPTCHA was visible only to those not logged in to Blogger, or to those wishing to comment, anonymously.

Spammers - Getting Others To Do Their Work

We've known of resourceful scammerspammers, for years.

One long known scam, popular with home / small business blog owners, has been to award a badge for a "Most Excellent Blog" - and encourage the badge recipient to award the badge to friends with "Most Excellent Blogs".

The recipients of the "award" would proudly display the badge on their blogs. The "Most Excellent Blog" badge, of course, contained a link back to the scammers blog.

Recently, a spammer in a foreign country hosted an "SEO Contest" for other blog owners, where everybody participating was again, encouraged to put the "SEO Contest" badge on his blog or website. Again, the badge lead back to the spammers website.

Adding Label Search Pages To A Dynamic Template

We've been dealing with the limitations of the dynamic template - how you can't easily edit dynamic template HTML code, with a blog published to a dynamic template - for a while.

At one time, you could link a dynamic and non dynamic view of the blog - and let your readers use the sidebar, and the many options there, in non dynamic view - and switch back to dynamic view, for the comments and posts. That choice was taken away, in 2014, because of "privacy issues".

Like Designer and Layout templates, you can add a Pages gadget - and index dynamic pages, like label searches - as you may have done with gadgets on static pages.

Use Common Sense, And Protect Your Blog

We see various questions about getting advice and non standard accessories / code, from blogs and websites advertised outside Blogger / Google control - generally in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Why can't I see my blog? Every time I click on "View blog", I get a face full of ads!andWhere can I get accessories, gadgets, and templates for my blog??andHow do I know what accessories, gadgets, and templates are safe, for my blog?andWhy did Blogger lock my blog, as a malware host?All of these folks are discussing the same issue - blog content security. Some are asking properly, before they cause their problems - but others are not.

Blogger Cannot Provide A Blog Spam Review Tool

Among the cases which involve the hopeful, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, we see an occasional query about proactive spam review.I am worried that my blog, like so many others, may be deleted by Blogger! Is there any tool or service, by which I can scan or analyze my blogspot blog, to see if it's breaking any of Google rules?And the answer here, simply, has to be "No.".

For any such service or tool to be helpful, a positive review of a blog would have to be accompanied by a certification that the blog is free of any TOS violation. The blog would then be frozen, to prevent any further changes. How many blog owners would want their blog frozen, for eternity?

AutoSave, And Draft Mode Post Editor

Recently, we've been seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, suggesting more problems with Post Editor, in Draft mode.I keep getting an error, when editing my posts.An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again.I am editing Draft posts, some of which are fairly large.This blog owner is discussing yet another facet of the Post Editor feature, AutoSave.

Removing Author Information From The Blog

Not everybody likes to be known, everywhere.

Some folks prefer to publish a blog, without their name appearing. Anonymity is a goal, for many blog owners.

Blogs using both Dynamic and non Dynamic (Layout, Designer) templates can be made anonymous - but different tasks are involved. Fortunately, both tasks are simple.

Simple Edit / Removal Of Problem Blog Gadgets

Blog owners frequently have to edit or remove various blog gadgets - and sometimes need coaching, to edit or remove.

Editing or removing gadgets, normally, is pretty simple - when you know what you're looking for. Whenever you are logged in to Blogger, as a blog administrator, you can find the "Edit" link, on the dashboard Layout wizard - or the "Quick Edit" link on the blog (when "Quick Edit" is enabled), as displayed.

Sometimes, identifying a problem blog gadget, to another person, isn't easy. What happens, if someone misreads your instructions?

Setup A Blog For A Google+ Page

The popularity of Google+ continues to grow. Some blog owners would like to have a Blogger blog publish to a Google+ Page, instead of their personal Google+ stream.

This is not difficult. You first make a new Google account, to own the Google+ Page.

Everything that follows is normal Blogger blog management. Don't overlook the details of blog management, though.

The Account / Blog Recovery Instructions Don't Work!

Every day we see the complaints, of the hundreds.Your instructions, for recovering access to my Blogger account, don't work!And alternately, we see the anguish.I can't login to my Blogger account, because my account is locked!!And the final complaint, which is the most heartbreaking.I can login, but my blog is not on my dashboard - and someone has filled my blog, with spam!!!These are all reports about the same problem, in alternate universes.

Any time Blogger Engineering changes their account / blog recovery options, and cuts down on the numbers of one of the three, the other two will surely increase in number - because all three are symptoms of the same problem. People simply refuse to remember their account names and passwords.

Adding Gadgets To A Dynamic Template

We all know the limitations of the dynamic template - how you can't easily edit dynamic template HTML code, or add gadgets.

Long ago, you could link a dynamic and non dynamic view of the blog, and let your readers use the sidebar, and the many gadgets there, in non dynamic view - and switch back to dynamic view, for the comments and posts. That ability was taken away, earlier this year.

And some gadgets, that you are used to seeing on a blog using a non dynamic template, have not been made available on dynamic templates.

That doesn't mean that you have to give up completely, however, on adding the gadgets that you need. Thanks to the ability to embed gadgets in static pages, and to add pages to a dynamic template, you can have a static page, on a dynamic template, that contains many gadgets, of your own choosing.

Don't Password Protect A Blogger Blog

We see the signs of naivete, periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I require my readers to enter a password, to keep my blog safe from public view?This blog owner does not understand the realities of setting up a private blog.

Long ago (very long ago), a computer system might have "private" files, and a shared password, known by everybody, for each file. Nowadays, a private Blogger blog uses team blog access - or team blog ownership - and each team member gets to choose her / his own Blogger account, with a password that he / she decides to use (and hopefully, remember).

The Blogger Dashboard, And Non Responding Scripts

We're seeing an occasional report from blog owners, trying to access the Blogger dashboard, using Firefox.I am trying to update my blog, and I get an error WARNING UNRESPONSIVE SCRIPT

A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, open the script in the debugger, or let the script continue.I'm using Firefox, and I need help here!
This has been a problem, for a few years - just a very low volume has been reported.

Extracting HTML / JavaScript From A Source Listing

If you do any work on your blog, and the template, eventually you will need to extract gadget source code.

The ability to extract source code can be useful in various tasks.Identifying a problem gadget, to others.Publishing a gadget on a separate page, by embedding the code in a page or post.Recovering the content of a deleted gadget.
In each case, use of the proper text browser or source listing is where I start.

Use Google Drive For Team Document Development

Ever since AutoSave was developed, and added to posts being edited, people have been having problems when editing un published posts.

We see periodic cries of anguish, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue. I had been working on this post, for weeks! Just as I selected a portion to delete, AutoSave kicked in, highlighted the whole post, and saved an empty post!!andI was working on this post, along with another member of the team. We keep making changes, and erasing each others changes!!!Blogger allows long period editing of un published posts - and they provide team blog ownership - but you'll do better to not use either possibility, with any important projects.

Blogger Blog Readers Unable To Comment, Using OpenID Accounts Hosted By WordPress

We're seeing a scattered collection of reports, mentioning problems publishing comments, using OpenID authentication.

This problem appears to be related to the Blogger rollout of SSL support, for our blogs, which is currently in progress. SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, represents the next step in blog / website security - a step which the Internet community has been taking, for many years.

Blogger has been using SSL (aka "HTTPS" login), in their dashboard, for several years.https://www.blogger.comThat's a secure Blogger login. The problem with Blogger using SSL in our blogs is that moving to SSL requires care, to avoid confusing our readers. Lack of care will subject our readers to the well known "mixed mode" warnings.This site has insecure content.Only secure content is displayed.Firefox has blocked content that isn't secure.These are several examples of what were normal, years ago, on many websites. Blogger does not want our readers subject to nee…

Publishing A Gadget To A Specific Page

Long before Blogger developed static pages, blog owners had wanted to have some accessories or gadgets visible only on specific pages.

Initially, we discovered that gadgets could be displayed conditionally, based upon the URL being displayed. This is a fairly simple task, when you get used to it - but it requires editing the template HTML - and can look a bit scary, to those inexperienced in template editing.

Recently, we realised that some gadgets can be embedded in a page or post, by editing in HTML mode - and accomplish the same. I demonstrated my custom "Contact Me" gadget, using that ability.

Clearing Cache Won't Always Solve Problems

Sometimes, when diagnosing a problem which involves cache, you may be advised to "clear cache" - or possibly, "clear cache, cookies, and sessions".

Instructions, to do either, may vary according to the problem being diagnosed. Unfortunately, clearing "cache" or clearing "cache, cookies, and sessions", for problems which involve cache, may not always solve the problem at hand.

If you have a problem when viewing your blog - or if you wish to immediately refresh your personal view of your blog, you might clear "cache". If you have a problem with your Blogger dashboard - maybe when switching between Draft and Production Blogger, on the other hand, you would want to clear "cookies". Whenever you clear cookies, you should clear cache, also - so, if you have a problem when maintaining or publishing your blog, you will be advised to clear "cache, cookies, and sessions".

Static Blogs, And Spam Classification

Blogger blogs are starting to become a regular website publishing platform - not just a blogging platform.

Long ago, a Blogger blog was just an online journal, with posts, and text. Then, Blogger added labels, later static pages - and then the ability to replace the home / main page, with dynamic or static content of your choice. Recently, the original limitation of 20 static pages / blog was relaxed (we are not yet certain that the limit has been eliminated completely, however).

Now, you can practically publish a static website, without even having posts, using a Blogger platform. But, is this a good idea, with Blogger "One button" Publishing?

Use A Blogger Blog As An OpenID Host

We see an occasional request, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about commenting and the profile used when authenticated.How do I have my comments linked directly to my blog? I don't want my comments linked to my profile, with people having to hunt for my blog links!This person does not understand why we have Bogger / Google / Google+ profiles, linked from our comments.

Even if we can't provide direct links to our blogs, when commenting using a Blogger or Google account - we can do that, if we can comment, using an OpenID account. An OpenID account links directly to our designated blog - when we specify the right blog URL, while logged in using OpenID, to publish a comment.

Your Blogger blog will provide an OpenID account, just as well as a FaceBook or WordPress account will do, for any Blogger blog using Blogger hosted commenting. Blogs using third party commenting systems may, or may not, support OpenID.

Change Per Post Comment Settings, One Post At A Time

Occasionally, we have a blog owner trying to enable commenting, on a blog - and being unsuccessful diagnosing commenting problems.

Checking the per blog comment settings, in the the dashboard menu under Settings - Posts and comments, there's no obvious problem. The problem, in some cases, is in the per post settings, in the Post Editor "Post settings - Options" wizard - but not all posts will have a problem.

The "Reader comments" setting, for any new post, is taken from the setting for the previously published post. If you publish a post today, with "Reader comments" selected as "Don't allow", the next post will also be set to "Don't allow" - unless you change the setting, before publishing. Similarly, if it's set to "Allow", the next post published will have it set to "Allow".AllowDon't allowThat's the choices, for each new post.

Spam Blog False Positive Classifications Do Exist

No matter what Blogger does with improving the spam classification process, they will always generate some false positive classifications.

The more that they improve the classification process overall, the more obscure the false positive classifications will be. Some false positives will require intense investigation of the blogs, to identify the relationships between the blogs involved - and to prove, to Blogger Policy Review staff, that a false positive classification is present.

Some time ago, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, I had occasion to deal with a blog owner who was a currency trader, by profession. This person had published a cluster of blogs, where he discussed legitimate issues involved in currency trading.

Currency trading is an essential part of exchange of merchandise, between different countries (the export / import business) - and the Blogger spam classification process had deleted his blogs, as suspected spam hosts.

GPT / PTC / PTS Content Is Not Welcome, In Blogger

One of the most easily overlooked details, about Blogger blog content, is that GPT / PTC / PTS Content is not suitable, for Blogger blogs.

Blogger Content Policy has a section which describes GPT / PTC / PTS Content, in passing.Spam: Spam takes several forms in Blogger, all of which can result in deletion of your account or blog. Some examples include creating blogs designed to drive traffic to your site or to move it up in search listings, posting comments on other people's blogs just to promote your site or product, and scraping existing content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains.Unfortunately, spammers have been imaginatively subtle, in their description of various make money fast programmes - and not so many blog owners think it necessary to contact a lawyer, to interpret the Content Policy document, when planning their new blog.

Private Blogs, And Dynamic Blog Access

Occasionally, someone may publish a blog as private, invite / accept readers, then later decide that results are not as positive as desired.

It's easy enough to change a blog, from Private to Public. Just go to the Permissions wizard, in the dashboard menu Settings - Basic, and change Blog Readers from "Private" to "Public".

Unfortunately, this may not leave everybody able to access the blog.I made my blog public, last week. Some of my friends are now seeingYour current account does not have access to view this page.Why is this still an issue?The blog owner, in this case, is seeing the effect of cache, and authentication.

In many cases, simple instructions to "clear cache, cookies, and sessions" may resolve this problem. This does not always work, however - and the mystery why it does not always work may frustrate us, almost as much as the original symptom.

'Good Enough' Never Is, With Custom Domains

This month, we're seeing an interesting collection of problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about custom domain setup.Why is my blog offline - occasionally?AndWhy do some (just some!) of my readers tell me they can't see my blog?Investigating the problem, we see that the domain is, indeed online - some of the time.

Investigating the DNS addressing, robustly, we find an all too frequently seen set of name servers: mydomain.com. 14400 IN A 216.239.32.21
www.mydomain.com. 14400 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
What we see here is a domain, setup by someone who thought that one server would be 'good enough' to get by.

Comments, Owner Choices, And Reader Choices

Much of what we do in life - and what we do when using Blogger - is based upon, and limited by, choice.

Some choices we get to make, for ourselves. Other choices are made for us, by people who make their own choices.

Some blog owners do not want their readers to have to login to Blogger, to comment on their blogs. Other blog owners do not want their readers to have to solve a CAPTCHA, to comment on their blogs.

A few blog owners do not want their readers to have to do either.It seems anyone who wishes to leave a comment, will have to do some form of login, either via Google or a CAPTCHA, to do so! Is there a reason for this, would it not be easier, for anyone to just leave a comment?And the answer here is simple.It would be easier, if neither were required.But reality - involving activity by spammers, and activity to counter spammers - leaves some of us with less choices.

Clearing Cache, Cookies, And Other Website Data

Most of us, as we surf the Internet, are going to surf some websites, repeatedly.

Everybody has favourite websites. When we surf the same website, over and over, some of what we do and see may not change a lot.

To keep us from wasting our time, and generating unnecessary network traffic, our browsers keep track of the websites that we visit over and over, save records of what we do and copies of what we see, and note what has changed. The website content, stored locally, is known as "private" data.

Confusion About GMail Vs Non GMail Based Email

Long ago, when diagnosing a problem thought to involve email, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we would ask a very simple questionIs your Blogger account based on a GMail - or non GMail - email address? And we would carefully addPlease, do not state your email address, here! The latter request was to prevent theft of peoples Blogger accounts.

Adding An Office Document To Your Blog

Just as many blog owners enjoy the option to include photos and videos to their blogs, some would like to add office type multimedia.

Queries about adding PDF documents, spreadsheets, and Word documents, to our blogs, are frequently seen, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.

One of the issues that need to be considered is that many professional documents are created using proprietary office software. PDF files, for instance, are created using Adobe Acrobat. Excel spreadsheets and Word documents are created using Microsoft Office. Another issue may involve confidentiality. Office documents may contain confidential data, that's not intended for the world to view.

Google has a solution for handling all of these proprietary file formats, and for the confidentiality issue.

Comments Posted Use "noreply" Email Addresses

Recently, we've noted a number of complaints about Blogger commenting, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.My comments all use a "noreply" email address, instead of my actual email address. How do I have people email their replies to my comments?This appears to be one more way which Blogger is trying to safeguard our Blogger accounts and blogs, from malicious, technically astute blog thieves.

The CAPTCHA, For Anonymous Comments, Isn't Going Away

Several weeks ago, Blogger added a security feature to Blogger commenting, to reduce comment spam.Note: Even if you don't have word verification turned on, anonymous commenters might be asked to enter some text. This helps protect your blog from abuse.
This change has not pleased everybody.I disabled "prove you're not a robot" for commenting. Why do my readers still have to solve a CAPTCHA, each time they comment?This blog owner is not looking at the bigger picture. This new feature will benefit many blog owners - when Blogger is used, properly.

The "Reply" Option, For Embedded Comments

The option provided some time ago, to the embedded comment form, to allow "threaded" comments, is becoming quite popular.

Unfortunately, the "Reply" link does not always work. Blog owners and readers alike complain.I click on "Reply", and nothing happens!This problem appears to have accelerated recently, possibly resulting from the hasty rollout of the new anonymous comments CAPTCHA - but there are other less obvious possibilities, too.

Renaming Your Blog, And Historical Stats Pageview Counts

Occasionally, we see odd questions about Stats, and the history of someone's blog (or maybe, the URL of someone's blog), in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.If I started my blog last year, why does my Stats display show pageviews from 2, or even 3, years ago?andIf I rename my blog to a better URL, how do I carry the Stats numbers to the new URL?Neither blog owner shows an accurate understanding of the historical nature of Stats pageview counts.

Use "Quick Edit" To Bypass The Dashboard Menu

One very useful Blogger feature is the option to bypass the Blogger dashboard - to edit the various gadgets, and existing blog posts.

The feature, termed "Quick Edit", provides two different icons, generally visible to the proper recipients, with the option enabled, on the published blog.The "Quick Edit" "pencil" is visible to administrators and authors, in the posts toolbar, to the right of the "Email Post" icon. This will generally be in one of the post footer lines.The gadget "screwdriver / wrench" icon is visible to administrators, to the lower right of each template gadget (except for "Blog Posts"). Though the "screwdriver / wrench" icon is more visible, that icon has no name, and no selection option in the Blogger dashboard. And, there are more mysteries.

Don't Write About What Makes Money - Write What You Know

Too many blog owners start their first blog - and the first step is to drop into the nearest online publishing forum - such as Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, and ask the question of the typical marketing expert.I want to start a blog. What should I write about, to make the most money?And there is where many spam blogs start.

People who are making money, are busy making money. They do not hang out in forums, waiting for you to ask how to make money, so they can tell you how to make money - probably, some of the money that they want to be making.

Blogger Is Unfair - To Would Be Blog Thieves

Blog owners continue to forget the account name and / or password of their Blogger accounts, then demand alternate recovery options.

Every week, we see the reports in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, claiming that changing their email - or getting a new phone - caused somebody to unfairly lose access to her / his blog. Too many blog owners refuse to understand that the email address and phone number are simply backdoor accesses to their Blogger accounts.

Blogger Terminology - Blogs Vs Posts

Sometimes, we see odd confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I deleted my blog - can somebody help me restore it? I worked so many days writing it!or alternatelyI am trying to write a new blog, but it says my url has already been taken (by me).If the first owner is kind enough to include the URL of the deleted "blog", we may use our favourite online diagnostic tool - and discover that the blog is still online, and not deleted! In the second case, we may find a new blog, with one post.

Investigating further, we discover that the problem here involves terminology. This article that I am writing, "Blogger Terminology - Blogs Vs Posts", is a post, which is part of my blog, "The REAL Blogger Status" (which right now is actually The ONLY Blogger Status - but that is another tale).

The terminology here is pedantic, to us - but it's very real, to the blog owner who has just deleted an important post. Or to the owner who has published on…

A Deleted Blog Can Only Be Recovered By The Owner

Deleted blog recovery requests come in many forms.I can't access my blog!orMy dashboard is empty!!orSomebody deleted my blog!!!
A successful deleted blog recovery starts from the dashboard button or link, to "Restore" or "Review" the blog. When the blog was deleted by the owner less than 90 days ago, and the owner is able to login to the right account, the "Restore" button will bring the blog back, as the owner watches.

If the blog was deleted by Blogger / Google, and the owner is able to login to the right account, the "Review" button starts the recovery process. If use of the "Review" button brings no results - or if there is no "Restore" / "Review" button at all, things get interesting.

Blogs To Have Automatically Generated Sitemaps

Last week, Blogger gave us a feature that various blog owners have asked about, for many years.

The previous sitemap, based on the blog posts feed, has been replaced by an automatically generated, dedicated sitemap. You can see one, for this blog, as an example.

Accompanying the new sitemap will be an updated "robots.txt" file.

Blogger Blogs To Have Automatically Generated Sitemaps

Last week, Blogger gave us a feature that various blog owners have asked about, for many years.

The current sitemap, based on the blog posts feed, is being replaced by an automatically generated, dedicated sitemap. You can see one, for this blog, as an example.

Accompanying the new sitemap will be an updated "robots.txt" file.

The new sitemap is not being setup, immediately, on all blogs. Only blogs with standard "robots.txt" file will get the sitemap, initially. It's being installed, automatically, with no action required by the blog owner, on a limited number of blogs.

The Google "One account" Login, And Cookie Filters

Thanks to the recently added Google "One account" login, all Blogger features are now vulnerable to "third party" cookie filters.

Long ago, many people who used Blogger would login to Blogger using a link in the navbar - or a similar Blogger login wizard.http://www.blogger.comNow, that login redirects to the Google "One account" login.http://www.google.comWhen referenced from a Blogger login, the latter URL becomes magnificently complex. https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&passive=1209600&continue=https://www.blogger.com/home&followup=https://www.blogger.com/home&ltmpl=start

Custom Redirects, And The Mobile Template Redirect, Are Now Compatible

One of the neatest features added to Blogger, this decade, has to be the Custom Redirects.

For many years, we asked, over and over, for the ability to optionally publish a blog with a static home page. 2 years ago, Blogger gave us that ability, and more, with Custom Redirects.

But, Custom Redirects had a problem - it did not work with a mobile template, and a redirected mobile home page. Recently, however, that changed.

Interstitial Warnings And Cookie Filters

Along with problems with comments and unwanted CAPTCHA forms, we're seeing some reports about problems with persistent and unwanted interstitial displays, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

The interstitial display, and its use of cookies, is similar to the new mandatory anonymous comments CAPTCHA form. If your identity can't be determined, or your decision to view a blog can't be remembered, an interstitial warning is displayed - just as the CAPTCHA form is displayed, when your readers are preparing to comment.

Custom Domain Migration, And Google+ Comments

With both custom domain publishing, and Google+ hosted comments, becoming more popular, it is inevitable that the two subjects would interact.

One key difference between Blogger hosted comments, and Google+ hosted comments, is how they associate with the host blog. Blogger hosted comments link to the blog - but Google+ hosted comments (aka Google+ stream posts) link to the URL.

Any time you change the URL of your blog, you will lose Google+ hosted comments - from your blog. The Google+ stream posts, however, are still out there - and they still link back to your blog.

Blogger Magic - Hiding The Blog Pager And Blog Feed Subscription Lines

One of the neatest magic tricks is to make something disappear, with just a flick of the wrist (whether or not holding a "magic" wand).

We see occasional requests to make template components disappear. Many times, we end up recommending editing the blog template. Sometimes, unwanted components are part of the post template - and we have to explain why editing the post template is not a good idea.

Some template components, when properly identified, can be made to disappear with the proper CSS rule. CSS rules can be added, using the Template Designer - and do not require editing the template.

Even better news, CSS rules added using "Add CSS" are persistent. Even changing the blog template - or resetting the post template - does not erase CSS rules, added using the Template Designer.

The New Commenting CAPTCHA Is Inconsistent

The new CAPTCHA, added by Blogger last week to restrict spam in anonymous comments, is already showing signs of unwanted effect, with some blogs.

Besides making the commenting sequence more complicated, the sequence, in general, is inconsistent. Differences in the sequence, when compared between the three commenting form placement options (embedded, popup, and full page), varied by the original CAPTCHA screening option, and the moderation option, have been noted. And how many readers, commenting on their favourite blog, will think of hitting "Publish" with "Google account" selected, to login and avoid the CAPTCHA?

The CAPTCHA form itself will discourage comments, being made by the casual blog reader, against many blogs. And the CAPTCHA, as added to all three comment forms, now makes cookie filtering issues equally critical, for the embedded, popup, and full page forms, alike.

Deleted Blog Cases Can Involve Multiple Causes

Sometimes, blogs which are under legal action by Blogger / Google can be under action, simultaneously, for multiple, valid reasons.

Occasionally, we get angry complaints, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I got a DMCA Complaint email from Google. My blog was deleted, my dashboard is empty, I got no email from Blogger - and ChillingEffects has no complaint detail. How do I get my blog restored?Since we don't review DMCA cases in Blogger Help - and with no dashboard or email records of a non DMCA deletion, the blog owner is left with no options.

CAPTCHA Screening Added, For Anonymous Commenters, Is Not Optional

We're seeing reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about a new way Blogger is blocking comment spam.I didn't enable CAPTCHAs, for commenting on my blog! Why are my readers having to solve one, before commenting?It appears that Blogger has added a new CAPTCHA form, to the commenting process.

In Blogger Help: The word-verification option, we see the notation.Note: Even if you don't have word verification turned on, anonymous commenters might be asked to enter some text. This helps protect your blog from abuse.It appears that "might be asked" is the key detail, here.

Don't Publish To A Custom Domain, Purely Because Of Unavailability Of The Perfect BlogSpot Name

Setting up a new blog can be frustrating - for those who have planned the subject of the blog so carefully, that only one blog name will satisfy.

We see the frustration, almost daily, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.How do I contact the owner of "mydreamname.blogspot.com"?orThe blog at "mydreamname.blogspot.com" isn't in use. Can Blogger issue it to me?Neither of those questions will end well, for the would be owner who can think only of publishing to "mydreamname.blogspot.com".

Dynamic Templates Require A Full Blog NewsFeed

We see periodic signs of confusion, about publishing a blog to a dynamic template, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.My blog seems to load - but it just sits there, spinning gears!orThe dashboard Template wizard tells me that dynamic templates are not available, for my blog!!These are two blog owners who are not aware of the requirements of the dynamic templates - and who can't figure out why they see the Spinner of Death when loading the blog.

Most people know that private blogs cannot be published to a dynamic template - but not everybody realises that this is not an arbitrary or capricious restriction.

R.I.P., SiteMeter

I've always been an advocate of redundancy, with essential components and features.

One essential feature of a website is the ability to remain aware of where your readers come from, and what they are reading, on your blog. Besides Blogger Stats, I've advocated both SiteMeter and StatCounter, in a complementary role to each other.

A while ago, SiteMeter decided to add video advertisements to their blog / website agent, that tracks the clicks.

An Expanding Reader Community May Make Your Blog Vulnerable To A Content Warning

Occasionally, we see a report in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, that reflects on the reader audience - not necessarily only the blog content.Why is my blog behind a Content Warning?Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog's content is objectionable.Occasionally, a quick eyeballing of the blog in question may turn up some dodgy content, which may be suggested, in the forum, as problematic.

This story may not end immediately.But, I've had that picture gallery, for years! Why did I just get the Content Warning?Here, the blog owner is not considering changing standards - or the possibility that the blog, becoming more popular, may be adding readers who don't appreciate a photo gallery started years ago.

Logging In To Following, Using The Google "One account" Login

Long ago, Blogger Following (aka Google Friend Connect) was part of a non Google community of social networks.

If you wanted to Follow a blog, you had to login to the Followers gadget, but separately from your login session with Blogger. This let you login to Blogger to maintain your blog, and to Follow other blogs, using any desired Blogger or Google account that you wished.

You do not have to Follow other peoples blogs, using the same Blogger or Google account that you use to maintain your blog - nor do you have to logout from your Blogger account that you are using to publish to your blog, so you can Follow somebody else's blog. This lets you separate blog ownership identity from blog Following and surfing activity.

Blogger Does Not Support ".htaccess" Based Redirection

If you rename a non Blogger hosted website - and you retain ownership of the previous domain (or re publish a website within the same domain), you can redirect traffic from the old URL to the new URL, for some websites, using the ".htaccess" control file.

Some Blogger blog owners, used to setting up ".htaccess" based redirection for non Blogger websites, have renamed their blog - either from one BlogSpot URL to another, or maybe from a custom domain URL to another URL. Finding the links in the blog now broken, they wonder.How do I setup .htaccess for the old URL?
This is an option that Blogger does not provide.

The Mysterious Disappearing Reading List

One long known mystery, reported from time to time in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, involves the dashboard Reading List, and panic from disappearing entries.Where are the blogs, in my Reading List?Some Blogger blog owners and readers can spend days setting up their Reading List complement - and see their work vanish, in seconds.

One of the reasons why this problem has not been solved is that it is not reported in consistently high volume, and has no obvious pattern. Another is that many people who use the Reading List - as opposed to a third party NewsFeed Reader - are not of the highest in technological skill level, and do not have the patience to provide coherent and relevant details about the problem.

If You Must Moderate Comments Passively, Moderate Frequently

Not all Blogger blog owners understand that they must take responsibility for the comments that are posted on their blog.

We see signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Why do I get so many spam comments, against my blog?andWhy was my blog deleted? I always remove spam comments!These blog owners do not understand that spam comments need to be removed promptly, marked as spam - not removed when convenient, or maybe just deleted.

Some blog owners let people comment anonymously, because it encourages communication, and brings them more readers - and moderate after comments are published, because it's more convenient for them, and again, encourages communication. They do not realise that the easier that you make it for people to publish comments, the more spammers will appreciate the open policy.

Try To Resolve Any Ownership Issues, Before You Request Spam Review

Spam review requests, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, are not unusual topics.

Occasionally, we get a spam review request, with a twist.My blog has been deleted - but I don't have a "Restore", or a "Review" link on my dashboard!There are various reasons for blogs disappearing from the dashboard, not all of which a blog owner may be immediately aware.

Don't Copy Content, Inappropriately

Not all blog owners understand the necessity of having unique content, as the basis for a healthy blog.

We see questions periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about inappropriate use of content from other blogs and websites.Why was my Blogger account deleted? I never argue when given copyright notices!orWhy don't I have any readers? I have great content - the other blogs, where I get the content, get lots of traffic.

If You Want To Keep A Secret, Don't Publish It

Have you ever heard the old sayingI had a friend, and I had a secret. I told my friend my secret - and now, I have neither a friend, or a secret.
Occasionally we see signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

I have a private blog! Why do I see my blog listed in Google?
or

I distinctly set my blog to be invisible! Why is my blog being indexed?
Not all blog owners know that neither the "disallow" statement, in "Robots.Txt" - nor the "noindex, nofollow" directives, in our blogs - are mandatory.

Don't Try To Map The Boundaries Of Abusive Content

We continue to see signs of innovative publishing technique, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about deleted / suspended Blogger accounts, and deleted blogs.My Blogger account was just deleted! I have gotten a few DMCA complaints, in the past - but I always deleted the offending posts! Why were all of my blogs just deleted?This blog owner does not understand that multiple offenses must be resolved, to avoid abuse classification - and eventual account deletion.

Private / Team Blog Owners, Using Non GMail EMail

For some time, we've known about a problem with non GMail based Blogger accounts, and comment moderation / notification email.

That problem, though mildly annoying to the blog owners affected, has an easy workaround - use a GMail based email address, for comment moderation / notification. That's a quick 15 minute fix.Setup a GMail account, if necessary.Change the comment moderation / notification email addresses, for the blog(s) affected, to use the GMail email account.GMail email accounts are, after all, free.

Besides the ease of putting a workaround in place, that problem is not all that severe. The problem with comment moderation / notification email, being filtered, only affects blog owners who moderate before publishing. Owners who moderate after publishing can always use the Blogger dashboard Comments wizard, at their convenience, to moderate.

This week, we realised that the base problem - rejected email because of non GMail based Blogger accounts - may also affect…

Please, Do Not Publicise Your Email Address

We've seen a few reports, recently, about stolen blogs, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.Why is my blog not on my dashboard - and why is somebody else publishing, and using my name?There are so many reports from people who are not using Google "One Account" login properly, that the significance of this problem report was initially overlooked.

More than a few such reports started with the blog owner email address being openly disclosed - generally on the blog, or in comments. Too many blog owners want to be contacted - and they innocently provide their email addresses as a contact point.

We've known, for years, about disclosed email addresses, and brute force password guessing. That is not the only way your email address can be used, to gain access to your Blogger account, however.

Complaint Volume Affects Speed Of Abuse Resolution

We see various complaints, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about perceived poor response, in removing offensive blogs.I've reported this blog, repeatedly, for impersonating me - and it's still online!orThat other blog was removed from service after only a couple of days! Why is this blog still online??These bloggers do not understand that complaint volume, against different blogs, can affect how promptly Blogger Policy / Google Legal can take action, and remove problem blogs.

Custom Domains Do Not Always Need Ownership Verification

We're seeing a new source of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, with blog owners trying to publish to a custom domain URL.How do I get my second "CNAME"?The Publishing wizard does not, always, provide instructions for ownership verification - and some owners don't understand that ownership verification is only necessary when it's demanded.

When ownership verification was first introduced, whenever a blog owner would use the Publishing wizard, to publish or re publish to any non BlogSpot URL, every use of the wizard would involve creating a new ownership verification "CNAME".

The ownership verification "certificate" is unique to both the URL being published, and the time the publishing takes place. If the owner waited too long between publishing attempts, a new "CNAME" would be again demanded. If multiple hosts were published in a domain, multiple "CNAME"s were required.

In some cases, each domain address bein…

Why Are Some Custom Domain Published Blogs Inconsistently Online?

I've been using affinity analysis, and differential analysis, as tools for diagnosing intermittent problems with custom domain published blogs, for several years.

Some people may be using a browser which is more forgiving of DNS problems than others - and people who use the right browser, when accessing a domain with righteous DNS addresses, should expect to generally get more consistent service. But that's only a small part of the story.

Confusion From Email Spam Detection, And Non GMail Email

We're seeing a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken about problems with email, sent by Blogger, when the destination is a non GMail email system.

Some email systems verify the sending email address, against IP address. With these systems, email which originates from a Blogger account that's based on a non GMail email address, and comes from a Blogger / Google IP address, is going to present a problem, to the account owners.

Your Right To Be Forgotten Does Not Supersede My Right To Retain Ownership Of My Blog

Thanks to a recent decision by the European Courts, many people are claiming the right to delete their blogs, and to have the search engines stop indexing their blogs.

Some people believe that this newly defined right entitles them to recover control of their blogs, published long ago, with access (account name and password) long forgotten. A few such people even have blogs owned by "legacy" Blogger accounts, never converted to Blogger / Google accounts.

Nobody has the right to unilaterally take control of a blog that may belong to somebody else. If you cannot prove yourself to be the owner of a given blog, Blogger Support should not provide to you control of that blog. Whether you want to delete a blog, or to change the content, you have to prove ownership of the blog.

Please, NEVER Share Your Blogger Account!

We see signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken. too often.I gave my boyfriend (girlfriend, former spouse, Internet acquaintance, whatever) my account password - and now, I can't access my account.This is a problem which Blogger cannot resolve, in any way.

Please, never ever share your Blogger account. Blogger accounts, like Blogger blogs, are free.

If someone who you know would like to read your private blog - or contribute to your team blog - add that person as a blog member, and let her / him use his / her own Blogger account (new, or existing).

Blogger Browser Support, And Layered Security

The official Blogger browser compatibility reference, Compatible browser and operating systems states Blogger requirements, very succinctly.To use Blogger, your browser must allow cookies and have JavaScript turned on.This is a very brief hint of Blogger browser support policy.

Use of Blogger includes various activities.Moderate Blogger hosted comments.Post comments, as a blog reader.Edit, preview, and publish posts.View Stats.Use the Template Designer.Each of these activities, and more, require cookies and scripts - and each are vulnerable to improperly setup filters.

As Blogger implies, both cookies and scripts are vulnerable to being disabled (turned off) - although the term "turned on" suggests that there is one single setting, possibly affecting each individual cookie or script. Considering the effects of layered security, we know this won't always be true.

Third Party Email Collection / Login Gadgets Being Detected As Malware / Phishing

Recently, we've had several reports from naive blog owners, with blogs locked for malware or phishing, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Some owners have found accessories, such as email address collection or even a convenient login gadget, offered by helpful third parties. Installing the new gadgets, they have later received the well known (automated detection) notice, from Blogger Support.

Comments And Layered Security

One of the most common complaints, seen regularly in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, involves publication and visibility of comments.Why can't I publish comments, on some blogs?orWhy can't I see my comments, after I publish them?or evenWhy do my blog posts show no comments?These are questions asked by blog readers and owners, alike. The answers all start with security filters and settings.

FaceBook Is Aggregating BlogSpot CC Aliases

We're seeing a few questions recently, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about FaceBook, and their treatment of Blogger URLs that are subject to country code aliasing.When I share a post on FaceBook, the URL used for my blog ends with "blogspot.in" instead of "blogspot.com".Some people in Europe observe a variation.When I share a post on FaceBook, the URL used for my blog ends with "blogspot.nl" instead of "blogspot.com".

Blogger Magic - "Configure Page List"

The "Configure Page List" wizard is an extremely useful - yet obscure - feature in the dashboard Layout page.

Not every blog owner sees the "Pages" gadget, in the "Layout" page and knows to click on "Edit", to access "Configure Page List". Nor do all owners know how many assorted functions, previously part of the "Pages" dashboard wizard, are now found, exclusively, under "Configure Page List".

"Configure Page List" is an essential component in the pages management suite, in the Blogger dashboard.

Problems With "Create a new blog", Caused By Limits

We've recently been seeing a number of reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners having problems with the "Create a new blog" wizard.When some of my students try to create a new blog, they get an error messageThe page you requested is invalid.These blog owners appear to be running up against new blog creation limits, possibly caused by Blogger prevention of abusive blog creation.

Blogger has apparently added new ways of preventing abusive blog creation, by use of new activity limits.

Reading Posts In Main Page View Affects Stats

Some blog owners don't understand why Stats displays show that no one is reading their latest post.I know that my most recent post is being read - but Stats shows pageviews, for that post, as 0!This owner does not understand the difference between main page, and post page, access.

If you read this blog, without being interested in any particular post, you can access the main page. On the main page, and other index pages, you'll see anywhere from 10 to 15 carefully summarised, recently published, individual posts.

Clicking on "Read more »", at the end of any of the summaries, you can read any complete article. This complete article, and others in this blog, is published as an individual post page - and summarised on index pages, using Jump Break.

Not every blog owner uses Jump Break, to display the posts. Some blog owners publish complete blog articles, in each index page post. Depending upon how any blog is designed, some readers may click on a link, to read a…

Stolen Blogs Can Not, Generally, Be Returned

Whether you give up your blog willingly, have your blog stolen from you, or accidentally enable your blog to be stolen - once your blog is in someone else's control, Blogger cannot, legally, help you.

We see the naivete, periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I made my friend an administrator of my blog, and he changed me to an author. Can Blogger restore my ownership?And the short answer, too frequently given, is denial.No, Blogger cannot help you.
Blogs stolen, supposedly from their rightful owner, can generally not be returned by Blogger.

All "Read More" Solutions Are Not The Same

Auto pagination, and "Jump Break", have been a (controversial) feature in Blogger blogs since 2010.

Oddly enough, not all blog owners yet understand the difference between "Jump Break", and other "Read More" features. And there are more than a couple "Read More" features available, in the Internet - some not so beneficial.

Occasionally, we see the confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I have 12 articles which must appear on my homepage. Just 10 of the 12 articles are showing up. When I added 2 new articles, another old post disappeared from my homepage.This blog owner, like many, suffers from the effects of auto pagination.

When I suggested using "Jump Break", to make the posts smaller, I was met with confusion.Did you not look at the blog? I have "Read More" there, already.And looking at the blog again, I saw that he was correct.

"You do not have access to this service", Being Seen

Recently, we've been seeing a number of reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from people suddenly unable to login to Blogger and maintain or publish their blogs.

It appears that more and more private network owners are converting their email and office applications suites, to use Google Apps / Docs. This gives the various employers and schools the ability to block people, using their email, from also using extraneous / unnecessary services like Blogger and YouTube - and encourages the employees and students to spend their time more productively.

People with Blogger accounts, that are based on the converted email domains, are seeing problems accessing their blogs.

Blog Owners Seeing "You do not have access to this service", When Logging In To Blogger

Recently, we've been seeing a number of reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from people suddenly unable to login to Blogger and maintain or publish their blogs.

It appears that more and more private network owners are converting their email and office applications suites, to use Google Apps / Docs. This gives the various employers and schools the ability to block people, using their email, from also using extraneous / unnecessary services like Blogger and YouTube - and encourages the employees and students to spend their time more productively.

People with Blogger accounts, that are based on the converted email domains, are seeing problems accessing their blogs.

"Nice Blog" Spam Is Not Random Garbage

Some time ago, I discovered an odd type of comment spam, which I termed "Nice Blog" spam.Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.This spam, from what I can tell, has been published by the millions, in various blog comments.

It's likely that this particular spam is being published as a very imaginative form of email address mining. The phrasing started out almost identical to the above example - but recently became rather imaginatively worded.

Blogger Blogs Use The Posts Newsfeed, As A Sitemap

Some Blogger blog owners don't know how to setup a sitemap, for their blog.

Setting up the sitemap, for a website, is a major process - and takes time. Every time you add a page to a website, the sitemap has to be updated - or how do your readers find the new page?

Alternatively, you can use a sitemap builder service, which builds the sitemap. This gives you a file, hosted by the sitemap builder service. Will the sitemap builder service be in business next week?

In either case, you take your sitemap file, and upload it to the blog. Every time you add a page, you update the sitemap, then you upload the updated sitemap. Every time - or the new page remains unindexed, until you do. (Update 2014/11/04): Blogger is now providing an automatically generated, dedicated sitemap, to replace the newsfeed sourced sitemap - and an automatic "robots.txt" update. There is no need for a custom sitemap - nor to update "robots.txt".

DMCA Violations Must Be Appealed

Some blog owners don't understand the severity of DMCA violation citations.

We see occasional naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken
I got email
After reviewing your account, we noticed that you have violated the terms of service frequently: http://www.blogger.com/go/terms. And where we have sent you several warnings about these abuses and offered you information about our policy towards repeat infringers, we were forced to disable Blogger service provided to you. Thank you for your understanding.
- Blogger Team Why can I not login to Blogger, now? This blog owners, and too many others, do not understand about the severity of repeated DMCA / TOS violation, upon their Blogger / Google accounts.

The Domain Root ("Naked Domain") May Not Be Optional

One of the most consistently seen complaints, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, involves blog owners who can't get their blogs working, using custom domain publishing.

Thanks to undertrained tech support staff, a common feature at too many registrars, the most common cause of custom domain problems involves failure to use "CNAME" referral - or "CNAME" referral targeting the wrong destination. Both use of forwarding, and "CNAME" referral to the domain root, is seen too often.
www.mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 64.202.189.170or maybe
www.mydomain.com. 1800 IN CNAME mydomain.comPlease, don't use either of the above address models!

Unfortunately, even with the blog properly published to the "www" alias - and with the "www" alias using "CNAME" referral, targeting "ghs.google.com" - we still see problems. With neither of the above mistakes made.

Mysterious Text, Overlaying The Post

A few times recently, we've had reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, of mysterious text, appearing in the middle of the posts.How do I remove unwanted text appearing in the middle of the page?Frequently, all that we can see is a mass of text.

Occasionally, the mysterious text has been readable. Extracting key phrases from the text, we can some times locate the source of the mysterious text, in the post code.

With Google+ Based Comments, Moderation Is By Community

With Blogger based comments, only the blog owner is allowed to report abusive comments published against their blog.

You are free to classify or delete comments posted against your blog - but comments posted against somebody else's blog are their business, and their opinion.

With Google+ based comments, moderation is a community exercise. Anybody, seeing an abusive Google+ hosted comment or post, is able to "Block" and / or "Report abuse".

You, the blog owner, have no special responsibilities or rights, with regard to comments posted by someone else, against your blog.

Confusion From Feed Gadgets That Don't Display All Feeds In The List

One of the more intriguing subjects of confusion, about feed gadgets, involves gadgets with more feeds in the list then they are set to display.

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the petulant queryWhy does my blog disappear from (feed gadgets on) other peoples blogs?
This confusion starts with the question of how often and when we update our blogs, as opposed to how often and when the other blog owners update their blogs. It continues with the little known effect of the difference between how many feeds are in the gadget list, as opposed to how many feeds the gadget is set to display.

Blogger Magic - A Blog Within A Blog

One of the most fascinating features of Blogger blogs is the various options to organise our content.

Long ago, I wrote a simple article, Adding A Blogger Blog To A Website. That's become one of the most consistently popular posts, in this blog. Most blog owners have multiple interests, and like to organise their different interests, by subject - and have a different blog, for each subject.

Some people like to have a blog, and a website - and host both the blog and website in one Blogger blog, under one URL. For a small blog / website combination, that's an easy way to start out - and a good alternative, to having multiple blogs / websites.

There Are No Shortcuts Or Workarounds To A Stable Custom Domain

Some Blogger blog owners treat custom domain publishing, as drivers in Miami USA treat the suburban streets.

Have you ever been to Miami, Florida, USA?

Many of the suburban streets there are long, straight, and intersect at 90 degree angles. And as you get into the outer suburbs, with housing developments which (this year) may be right next to the Everglades - there will be almost no traffic, much of the day.

The major streets intersect with stop signs or traffic lights. Many of the natives blow the stop signs, run the red lights, and speed with almost reckless abandon. And auto collisions are frequent - and lawyers and police are very busy.

Confusion About EMail Addresses Based On Google Apps Provided Email Domains

Since 2009, I've been explaining the intricate relationships between Blogger accounts, email addresses, and Google accounts.

One of the challenges of logging in to Blogger or Google involves account names and passwords, that may be shared with an email account that is the basis for the Blogger / Google account name.

Non GMail based Blogger / Google accounts initially share an account name / email address with the source non GMail email account. If you change a non GMail email address, the Blogger account name will not change. If you delete a non GMail account, the Blogger account is not deleted. Finally, even with shared account names, the passwords between the email account, and the Blogger / Google account, are not automatically shared.

With a GMail / Google based Blogger account, on the other hand, both the account name and password will be shared - since it's the same account. If you delete a GMail / Google Blogger account, the Blogger account - and all owned blogs -…

Blog Owners Report Their Reading Lists Contain Just One Entry

This week, we're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, mentioning a badly shortened dashboard Reading List.
When I want to read the list of the blogs I follow, I can only see 1 blog, instead of the usual 30. When I click on "Show more", nothing happens. A brief affinity analysis, of current forum reports, suggests that the affected blog owners are using Draft Blogger.

Confusion From "Add external link" In Pages

The recently redesigned Pages gadget and wizard has been with us for just over 3 months.

We are occasionally seeing some confusion from people who can't add a dynamic page link to their blog - even when they manage to find the redesigned Pages gadget.I added a dynamic page, linking from "mymainblog.blogspot.com" to "mysecondblog.blogspot.com". Imagine my dismay, when the new page link goes to "mymainblog.blogspot.com/mysecondblog.blogspot.com", instead of to my actual target "mysecondblog.blogspot.com"!Here is a blog owner who is not aware of the unforgiving syntax of the "New Page › Web Address" wizard, and the "Web address (URL)" entry.

The Google Apps "Advanced DNS settings" Wizard Does Not Provide A Link To The Registrar

We're seeing reports from some blog owners, who purchased custom domains through Blogger / Google, who are unable to access the registrars zone editor through Google Apps.

Owners of blogs published to custom domains, where the domains were purchased through "Buy a domain", need to use the registrars zone editor to maintain their domains. In the past, the zone editor could be accessed from a link in the "Advanced DNS settings" wizard in the "Admin console" / Google Apps dashboard.

The "Advanced DNS settings" wizard provides important tokens, to let the owner of a domain, purchased through Blogger / Google, interact with the registrar. Besides the tokens, there is a link, captioned "Sign in to DNS console", which should lead directly to the sign in screen provided by either eNom or GoDaddy.

Spammers, And Content / Risk Management

Spammers protect their content against "unfair" deletion, and provide uninterrupted service to their "customers", by publishing multiple blogs, in spam blog farms.

Owners of better designed spam blog farms minimise the risk to their blogs, by separating the hacking / porn / spam content (Payload), from the immediately visible Blogger blogs (Collector). Spammers use a tiered structure of blogs, in their blog farms. Collector blogs.Distributor blogs.Payload blogs.Only the Payload blogs contain easily identified hacking / porn / spam material - and only the Collector blogs are immediately visible to the abuse detection processes.

DMCA Complaints Require Precise Examples

Occasionally we see confusion and impatience, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about previously submitted DMCA complaints.I have repeatedly submitted a complaint about "offendingblog.blogspot.com" - and nothing is done! How long must I wait, for results??We should start by noting that Google staff attention cannot ever be promised immediately - but if a valid complaint is submitted, repeatedly, with no results, maybe the problem is in the presentation of the complaint.

Tweak The Post Template, Only When Necessary

Occasionally, we see the query, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?How do I change these captions? / Add this feature? / Remove specific components of this feature?Conversely, we see in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is BrokenWhy does this new Blogger feature not work in my blog?These questions, in many cases, may be related. We can see the connection, when we look closer at how the changes are applied.

Internet Explorer Updates, And Use Of "Compatibility View" Settings - April 2014

For several weeks, we've seen a steady stream of problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about the latest monolithic error in Blogger history.
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From several conversations with Blogger Support, it now appears that this latest error code (and a few similar ones) is related to Internet Explorer, and the use of Compatibility View. Apparently, Blogger Engineering has finally updated Blogger so it is compatible with Internet Explorer V11 - and having done so, has made it incompatible with V11 using Compatibility View.