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Showing posts from February, 2014

Use A Comments Newsfeed, To Be Notified About Non Spam Comments Published To Your Blog

Some time ago, Blogger comment notification was changed to send notification of all comments published to a given blog.

Notification now includes comments moderated as spam - either by the blog administrators, or by the Blogger spam moderation process. This confuses some blog owners, who complain about getting notifications which include spam comments.

Some blog owners do not appreciate getting spam comments, in their notification email. Unfortunately, as opposed to the possibility of seeing comments appear to vanish - when comments, supposedly published, are wrongfully moderated as spam and never generate notification email - it is impossible to not include some spam comments in the notification email.

Team Blog Ownership Causes Risk, To All Members

Some blog owners setup blogs, then casually make their friends administrators, without considering the potential risk to their blogs.

From time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see reports by former blog owners, who have lost control of their blogs. There are several risks - and not all risks are apparent.Aggressive takeover of the blog, by one administrator.Unintentional self deletion or demotion, by the last active administrator.A team member, causing locking of a team blog.Any of these scenarios can result in inconvenience to the remaining administrators.

Access To Your Blogger Account, Using Google Login

Ever since the new, integrated 2014 Google login was provided for us, several months ago, some Blogger blog owners have been losing access to their blogs.

Problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, illustrate the confusion.I can't login to my blog!andI can only use my GMail, not my Blogger, account!!These are typical examples of the problems which come from misunderstanding the new login process.

Blog Feed Type, And Search Engine Indexing Of Your Blog

Not all blog owners realise the importance of the blog feed, and of its effect upon search engine access to their blogs.

For blogs which are published as Public, Blogger provides the option to publish a blog feed - and within that option, what size feed to publish.FullUntil Jump BreakShortNoneCustom
When a blog is indexed using the sitemap - and not using the main page, or links from other blogs and websites - the proper feed type will have a major effect on blog indexing. Selecting anything other than "Full" will limit the amount of blog content - and prevent the search engines from indexing the complete blog posts. (Update 2014/11): This may not be the case, with all blogs using dedicated sitemaps, automatically generated - instead of feed based sitemaps.

Private Blogs, And Abuse Classification

A few blog owners are unclear about the relationship between private blog access, and abuse (malware, porn, spam) classification.

In general, private blogs are not any less vulnerable to abuse classification, than public blogs. Blogs, designated as "private", are protected against being viewed by people who do not have permission.

Blogs, designated as "private", are not protected against being scanned by robotic processes. Search engine indexing bots will surf blogs - private or public - equally well. That said, there are non imaginary differences, between indexing of private and public blogs.

Abuse / Malware Classifications, February 2014

This week, we're seeing a small flood of reports about abuse / malware classifications, involving various blogs.

Some blogs are being classified as an apparently intensified effort to block a long recognised malware source - and others because of a newly detected problem.

For a while, we've been noting problem reports discussing blogs with gadgets provided by "abu-farhan". Some hijacks would lead to simple spam displays (of possibly objectionable content), while others led to active malware distribution. The latter, in turn, generated more problem reports here - by people reporting their blogs now under the control of other people, who were not the original blog owners.

This week, we see reports that Google has taken action against the "abu-farhan" domain. Blogger now appears to be actively classifying blogs, which contain accessories provided from "abu-farhan", as malicious content hosts - pending review, on a blog by blog basis.

Along wi…

The Quick Edit Feature, And Domain Based Filters

Some Blogger features are so subtle, and so simple, that everybody takes them for granted - and nobody thinks about them, until they stop working.

One example of this is the Quick Edit option that lets us edit a post, or tweak a template feature, without having to access the Blogger dashboard. Sometimes, the icon is just not there - or maybe it's there, but when clicked on, nothing happens.

Quick Edit, like many Blogger features, is affected by both cookie and script filters - and many filters are domain based. Any domain based filter needs to allow cookies and scripts - both from "blogspot.com", and from any non BlogSpot domain that may be relevant.

Custom Domain Publishing Will Interfere With Filters

Some blog owners, having endured the frustrations of custom domain publishing, may later discover new problems with using Blogger - or with using / viewing some features of the blog.

For people who are security minded, as well as people who are conscientious about what is permitted on their personal computer, a few domain based filter related problems should be obvious.Where are the pencil / tool icons on my blog? andWhy can't my readers comment on my blog? andWhy can't I use Stats, on the Blogger dashboard? are just examples of the various questions being seen in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, for domains that have completed Transition, and having righteous DNS addressing.

Using Copied Content, In Your Blog

Occasionally we see the naive query, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.Does copying content, into my blog, violate Blogger TOS?
The short (and too frequently provided) answer to the question isNo, copying content does not violate TOS.
Copying content to your blog is perfectly OK - when done legally. That said, you need to consider the issues - and possible results.

Retrieving The PostID, From The Blog Posts Newsfeed, To Recover A Deleted Post

Blog owners, seeking to recover a deleted post, can do so easily enough - if the post has been indexed by the search engines.

A post that's not indexed by the search engines can sometimes be found in the blog posts newsfeed. With the post retrieved in the feed, we generally tell people to copy the post contents into a new post. To re publish the post, the owner has to re format the post content - and has to publish the recovered post, under a new URL.

But with a little work, you can find the PostID, in the posts newsfeed - and frequently, re publish the post in question.

Stats "Don't track ..." Option Does Not Work, Reliably

Problems with the Stats "Don't track ..." option, in general, are not new.

Ever since Blogger added that option to Stats, years ago, it's been a problem for some blog owners. Sometimes, the problem is individual, other times (as this year) the problems are seen by more people.

The most common problems with the "Don't track" option, when selected by the blog owners, involve cookies, hosted by various browsers - and interpreted by Blogger scripts. Cookies and scripts are misunderstood features in Internet life.

Some countries require websites, published by their citizens, to display disclaimers, warning readers that "This website drops cookies onto your computer!" - as if cookies are are part of an evil plot.

Renaming Your Blog, And Use Of Webmaster Tools

Not all blog owners are certain of the relationship between the blog URL, and usefulness of the utilities in Webmaster Tools.

If you're using Webmaster Tools with your blog (and this you really should be doing), you'll notice that the tools, as provided, reference the URL of the blog. If you change the blog URL - either as a simple BlogSpot rename, or when re publishing to a custom domain - you need a new Webmaster Tools entry. And, you'll need to retain the old Webmaster Tools entry.