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...

Monday, February 29, 2016

Stats And "Don't track", And Custom Domains

Blog owners have been trying to block tracking their own Stats pageviews, for a few years.

This option has long been unusable, for blogs published to custom domains. Recently, Blogger Engineering updated the option - and the dashboard page with the link.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

With AdSense, Ads Are Not Based On The Minimum

One sign of confusion, in AdSense Help Forum: Blogger / Host Partners, involves new blog publishers, who want to immediately add ads, after starting their blogs - and need reassurance, about how soon they will be seeing income.
What is the actual qualification level, for AdSense?
This is a question, from somebody who probably does not understand the AdSense approval process.

If AdSense is run properly, final approval is not based on any fixed minimum. There are too many different blog / website subjects, and advertising targets, to have a consistent minimum across all product lines.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Comments "Lost", With Google+ Comments Selection

Besides the confusion about being in the right Circles, some Google+ comments can be overlooked, because of the comment view selector.

We see odd problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
When a friend mentioned she'd commented, I found that odd - because I couldn't find the comment anymore. It had shown up previously - but it was now gone.
The view selector is not so obvious, either. It's similar to the "Compose" / "HTML" buttons, in Post Editor.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Custom Domain Publishing, And Alias Blocking

Some blog owners setup their new custom domain, check all settings carefully (and correctly) - then find that it does not work.

We see the confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
The addresses were right - and all the DNS servers updated correctly. But when I open the website, it does not open. It continuously reloads for 5 minutes and after 5 minutes it shows an error.
It's frustrating, when everything is setup properly - but still no results.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Export / Import" Is Now "Import & back up"

Blog owners who need to export blog content are reporting confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I'm trying to export my blog, but when I click "Settings > Other", there is no "Export" option!
Not all blog owners realise that the "Export" wizard is now "Back up".

Changes in functionality may perplex blog owners, too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Recovering From The Corrupt Template / "Error 500"

We're seeing a few reports, this week, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about blogs with broken templates.
I tried to log on to my blog, and it shows up an error message. I've done it several times on different browsers, but no change: the error code is bX-uukqqu.
It appears that the "bX-uukqqu" is from the owner attempting dashboard access. Trying to view the same blog, I see the ubiquitous "bX-v2vqfh".

Both codes reference blogs which show up, in an HTTP trace, with the monolithic message "500 Internal Server Error" - and tells us that this is one more blog with a broken template.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Verifying Blog Ownership, In BlogLovin

In BlogLovin, the ownership verification process is termed "claiming your blog".

Claiming your blog involves installing a BlogLovin link, with embedded token, on your blog where it can be seen, by the BlogLovin claim verification process. Getting the claim link, from the BlogLovin dashboard, is not an obvious process.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Plan The Custom Domain Upgrade, With AdSense

Too many blog owners take their Blogger blogs, successfully hosting AdSense ads using a Blogger Hosted account, and decide to get a non BlogSpot URL.

Having survived the challenge of getting the custom domain published blog working, they settle back and look for lots more traffic, because of the new non BlogSpot URL - and more income, from AdSense. Then, they discover harsh reality.

Not only do they not get lots more income, their ads are now blank, or public service (non paying).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Using The Meta Search Description In Your Blog

There is some confusion, about including "search description" meta content, in blog template code, to provide source for data shares to social sharing sites.

In various topics in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, I've seen references to "data:post.metaDescription", "data:post.snippet", and "data:post.pageTitle" used, in providing the blog post source for the FaceBook "og:description" tag. As far as I can tell, none of these exist.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Blogger, And Home / Small Business Blog Clusters

One topic of frustration, occasionally seen in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, involves home based business blogs, that may be victims of their own success.
We are not spam - we are a network of blog owners, in select cities all over the country. I am tired of hearing the apologies, this needs to be resolved.
The blog owner is being quite polite, but insistent.

Blog clusters, whether developed by home / small business owners, or malicious spammers, create problems for all Blogger blog owners. Home / small business blogs are clearly not intentional spam - but their structure makes them easy to mistake for spam blog farms.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Comments With HTML Code Confuse Blog Owners

Some blog owners see encoded special characters, in Blogger dashboard displays - and do not understand why they are there.
I recently noticed that the comments, that I view in my Blogger dashboard page, have like a series of numbers and symbols in some of the comments.
This owner is looking at comments, displayed in the Dashboard Comments pages ("Published", "Awaiting moderation", and "Spam"), which right now may contain strange character sequences.

The "HTML entity codes" for special characters, like ampersand, apostrophe, and quote marks, are HTML code - that will probably be with us, forever. Blogger blog content (like many other blogs and websites) uses HTML - and those characters have syntactical importance. Using them in blog content, unencoded, causes problems with browser operation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Third Party Templates - Not Always Free

Some third party templates come with extra features - that not everybody appreciates.
How do I get rid of the "lorem ipsum" nonsense, that's part of my signature?
This blog owner just got a shiny "free" third party template, for her blog.

Some custom template providers publish free templates that contain odd, irrelevant details.
When I click on the "Read more" link on my blog, it opens up the post - but has added in a odd kind of signature. It displays my name but is using an image that isn't me, and the "lorem ipsum" text. I have no idea where to edit this?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

With Only A Blogger Blog, Do Not Apply To AdSense

Some blog owners are becoming confused by the AdSense activation process, and are applying directly to AdSense.

If you apply directly to AdSense, you will be applying for an AdSense For Content account. AdSense For Content requires a properly qualified top level domain website.

If you have a fully qualified top level domain website - or a Blogger blog already published to a custom domain, again, fully qualified - you can add a Blogger blog published to BlogSpot, as an additional ad host. If, like many Blogger blog owners, your blog is your first step in Internet activity, you cannot accomplish anything by applying directly to AdSense.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sharing Blog Content, With Photos, To FaceBook

We have a few blog owners, reporting problems with sharing their blogs to FaceBook.
When I share my blog on FaceBook, the photo from the blog doesn't appear. Some blurry pencil appears instead.
What the blog owner is seeing, is the effect of the FaceBook Share wizard, grabbing an unwanted photo, from the page being shared.

You have 2 choices, if you want to share blog content to FaceBook - and have it all look attractive.
  1. Publish every post, containing a photo that FaceBook will want to use.
  2. Add FaceBook Open Graph code, to your blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

With AdSense, Congratulations Is Only The Beginning

We have a few blog owners, reporting in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, who are unaware of the AdSense approval process.
I was approved for AdSense - but my ads are not showing up. What is wrong?
This blog owner is apparently unaware of the two stage AdSense approval process.

Eligibility gives a blog owner the ability to place ad code on the blog. Actual ad content will appear later - after the blog has received final approval, and after the AdSense crawler has chosen ads for the blog.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Recovering A Broken Template, Using "Edit HTML"

I have, for a long time, recommended regular template backups, for those who like to tweak the template.

Normal backup uses the "Backup" wizard, on the dashboard Template page. When backed up, an XML file, containing the template code, is extracted and saved locally. To restore, the "Restore" wizard is used and a previous Backup XML file selected.

That's how Backup / Restore should work - but it isn't always that easy.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

AdSense Is A Contextual Ad Hosting Service

AdSense requires content - substantial amounts of text content - in a supported language.

The term "contextual" means that the ads, which display on each different blog, are chosen to match the subject in the posts. This assures the ad companies, which pay for the ads hosted on the blogs, that their ads will be seen by people who appreciate the products.

With the ads carefully chosen, AdSense can confidently charge appropriately - and the blog owner can be paid to host the ads.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Claiming Your Blog, In BlogLovin

When you use the BlogLovin supplied instructions to claim your blog, you will get a BlogLovin link, with an embedded token, which you install in your blog.
Paste this text into a new blog post ... In some blogs, it's necessary to put the code at the top of the blog post.

BlogLovin would have you publish a new post, and put the link / token at the top of the post. This ensures that the claim link displays at the top of the page, in the blog.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Deleting Your Blogger Account

We see regular queries about deleting a Blogger account, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.

A Blogger account is simply a Google account, used to publish or read blogs. If you want to delete a Blogger account, you need to delete the Google account.

If you are using your Google account for other services, maybe GMail, Google+, and / or YouTube, you won't want to delete your Google account. But you can make the Blogger portion of your Google account invisible, to the public.

Monday, February 08, 2016

BlogLovin Has Problems With Some Blog Feeds

We see occasional reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, from Blogger blog owners who want to share their blogs using BlogLovin.
Why can't I claim my blog?
BlogLovin is somewhat monolithic. They use the blog feed, and a BlogLovin URL with embedded token, to process / validate blog claims - and their diagnostics, when a claim is a problem, are not always effective.

Some blog feeds can be validated, yet not be found by BlogLovin. And other feeds won't validate.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

bX Codes, Diagnosing "Error 500", Being Reported

We're seeing a few reports from blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, with blogs being inaccessible.
My blog can't be seen at all, it just says error when I'm trying to open my blog. I also can't edit anything, like HTML or Template.
When the blog is viewed, it will issue one of several bX codes. So far, I've identified bX-3o92c2, bX-ppgc07, bX-tqn3zr, bX-v2vqfh, bX-vg1g6a. When the blog is viewed, using an HTTP trace, the trace will terminate, showing an old friend.
Error 500 Internal Server Error

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Phishing Is A Form Of Identity Theft

We've recently seen a few blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, report their blogs being classified for phishing.
Today my blog was locked due to "phishing":
Hello, Your blog at http://xxxxxxx.blogspot.com/ has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: PHISHING. In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible.
No, there was no phishing in this blog - and no, I didn't change or add anything to it recently, that could trigger a false detection or report.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Use A Canonical URL, With Page URL Conditionals

Not all blog owners can successfully add a conditional display of a template object, to their blog.

Some owners carefully copy the conditional code that I provide, add it to their blogs - and it does not work (for them). In some cases, it may work, for me, when I check their work.

Conditional code, that involves people in countries subject to the country specific domain redirect, won't always be comparing against "blogspot.com". People in the UK may see their blog as "blogspot.co.uk", for instance.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Protect Your Online Life - Prevent Blog Loss

We've been seeing a few queries recently, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, suggesting very subtle account attacks going on.

Some reports are about accounts locked (and blogs temporarily offline), because of "suspicious" / "unusual" activity. Other reports are sadder - and mention blogs now owned by another person. When we're able to identify the new blog owner, too many look like intentional hackers.

Temporarily offline - or permanently stolen - both are stories that you do not want to tell. Fortunately, both stories can be prevented.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Jobs Blogs Are Not Desired, In Blogger

We see an occasional hopeful spammer asking, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about one more spam blog subject.
Can I publish a blog, and provide job postings?
The would be blog owner has not read the Blogger Content rules.

Jobs blogs are a problem, in Blogger. A jobs website should be published by a Commercial or Government Employment ("Human Resources") agency - and very few commercial or government job agencies operate Blogger blogs, as their website.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Google Accounts, With Blogger Profiles, Are Limited

We're seeing a few questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about new Blogger / Google accounts - and choice of profile.
Do I have a Limited account?
This account owner just setup a new Blogger / Google account - and wants to avoid the confusion of Google+ - but sees his only alternate choice involving creation of a "Limited" account.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Put A Notice, To Your Followers, On Your Blog

Thanks to the Followers rewrite - and the Followers database cleanup - this blog has lost over 500 Followers.

Blogger Support suggests that we should publish a notice to our Followers, letting them know what is going on - and why some might be no longer Following.

The notice, if published as a post, will go out to everybody subscribed to the posts newsfeed.