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Showing posts from April, 2016

Now, You See It - Now, You Don't

Some blog owners create a post, with content that should be visible, only when required.

The post contains a question - accompanied by the answer to the question. The question should be viewed, without the answer being visible, to make the reader think about the answer. This is called, by many, a "spoiler".

Not everybody knows how to construct a spoiler. Some blogs use JavaScript - painful to construct, and maybe not effective for every reader. Security conscious blog readers may block scripts from Blogger blogs - and either your spoiler is visible, immediately - or never becomes visible.

Neither of the latter scenarios make the post a lot of fun to read.

Avoid Use Of FeedBurner "Password Protector"

Some Google products contain features that have limited usefulness, when applied to Blogger blogs.

FeedBurner has a feature, "Password Protector", which may be useful, to newsfeed readers that support HTTP authentication. Within FeedBurner, we have the "Email Subscriptions" service - which does not support feed authentication.
Your readers will be required to use newsreader or aggregator software that supports authentication to view your feed.Some Google, and non Google, services will have a problem, with a FeedBurner protected feed.

Buyer Beware - Don't Buy Pre Published Blogs

Don't develop a blog, that's simply designed to host AdSense ads - and avoid pre published blogs, in general.

Blogs and websites that are blatantly designed as ad hosts are classified as "MFA" ("Made For Ads") - and are never accepted as AdSense hosts. AdSense, and Blogger, want blogs with quality content - informative, interesting, and unique.

Legitimate and useful blogs start with content that is important to the blog owner.

Blogger Magic - Check / Edit FeedBurner Feed Details

Whenever you have a problem with FeedBurner - or need to change details, the "Edit Feed Details" wizard is an essential tool.

It's a very simple display - just 3 data elements - but it's a pretty useful 3 elements, if you use FeedBurner with your blog..

The FeedBurner "Edit Feed Details" wizard is an essential tool, when researching a FeedBurner problem.

Confusion About Blogger / Google Support Policies

We're seeing confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about unfairly limited Blogger / Google support policies.
Why can I not Follow my favourite blog, without using a Google account?and
Why must I upgrade my computer, to be able to use Chrome?Some blog owners and readers take the support policy limits personally, as if Blogger / Google is punishing them - or their readers - for not using the right account to login, or not upgrading their software.

Blogger Magic - The Custom Domain Root Redirect

When you setup a custom domain, for a Blogger blog, the DNS addresses are the most important issue.

A close second in importance, to righteous DNS addressing, is redirecting the domain root to the published URL. We see frequent problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why does my domain only work, with the "www" in the address?The domain root provides a backup to the published URL, in many domain setups. If the domain root is not redirected, and DNS for the "www" or other published alias is down, the domain is down.

Would Be Followers Being Blocked By Blog Owners

This month, we have a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems Following some blogs.
Why am I being blocked, from Following?Some would be Followers are taking this personally. Please, don''t do that.

Blogger Magic - Using An HTTP Trace

An HTTP trace is a very useful tool, for diagnosing and documenting connectivity issues, and many other blog problems.

I use the Rex Swain HTTP Viewer, for this purpose. HTTP Viewer lets you package a given display, in the URL, so you can give simple instructions (accompanied by an unavoidably complicated link):
Click on the link:
http://www.rexswain.com/cgi-bin/httpview.cgi?url=http://klarfamilylife.blogspot.com&uag=Mozilla/5.0+(X11%3B+CrOS+armv7l+7834.70.0)+AppleWebKit/537.36+(KHTML,+like+Gecko)+Chrome/49.0.2623.112+Safari/537.36&ref=http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html&aen=&req=GET&ver=1.1&fmt=AUTOAnd when the link is clicked, the necessary HTTP trace is displayed. There is no need to provide instructions how to actually enter the necessary values, on the HTTP Viewer home page, to generate the necessary display.

Blogger Provides A Mixed Content Detection Tool

In the process of publishing my earlier post "Blogger Magic - Add An HTML Gadget", I discovered the latest feature in the Blogger SSL upgrade.

Page / Post Editor now scans page / post content, and warns us when there are links still using "http" protocol. This will help us avoid publishing pages and posts which will generate "Mixed Content" warnings, when pages and posts are displayed using SSL.

Blogger Magic - Enabling Scripts, In Your Browser

Similar to the need to properly filter cookies in the browser, we have the need to properly filter scripts.

Cookies and scripts are completely different elements - but proper filtering of each is essential, to making many Blogger features operate properly.

If you have a problem with Blogger - either accessing / using the dashboard, or using / viewing a blog - one of the simplest things to check, complementing cookie filter settings, is the browser script filter settings.

Post Data Cannot Be Moved Above The Post Body

Blog owners have been requesting the ability to position various post content items above the post body, for years.

We've seen reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems moving Comments, Labels, Share Bar, and others.

Several years, "Arrange Items" was upgraded to allow Labels to be moved above the post body. That option was provided briefly - then removed later.

Editing An Old Post? Beware Missing "</li>" Tags!

I recently updated an old post, to add a link to a newly published post - and experienced panic.

Adding a link to an old post, Deleted / Locked Blogs Have Several Causes, I discovered an oddity which caused extreme heartburn for several hours. Maybe you have experienced this, also.

Editing my post, and adding a simple single sentence, with embedded link, at the end of the post, I refreshed the display (always test your changes - no matter how minor!), and watched as the paragraphing scrambled itself.

Blogger Magic - Set Main Page Size

One of the most visible changes, to the blog display, involves properly setting main page size.

You change the posts count using "Show at most" on the dashboard Settings - "Posts, comments and sharing" page - or "Number of posts on main page" in the "Configure Blog Posts" wizard. Both let you set the main page display limit.

You can limit main page size by days with posts, or by total post count.

Google+ Sharing, and Search Reputation

Some blog owners use FaceBook or Google+, and share blog posts - and ask what effect sharing and +1 / Like has, on search reputation.
What is the purpose of getting +1's?The search engines most likely have no special processing, for social action like +1s and Likes - but indexing of content will include social shared content, and notifications of +1s and Likes, from FaceBook and Google+.

A blog post, shared or given a +1, will become part of a Google+ stream - similar to a Blogger blog comment, that is Google+ hosted. The search engines index Google+ stream posts, as they index blogs. There will be similar action from FaceBook content.

Blogger Magic - Reading A Dig Log

Whether you're setting up or troubleshooting a custom domain, knowing how to read a Dig log is a useful skill.

There are hundreds of registrars, serving the Internet community, each with their own dashboard. Blog owners, setting up their domains for their Blogger blogs, must deal with the syntax and terminology used by each different dashboard.

A Dig log lets the blog owner identify the DNS addresses for the domain, using a consistent display.

A Healthcare Blog Is Not A Suitable AdSense Host

Some blog owners publish blogs, with subjects completely unsuitable for AdSense ads - which would produce legal liability if endorsed by AdSense / Google.

One completely unsuitable subject, for AdSense, is healthcare and medical advice.

Blogger Magic - Changing The Blog Title

Some blog owners start a blog - then discover that they gave the blog the wrong name.

Unlike changing the Blog Name (Address), changing the Blog Name (Title) is not complicated.

Blogger Magic - Enabling Cookies, In Your Browser

The Blogger dashboard, and blog displays, is less of a pair of websites - and more of an application with code that runs on our computers.

The Blogger code on our computers requires cookies and scripts, which are installed as we use the various Blogger dashboard pages. The cookies and scripts are susceptible to interference, from overly restrictive layered security.

If you have a problem with Blogger - either accessing / using the dashboard, or using / viewing a blog - one of the simplest things to check, complementing script filter settings, is the browser cookie filter settings.

A Domain Root, With Blogger And Non Blogger Hosts

Some blog owners publish a domain, and try to combine a Blogger blog, and a non Blogger website, in the domain root.

They publish one host to the domain root - and the other to the "www" alias.

This combination may be supported by the non Blogger host - but Blogger blog reliability will suffer. And the readers may become confused, when they click to view the blog, and get the website - or vice versa.

There is a special relationship between the domain root and "www" alias. Blogger takes advantage of this relationship, to provide improved reliability for a blog, when published to a custom domain.

Music Is Personal - And Player Choice Will Be, Also

Some blog owners decide to include music, to accessorise their blogs - and the first thing they ask for is instructions.
Please give me step by step instructions, to add music.They don't consider that adding music, for any blog, will be their personal choice - and a music player will be personal too.

Blogger Magic - FeedBurner Email For Your Blog

Some people who will enjoy your blog may prefer to follow it using their email.

It's not difficult to setup email delivery of the comments or posts - from various source selections. FeedBurner offers a wide assortment of delivery options, for the many sources.

Blogger offers the "Subscribe by Email" gadget and service, which delivers the posts newsfeed. That's one feed possibility - and you can have many more, with very little work.

Search Engine Reputation, And Vanity Domains

One hot Internet topic, these days, involves specialised ("vanity") domains.

The hot names seem to change, by the week. This week, enom is hyping ".family", ".live", ".rocks", and ".social". Other registrars may have other recommendations.

The blog Address (Name) is a key blog identity element, in a well designed blog. It's visible both to people, and to search engine crawlers.

The requirement that addresses must be unique is a supposed benefit of vanity top level domains - but vanity TLDs, alone, will not provide blog uniqueness. There will always be competition for some names, in any useful Top Level Domain.

The "About Me" Gadget, And Google+

Some blog owners are accustomed to editing their Blogger profiles, from time to time.

Publishing a blog that presents oneself to ones readers, openly, is important to some blog owners. The Blogger profile becomes a blog component that is edited, periodically, to keep the blog reader friendly.

The Blogger profile editor produces content which is displayed in the "About Me" gadget, for single owner blogs. Multiple owner blogs, complementarily, display "About Us" - which provides a different display.

Are Meta Keywords Useful, In Blogger Blog Posts?

Some blog owners do not completely understand the concept of meta description, vs meta keywords - and how blog search reputation can be affected.

We see occasional questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
I know how to enter meta info on each blog post under the Search Description field - but do I have to put all permutations of a subject in the Search Description?Here, we see the possibility of unintended "keyword stuffing", and degraded search engine reputation.

Blogger Magic - Add An HTML Gadget

Many popular accessories start with raw HTML / JavaScript code, from different third party services.

One of the advantages of publishing a Blogger blog is the abundance of available accessories. With Blogger being in the top 3 of Internet publishing platforms, every third party service wants customers who publish using Blogger.

There are plenty of abusive or malicious accessories, that should not be installed, even when offered - and there are ways to best install the accessories, that can be safely installed.

A Computer / Tech Blog Is Not A Good AdSense Host

Some blog owners do not understand why ads do not display, on their blogs.

We see a frequent complaint, in AdSense Help Forum: Blogger, YouTube, Partner sites.

I installed ads to my blog - but the ads are not showing. It has been several months already - and I have received no feedback, from AdSense.
Too frequently, the blogs in question turn out to be computer / tech blogs - many offering free downloads of various commercial products.

Disable AdSense Gadgets, On Static Pages

One problem with AdSense, that some blog owners have reported, is that AdSense ads are not permitted on pages with very little AdSense relevant content.

Unfortunately for some blog owners, the responsibility for preventing this is left to the blog owner.

Blogs with static pages, and AdSense gadgets in the sidebar, are a problem here. Static pages with little blog relevant content - such as label indexes, expanded owner profiles, special gadgets like Followers displays - cause problems with the AdSense ad classifier - and can cause blogs to lose ads.

Add A Fixed Location "Subscribe" Button To Your Blog

To encourage email subscriptions, and other social connections, some blog owners provide gadget toolbars, with useful links.

Some blog owners would like to position their gadgets in fixed screen positions.
I want to have a subscribe button hover at the top of the page, while people read my blog.This blog has a hovering AddThis toolbar, which provides selected social sharing options. And, it has a hovering "Top of Page" button.