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Blogger Magic - Custom Domain Redirects

Money is a popular artifact used in magic tricks - everybody loves looking at it, and playing with it.

The disappearing quarter - which starts out in your hand, and is found behind your ear - is intriguing. Equally as intriguing is the magician who can take two 50 cent pieces, and turn them into a dollar bill.

The two into one conversion is a neat trick - and that's part of a properly designed and properly setup custom domain.

  1. The BlogSpot URL is redirected by URL forwarding, to the domain URL. This picks up the traffic from the BlogSpot blog, and transfers it to the domain. And, it picks up the identity of the domain.
  2. The domain is redirected by "A" / "CNAME" referral, to Google (and within Google to the Blogger blog). This picks up the traffic from the domain (including the traffic forwarded from the BlogSpot URL), and transfers it to the Blogger blog.
  3. "CNAME" referral retains the identity of the domain, with the traffic.

"CNAME" Referral merges traffic to the blog, using the domain identity.

What we have here is traffic (BlogSpot + domain) merged together, to the domain. Blog content gets indexed by the search engines under the domain URL - and contributes to page rank, and search engine reputation, for the blog, as published to the custom domain URL.

Identity * Traffic == Search Engine Reputation, for the domain.

Remember that the value of a custom domain is based on the increased reputation - to the blog, when seen under the domain URL.

Frame / URL Forwarding merges traffic to the blog, using the blog identity.

An alternative to "A" / "CNAME" referral, provided and recommended by some registrars, is Frame / URL Forwarding.

  1. When re published to the domain, the BlogSpot URL is redirected by URL forwarding, to the domain URL. This picks up the traffic from the BlogSpot blog, and transfers it to the domain. And, it picks up the identity of the domain.
  2. The domain is redirected by Frame or URL Forwarding to the BlogSpot URL. This picks up the traffic from the domain (including the original traffic, forwarded from the BlogSpot URL), and transfers it to the blog - and back to the BlogSpot URL.
  3. Forwarding picks up the identity of the BlogSpot URL, with the traffic.

No Identity * Traffic == No Search Engine Reputation, for the domain.

All that work - and the identity (and search engine reputation) goes back to the BlogSpot URL.

If you pay extra to just merge traffic to the blog, what's the benefit?

In terms of magic, the latter trick is a dud. Nobody sees your domain. There goes your dollar bill, in a puff of smoke.

There's no benefit to the blog, if it's just seen under the BlogSpot URL.

Don't let your registrar sell you a puff of smoke!

If your registrar tries to tell you to use Frame or URL Forwarding, because they don't provide "CNAME" referral, or because they won't allow 4 x "A" referrals, your best choice is to find another registrar - or possibly, use a (free) third party DNS hosting service.

If you're here because you got technical advice to use URL Forwarding anyway, because it will work just as well as "4 x A" / "CNAME" referral, get better advice.

It's your domain - you want the benefits of publishing your blog to a domain URL? Publish it properly, using "A" / "CNAME" referral.


Najla said…
My apologies if I am not following your commenting policy. I think my question is relevant to this post... (I hope).

I use Google Analytics to track traffic to my blog. I have several other blog sites that show up as referring traffic to my blog. When I visit these blogs, they have my blog listed on a sidebar as one they follow.

But one of the blogs that shows up often as referring traffic to my blog doesn't have my blog visible on their site. I find it so curious. How is that possible?

Thanks for you time.
Unknown said…
Great post, appreciated.
Bendervision said…
Are the records created at the registrar or host? My domains are with is with the Prime Host. Not happy with host and want to move all my domains to the Blogger setup with custom domains. I have accomplished this with,, - but has given me trouble. I am at the mercy of my host and I think they just keep messing it up and making things worse! I want my domains URL to get the good rep.

Thanks for your time!

Unknown said…
Hi Nitecruzr,

We decided to post here in the hopes that we can get the problem with which you helped us on the forums resolved.

We followed your advice to change all the A records and we turned off domain forwarding. However, this is still not working when the naked domain is entered. Only by entering www will the site come up.

Please have a look at

Are we supposed to turn on the setting on blogger at SETTINGS>PUBLISHING>BLOG ADDRESS to redirect to If we are, it will not allow us as we get the following error: Key already exists for domain:

Thanks for your time and sorry for being so persistent, but we are at a loss.. Please give us a hand when you are able. Thanks!

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