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The Old "Another blog ..." Problem - Will It Ever Be Fixed?

The ability to publish a Blogger blog to a non BlogSpot URL - also known as "Custom Domain Publishing" - has been a Blogger option for over 5 years. We have, similarly, observed the problem which is collectively described as "Another blog ..." for almost that long.

Every week, we see the signs of frustration in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
Why does Blogger never fix the "Another blog" problem?
Why can I never get a straight answer here, about my inability to make my custom domain work?
Both of these questions ignore the reality - that "Another blog ..." is actually a symptom, with many different causes.

One of the challenges of dealing with "Another blog" starts with the different problems which cause this symptom - and with the different parties involved in the problems.

The most common cause of the symptom, originally - which contradicted the wording of the message - came from the domain DNS addresses being improperly setup by the blog owner. There are many ways to break the DNS addressing.

With domains purchased through the Blogger / Google "Buy a domain" wizard, a problem with the purchase process can cause incorrect / missing DNS. Trying to use an unsuitable bank account will cause payment refused by the bank.

With the domain properly purchased and setup, and pointing to the proper Google servers, the various mappings within the Google database, which connect the various services to non Google domain URLs, can cause problems. Services like AdService, Google Sites, and Start Page, like Blogger, can be mapped to a non Google domain. An existing database pointer to any such service, for the domain, will cause the Blogger Publishing wizard to report "Another blog ...".

A recently observed variation on the existing database pointer involves the domain, previously used by another Blogger blog owner, who simply stopped paying for the domain registration. The domain expired (which is how the domain was just re published) - but existing Blogger / Google mappings remain.

The causes of the first two problems (DNS addressing errors, and domain registration payment) are completely the responsibility of the blog / domain owner.

In some cases, the latter two problems (AdServices / Sites / Start Page / previously published Blogger blog) can be reset by submitting a "Magical" Custom Domain Reset request. In other cases, the new domain owner ends up recycling domain settings, using Google Apps.

Both the Custom Domain Reset request, and the Google Apps based domain settings recycling process, can cause problems. We were, long ago, advised by Blogger Support that not all mappings can be cleared by use of the form. And the complexity and lack of structure in the recycling process, can motivate some blog owners to try other, inappropriate solutions.

The bottom line is that the "Another blog" "problem" - even with carefully documented workarounds - will never be completely understood, let alone eliminated. Some magicians will suggest unilateral solutions, which will satisfy specific blog owners - but a universal solution is highly unlikely.

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