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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.

There are two obscure details, which make indexing of private blogs slightly different - and which seem to cause some confusion.
  • Private blogs, which do not publish newsfeeds, will not be indexed as readily by search engines.
  • Private blogs, which cannot be viewed as easily by people who do not have permission, are not as subject to "Content Warning" restrictions placed by unhappy viewers, who do not appreciate unsavoury content.
Other than those two relatively minor details, private blogs are equally subject to indexing - and to abuse classification.

Many of us know the confusion, observed when clicking on a search engine listing, to see the advice
You don't have permission to view this page.
This confusion starts because a blog or website, even though designated as "private" by the owner, is still indexed by the search engines.

Private blogs don't produce newsfeeds - and won't be indexed by search engines, using sitemaps. They won't receive as much attention from the search engines, and they won't appear in search engine result pages (SERPs), in good position - so not so many people will see private blogs listed in SERPs. Also, since there are less private blogs than public blogs, there won't be as many private blogs listed, anywhere.

The latter distinctions aside, the search engine bots will crawl private blogs equally well as public blogs. Similar to search engine bots, abuse classification bots will crawl private blogs equally as well as public blogs.

The well known link modifiers "nofollow" and "noindex" are advisory only; any robotic process is free to observe or to ignore either directive. Misbehaving robots are known to surf - and to scrape content - from blogs using "noindex" and "nofollow", with impunity. Abuse classification bots will do the same.

A private blog won't give you the ability to back up other blogs, either. Online backups of other blogs, whether subject to TOS Violation classification or not, is still a bad idea.

Another source of confusion involves involuntary content warnings, which will affect private blogs less than public blogs - but only since private blogs have a restricted human audience (and that restriction is subject to limits). Malware, porn, and spam classification bots will crawl private blogs - and will place involuntary "content warning" restrictions - just as they do with public blogs.

Similar to the confusion about use of non BlogSpot URLs, use of "private" blog designation will protect your blog, in no way, from abuse classification. If you try to publish a blog containing malware, porn, and / or spam, we'll see you in the forums
Blogger just deleted my blog! But I made it private!! How could they do this to me???
And, we'll give you the bad news.


Negativo said…
Great post.

Thak you man.

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