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The Real Blogger Status

What Blogger won't tell you

Updated: 2018-02-21T09:38:37.524-08:00


Make Your Blog Searchable - Where To Start


Making a blog searchable is the first step in getting search traffic, and readers, for our blogs - when we want them visible to the public.Not all blog owners want their blogs visible to everybody. Complementing the ability to publish a blog, and have it visible only to invited readers, Blogger gives us the ability to make the blog invisible, to the search engines.If we want readers for a blog, and do not have a private reader audience in mind, we first make it visible to the search engines.The Privacy wizard, on the Blogger dashboard, lets us choose whether to make a blog visible to the search engines.Start with the dashboard Settings - Basic page, and Edit the Privacy setting.Select "Yes" for both options - if you want the blog indexed.Select "Yes" for both options, if you want the blog indexed. This is how you start getting search traffic, and readers, for your blog.Add your blog to our listings?Let search engines find your blog?And click "Save changes".Having made the blog visible to the search engines, continue by publishing lots of informative, interesting, and unique content. Make it a blog that people will read - and that search engines will index.If you prefer the blog to be invisible or private, on the other hand, select "No" for both options. Then continue by developing your private audience, as you like.There are more settings - for owners who want to fine tune search engine access. Both the Blogger dashboard Settings - "Search preferences" page, and the "Google Search console" (previously known as "Webmaster Tools"), have a rich collection of settings, complementing "Privacy".If you really want to fine tune these settings, look at the Settings - "Search preferences" page, and the "Crawlers and indexing" section - but read and heed the serious advice.Warning! Use with caution. Incorrect use of these features can result in your blog being ignored by search engines.You can read more advice in Blogger: Help people find your blog on search engines - and Webmasters: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. And you'll find Webmaster Central: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking and Webmaster Central: Search Console useful for personal advice, complementing Blogger Help Forum.Since Webmaster Forums supports owners of static websites, as well as owners of Blogger blogs (and other blogs), not all Search Console / Webmaster advice and tools will be useful for Blogger blogs. Be selective when considering Webmaster instructions - and ask questions in Blogger Help Forum, any time you feel the need.The "Privacy" wizard is where you start - and similarly where some blog owners should stop.The Blogger "Privacy" wizard, on the "Basic" Settings page, provides the start to getting a blog indexed by the search engines - when we want a blog indexed. Not all blog owners want their blog indexed - and that need makes the "Privacy" settings relevant.[...]

The Real Blogger Status Moves Into The Future


Several months ago, I took a leap into the future, and upgraded this blog to use a "Responsive" class template.There are four "Responsive" templates - Contempo, Soho, Emporio, and Notable. The differences between the four include more than merely the visible design. My serious opinion about template choice is that two people, each starting a blog about the same subject, and using the same source of content, will still have different perspectives - and each will probably choose a different template.Anybody who asks me, bluntlyWhich template is a better choice, for my blog?Gets my facetious replyWhatever template encourages you to write more original and quality content, in your blog, is best for your blog.It's your blog. Your blog is valuable, because of the content.Our exciting new look.Our boring previous look.If you want more advice, I'll offer you my four "Responsive" class test templates - Contempo Test, Soho Test, Emporio Test, and Notable Test. You can examine this post, and compare the visible differences, on each of the four.See the linklist "Responsive Templates Tests", in the pop out sidebar. Click on the "hamburger" icon, to see the sidebar.All that said, there are significant differences between the four, that may encourage choice of one or the other. As I continue to upgrade the older posts in this blog, to look good with "Notable", I'll start discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.If this interests you, move your blog forward, by choosing an exciting new Blogger supplied template from the dashboard Theme page. If necessary, setup your own test blog set, with your own test posts - and compare your content on the different templates.My personal choice of the "Notable" Responsive template, was not immediate - it took several days, and some experimentation using various tests - and my 4 test blogs. You can take your time - and change your template, as you feel the need.The Real Blogger Status has moved into the future - and is now using a new #Blogger supplied "Responsive" class template. It's going to take some work, to make the blog truly look good under "Notable" - but progress always has a price.[...]

What Is The Mysterious Custom Domain "Error 12"?


Both the historically infamous "Another blog ..", and the currently infamous "Error 12", are part of the custom domain publishing process.Similar to the mysterious "bX" codes being an enhanced version of "We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.", "Error 12" (and variants) is an enhanced version of the monolithic "Another blog or Google Site is already using this address."."Another blog" (which was generally seen during use of the Blogger Publishing wizard) is complemented by the equally annoying "Not found" (which is generally seen after Publishing is used).The "Another blog ..." / "Not Found" condition is not desirable - for a working domain.The condition, in general, appears to be an unavoidable result of the flexible Blogger custom domain design. A Blogger custom domain published blog can be one host in a domain cluster, that can also include a Tumblr blog, a WordPress blog, any number of third party hosted websites - and even an odd feature like a forum.Blogger custom domain publishing is a powerful feature.Blogger custom domains can be purchased from (almost) any registrar - and can use DNS provided by (virtually) any DNS host. It's more powerful than competing Internet services. Use of "CNAME" referral, to connect the blog and domain, is innovative, and smart.Custom domain publishing does some of the domain processing from your computer - instead of solely from Google. Use of your computer, unfortunately, involves computers and networks uncontrolled by Google - and may lead to occasional database corruption, and to "Another blog". Custom domain publishing depends upon DNS - and DNS is an Internet service controlled by neither Google or any blog owner."Another blog" and "Not found" are two displays, caused by one problem.The mysterious "Server Not Found", seen occasionally, is similar to the classic "Another blog ..." error.In many cases, righteous DNS addressing is present - but broken links, in the Google database, leave the blog displayed as “Not found”. "Another blog" is seen by the blog owner, when publishing - and "Not found" is typically seen by would be blog readers, and search engines, after publishing.An experienced blog owner would generally prefer the former, to the latter. The owner, when seeing "Another blog", can fix the problems - so prospective readers and search engines can view the blog, without seeing "Not Found"."Error 12" is the best known, but not the only, "Error"."Error 12" is the best known "Error" - but not the only one. There appear to actually be several dozen different variants of "Error 12", which refer to problems with the Publishing dashboard wizard. We've seen "Error 32", at least.32 "Error" codes is nowhere as complex as 36^6 "bX" codes - but it's a start.An example of the infamous "Error 12", seen long ago.Earlier, "Error 12" was seen when domain ownership verification was needed, when publishing to newly setup domains. We have, during the past year, seen reports of Publishing problems labeled "Error 13", "Error 14", and "Error 32"."Error 12", in reality, is not an actual error condition - it is simply a domain, requiring normal ownership verification. Recently, the "Error 12" label was removed from the "domain ownership verification is needed" display - and now, we simply see the label "Third party domain settings"."Error 13", "Error 14", and "Error 32" appear to also involve domain ownership verification - but with slightly different circumstances. There may also be some "Error" numbers which involve features other than domain ownership verification. And some "bX" codes are caused by bogus DNS addressing, encountered during custom domain publishing - like various "Error" codes.The "Error 12" seen now, with verification instructions re written - and without the "Error 12" label.Ownership verification has become both more flexible - and less necessary.Domains purchased through Google Domains don't need ownership verification, when purchased under the Blogger / Google account as the blog owner[...]

Photobucket Drops Free Image Display, Outside Their Website


One of the most popular third party image hosting services, for Blogger blogs, recently changed their photo hosting service.Photobcket no longer allows embedding of their hosted photos on third party websites, for free accounts. They now require a $399 / year membership, for accounts with photos shared outside their website.Some Blogger blog owners, publishing blogs which use third party templates that feature images - decorations, illustrations, and wallpaper - hosted by Photobucket - now see their blogs decorated by various demands.PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT TO ENABLE THIRD PARTY HOSTINGThis is (was) a small image, tiled (repeated horizontally and vertically), to fill a larger space. It's now a PhotoBucket ad, similarly tiled.In many cases, this is simply a third party supplied template, using wallpaper designed by the template publisher. The template publisher used PhotoBucket, to host the image.The blog owner, and others, now face the need to pay dearly, to publish their blogs using their current templates.Whether the template objects were created by you - or by the supplier of a shiny third party template - if the images are hosted by Photobucket, they are now unusable, on your blog.Photobucket, a US-based image and video-hosting website founded in 2003, quietly changed its policy late last month to prevent users from hosting their content on third-party websites unless they pay a $US400 ($526) annual fee.Photobucket published a brief blog post, on June 26, referring to the service change - buried deep in their website.We have updated our Terms of Service, effective June 20, 2017. Please take a moment to review our updated terms and policies as they may affect your account.If your blog uses a third party template with PhotoBucket hosted images, the account in question won't be yours - but your blog will still be affected. You're going to have to find out how your template designer is going to support their product.Third party template publishers now need to convert their templates, to use images hosted by other services. And Blogger blog owners may need to find other image hosting.Blogger blog owners, who use third party templates in their blogs, may need different templates. Not all third party template publishers may be able to support their templates, and this change.The simplest solution is to switch back to a Blogger standard and supported template, using the dashboard Theme page. If you've had your current template for a while, you may not know what possibilities have been added, to the Blogger template selections.Photobucket, a popular third party image hosting service used by many #Blogger blogs, originally allowed their hosted images to be embedded or hot linked on Blogger and many other websites. They recently started requiring a $400 USD / year membership, for images to be displayed outside their website.Many Blogger blogs, with third party templates that use Photobucket hosted images, now have broken templates.[...]

Does Your Blog Need HTML Validation?


A few blog owners are concerned about blog network performance - and spend time validating and tweaking the template, based on advice from various third party services. I don't know how to use W3C Validation, there are always errors displayed for my blog!And we see periodic questions about validation - and sometimes reports about broken templates, with blog owners following the validation advice, blindly.W3C Validation produces hundreds of errors, for every blog page.I Tried Validation, For This Blog.I used to tear my hair out, trying to fix my W3C validation errors, for this blog.Check out the validation log, for this blog, as an example. See the size of the scroll tab? That's a 20 page report - of critical errors, in the blog home page.See the size of the scroll tab? This display shows just the first page, of 20 or so.Validation Is Useful, For Static Websites.W3C validation is designed for HTML based, static websites - that are centrally located. Blogger blogs are XML based, and dynamic - and use the Google Content Delivery Network, which serves each blog from hundreds of different data centres, worldwide, depending upon the location of each individual reader.With the Google CDN delivering content locally, to many readers, distance related network issues are less important - and with Blogger templates being maintained and tested by Blogger Engineering, a lot of the issues identified by validation are not easily resolved by the typical blog owner.If you publish a Blogger blog, using a Blogger supplied template, work on content. Blogger manages the network settings, relevant to your blog, as it is served by the Google Content Delivery Network. You publish your blog - and let Blogger / Google worry about the networks, the servers, and the templates.Custom / Third Party Templates May Benefit, In Specific CasesIt's possible that some blogs with third party templates, and non Blogger standard code, may benefit from validation.If your blog has a non Blogger template, you could check out Blogger Developers or Stack Overflow - and ask for advice there. Or, try contacting the person / site that provided you with the template, and see what they can tell you.But with a blog with a supported Blogger template, concentrate on content. Don't tweak the template HTML, unless necessary. Leave Blogger / Google to worry about network issues and the template.Some #Blogger blog owners concern themselves about third party network performance analysis. Learn why some performance analysis advice may be unnecessary - and can be harmful to your blog.[...]

When Correcting A DNS "CNAME", Maybe Delete Before Adding


Very few registrars allow multiple "CNAME" addresses, for a single DNS host.

When I diagnose DNS address problems, I generally recommend
Add the addresses highlighted in green.
Remove the addresses highlighted in red.
I find that it helps to have the old address visible, while the new address is being composed. This does not always produce the desired result, unfortunately.

Many registrars do not allow multiple "CNAME" addresses, for DNS hosts - and the zone editors reject new address attempts.

When DNS addresses for a Blogger custom domain need to be corrected, I recommend
Add the addresses highlighted in green.
Remove the addresses highlighted in red.
I recommend correction in this order, so the blog owner can view the current (incorrect) addresses, while adding new (correct) addresses. This compensates for various zone editor syntax oddities.

Making corrections in this order - adding correct addresses, then removing incorrect addresses - does not always produce the anticipated results. If the zone editor checks as each individual address change is made, we see the result.

"That name is reserved (already in use)."

Some zone editors check, immediately, when a second "CNAME" is entered, for a given "Host" address. When multiple "CNAME"s are forbidden, and the zone editor checks for multiple "CNAME"s immediately, we have a problem.

Other zone editors check for a correct address complement, when Saving multiple zone editor changes - after all additions and removals are successfully made and verified. These zone editors do not present a challenge - as long as the blog owner removes all incorrect addresses.

When the incorrect addresses are not removed properly, we see the result.

That name is reserved (already in use).

This leads the blog owner to cancel the recommended correction - and we wait, in vain, for the domain to come online.

In a worse case scenario, we can even end up with another case of "Another blog ...".

Right now, though, we can only diagnose the problem, one domain at a time.

Some registrars have zone editors which forbid multiple "CNAME"s for specific addresses - and check, one entry at a time, for mistakes. This may cause a problem, with a #Blogger blog owner making custom domain DNS address corrections, when instructed to "Add addresses highlighted in green.", then "Delete addresses highlighted in red."(image)

The "My blogs" Dashboard Page Has Been Replaced


Earlier this year, Blogger upgraded their dashboard - and eliminated the opening "My blogs" / "Reading List" page.They changed from a dashboard home page, listing all blogs owned by a given Blogger account - to a home page, showing the dashboard for the most recently updated blog.To the dashboard menu for the blog displayed, they added a pulldown blog selector list. If you want the dashboard for a different blog, or need a different important "My blogs" function, you use the selector list.Previously, to work on different blogs, I would repeatedly use the dashboard Home page. The dashboard home page contained "My blogs" and "Reading List". Each "My blogs" entry had links to half a dozen different important dashboard pages, for each blog.The "My blogs" menu has been replaced by a pull down blog selector list, which overlays the existing dashboard menu - giving the appearance of a single dashboard page, for all blogs. The list links to all blogs owned by the account (active, and deleted / locked) - and lets the owner access the dashboard for a different blog, when desired.For blog owners with only one blog, the selector list is not important. The list becomes important, when the dashboard for a second blog - or the "Deleted Blogs" / "New Blog" dashboard wizard - is needed.Some blog owners - unaware of this change - may see this as another variant of "missing blog".Here's the new "My blogs" list."Your blogs live here" - behind the blog title and pulldown arrow.It's all there - really!There is now no dashboard home page, with "My blogs".Previously, we had a dashboard Home page, with "My blogs" and "Reading List".Each "My blogs" menu entry gave access to half a dozen different dashboard pages, for each blog.Each "My blogs" menu entry had half a dozen different dashboard links, for each blog in the list. The links were both excessive, and insufficient.The menu entry links had a hodge podge of styles of buttons / captions / link display styles.The half a dozen links provided access to a small subset of useful dashboard menu pages.The "My blogs" list was long, and randomly sequenced.Some blog owners would have enjoyed having different or more menu pages directly accessible from "My blogs". And we asked, many times, for an alphabetical "My blogs" list.Instead of making "My blogs" more complicated, Blogger replaced the "My blogs" menu. We now have a "My blogs" list, accessed from any dashboard menu page.Here's the options, on the new "My blogs" list.The new dropdown list includes several important options.All active blogs ("My blogs").All inactive blogs ("Deleted blogs").The "New blog" link ("Create a blog")."My blogs" and "Deleted blogs" are now part of the same alphabetical list, with each deleted / locked blog indicated.You can now switch between any specific dashboard pages, for any blogs in "My blogs", using the selector list. Now, the dashboard home page is the dashboard menu, for the blog most recently accessed.With the list closed, the blog title will be plain text. See "The Real Blogger...", at the upper left of the dashboard?From any dashboard page, click on the blog title or down arrow - and there is the "My blogs" menu. Then select any blog title, in the list.With the list open, you'll see the blog title "The Real Blogger..." changes to a button.Use "My blogs", and examine the same dashboard page for different blogs."My blogs" is now a blog selector list, for the dashboard page, being displayed. You can switch between different blogs, and stay on any specific dashboard page. And "My blogs" is now in alphabetical order.From any dashboard menu page, you can open "My blogs".Then select any blog, in the list.And, you have the complementary dashboard page, for the blog just selected."New blog" is at the bottom of the "My blogs" list.If you need to create a blog, you can find "New blog" at the bottom of the pulldown selector list.See "New blog...", at[...]

Blog PageView Counts, And Social Sharing Activity


Ever since 2009, when Blogger introduced the Stats visitor activity counter, blog owners have been reporting inconsistencies between Stats and other visitor activity counters.Recently, Google+ changed their +1 counter. Now, we wait for Blogger Engineering to update their +1 per post display counters, which use the +1 counts from Google+.Blog owners continue to report various Stats inaccuracies - such as discrepancies between Stats pageview counts, and the various social sharing counters. They fail to observe the functional differences between the various activity counters - and similarly, between Stats counts and social sharing metrics, such as Google+ +1 counts. Stats pageview counts and Google+ +1 counts compare no better, than Stats and various other visitor activity counters.Social sharing contributes to your blog reputation, in a number of ways. Some social sharing relationships, compared with blog activity counters, may lead to confusion.Social networking activity counts will resemble blog visitor activity counts - with the activity mentioning the blog.There will be differences, between the two, however. The differences will contribute to perceived blog visitor activity count inaccuracy. You will have Followers - in asymmetrical and symmetrical relationships.You will have Followers - in direct, and indirect relationships.Not all Followers will read your blog posts.Some folks who do read your blog posts will be invisible, to you.The bottom line is reputation, for you and for your blog.You will have Followers - in asymmetrical and symmetrical relationships.Social sharing helps to connect people, through their interests.You may read some posts in your Google+ stream, which will interest you. Some people will contribute many posts that interest you - and you will decide to Follow them. Those people may observe your activity, and decide to Follow you, in a symmetrical relationship.You won't Follow everybody, symmetrically. Nobody can Follow everybody - or even everybody who Follows them.Some people will share few interests with you, and have many interests that you don't have. You won't Follow those people. Similarly, some people who you Follow won't Follow you, because you don't interest them.You will have Followers - in direct, and indirect relationships.If you use FaceBook or Google+ enough, you will see random posts in your stream - and decide to Follow some authors. Similarly, some of the people who see your posts, in their streams, will decide to Follow you.You will +1 / Like / re share some posts from your Followers - and some of your Followers will do the same, with your posts, directly. Some folks who Follow your Followers - not you, directly - will +1 / Like / re share your posts, indirectly.Not all Followers will read your blog posts.If you spend time reading your activity notifications, you may observe that some Followers may +1, like, and / or re share, your various stream posts - including some stream posts which reference your blog posts. You may also observe that some activity takes place seconds, or minutes, after you share or re share a stream post.Your ability to observe, and to react, will depend upon your relationship with each Follower - direct vs indirect, and asymmetrical vs symmetrical.When a stream post is liked or re shared shortly after you share it, it's possible that your Follower did not spend a lot of time reading the content of the post. If your share included a reference to your blog post, it's likely that they did not read your blog post - even though they contributed a +1 / like / re share of your stream post.Even though your direct Followers may not all read your blog posts, their Followers (your indirect followers) may do so. These followers will contribute to your reputation, indirectly, with a +1 / like / re share of your stream post.Some blog owners, not aware of, or interested[...]

The New Followers Gadget - Blocking Followers


With the pre 2016 Followers gadget, the Followers population for a blog was managed through an Options link on the Followers gadget.This required the blog owner to sign into the Followers gadget, to access the Options link. Authentication - and an owner specific Options menu - is no longer a pert of the Followers gadget.It is possible to Block Followers, from a blog - the option is just not part of the Followers gadget, any more.Previously, the option to Block a Follower was part of the Options menu, in the Followers gadget.To ensure that only a blog administrator was able to Block a Follower - or do various other blog to viewer functions - the Block option was part of a complex wizard, accessed by a blog administrator.This required the ability to authenticate a viewer - separately from the Blogger / Google login. This, in turn, made the Followers gadget complicated - and lead to occasional malfunctions. To simplify the Followers gadget, there is no need to login to the gadget, any more.Now, the ability to Block unwanted Followers is part of a blog administrator Stats page. On the Stats Overview page, look for the Followers count.The number which displays the Followers count is now a link. Clicking on the number, one can access the "Manage followers" wizard.This blog has 4,954 Followers. Click on "4,954" (right now).And there is the "Manage followers for The Real Blogger Status" wizard. Each Follower now has a "Block" button, plainly visible.Since only a blog administrator has access to the Stats dashboard page, there is no need for a separate Followers login. Just click on the Followers count, on the Overview page.And the Followers gadget has only one option - the button, immediately visible to each blog viewer.Follow (if not currently Following).Unfollow (if currently Following).The Follow / Unfollow button applies to administrators, authors, and readers alike. Now, there is no need to identify a person as related to a blog - except as whether this person is currently Following the blog.Simplicity - for blog administrators, blog viewers, and Blogger developers.When the #Blogger Followers gadget was re written in 2016, the "Options" menu - and the need to login to Following separately - was removed from the gadget.The ability to Block selected Followers, previously part of the Options wizard, is now part of the Stats dashboard page. [...]

Comment Publishing Preview, And "Error 400"


We're seeing a problem with Blogger Hosted Comments - and "Bad Request Error 400", following the use of the comment "Preview" feature.When a blog owner or reader composes a long or important comment, use of the Preview feature is normal. Right now, after hitting "Publish", following a successful Preview, one frequently sees the bad news.Bad RequestError 400There is a workaround for this annoyance - and it's not difficult to use.Until Blogger Engineers fix the "Error 400" problem, there is a workaround - and the workaround adds very little time to comment publishing.The most obvious alternative would be to not use Preview. But how well can you eyeball your comment, without Preview?If you find it inconvenient to eyeball check a comment without using Preview, it's a small effort to copy then paste, before Publishing. Just a little planning, before composing, lets you copy then paste.OMG, where is my comment? All my work, gone??Opening a new tab / window lets you publish, after the preview / edit cycles (and avoid the "Error 400"), when composing an important or long comment.Here's the key to the workaround. "Open link in new tab" - a context menu option, for any link.With most browsers, you'll either "Alt" click or right click on the link, to get the context menu.Recover the comment content, if you're looking at the "Error 400".Open the post, where a comment is needed.Open a comment composition window, in a new tab / window.Compose the comment, carefully edited.When satisfied by the Preview display, click Edit once more.Copy the edited comment.Close that browser tab / window.Open a comment composition window, again.Immediately paste into the new comment composition window.Immediately Publish.Done.Recover the comment content, if you're looking at the "Error 400".If you're looking at the "Error 400" display, right now, refresh the display and follow the prompts. Recover the comment composition window, with your work in progress. Skip ahead, to Step #6.Open the post, where a comment is needed.Start with a post - and the "Post a Comment" link at the bottom of the post.Open a comment composition window, in a new tab / window.Click on the "Post a Comment" link - and use the "Open in new tab / window" browser option. With most browsers, you'll either "Alt" click or right click on the link, to get the context menu - and the "Open in new tab" / "Open in new window" option.Compose the comment, carefully edited.Use Preview and Edit, and the composition window, as necessary. Compose, preview, and edit - until your comment is properly phrased.When satisfied by the Preview display, click Edit once more.If it's an important or long comment, you'll use the Preview - Edit sequence, a few times. Just finish, with a final "Edit".Copy the edited comment.From the comment composition window, hit "Ctrl - A" to select everything as edited, then "Ctrl - C" to copy.Close that browser tab / window.Close the tab / window - and bid farewell to the carefully written content, and the Bad Request.Open a comment composition window, again.Click on "Post a Comment" from the displayed post - again, using "New tab / window". You will have an empty comment composition window.Immediately paste into the new comment composition window.Immediately paste the copied comment ("Ctrl - V") into the empty comment composition window.Immediately Publish.You already previewed and edited your comment - now, Publish.Done.The comment publishes - and, you're done.Do this a few times - you'll see that this adds maybe 30 seconds to the comment composition / preview / edit cycle.How long does it take to compose (preview, edit) a comment, to your liking? I take a lot longer than 30 seconds.Just copy, close, open, paste, and publish.And you're done.Publishing a comment, using #Blogger hosted comments, following use of the Preview[...]

One Cause Of The Monolithic Error "No posts."


One of the most obscure Blogger error messages - next to "Another blog ..." - is the monolithic advice seen on main page display of some blogs.No posts.or maybeThere's nothing here!What can you say, to a blog owner who has started a new blog, and spent days publishing blog content - only to view the blog, and see "No posts." - or "There's nothing here!"?In some cases, a blog may actually contain no posts - even after days spent publishing content.Some blog owners may confuse pages ("static pages"), and posts ("dynamic pages") - and spend days publishing blog content, as static pages. Other blog owners, though having just started their first blog, may be experienced webmasters with one or more websites published for years - and publish blog content as pages, by preference.Whether owned by a true newbie, or an experienced webmaster, a blog which is constructed using static pages will display the main page asNo posts.or maybeThere's nothing here!By default, the main page display will only show posts. Pages were originally provided, as a Blogger feature, because some blog owners wanted some posts that were not indexed in an archive, label, or main page sequence.When you are queried by an anxious blog ownerWhy does my blog displayNo posts.Where are my posts?What can you do?You need to compare "sitemap.xml" and "sitemap-pages.xml". In some cases, you'll find "sitemap.xml" to be empty - and "sitemap-pages,xml" to list static pages. Occam's Razor wins again.Some blogs may be truly empty.Some blogs will only have pages for blog content - and no posts.Some blogs will only contain static pages - and the main page will show "No posts.".If your blog does this, you can redirect the home page to a given static page - and add links between the static pages. Or, republish the pages as posts, if convenient.If you want a main page with multiple posts, maybe using Jump Break to make the main page look cleaner, you will have to publish your blog content as posts.The monolithic error "No posts." causes extreme anguish, to a #Blogger blog owner who has just spent days publishing content. In some cases, there is a simple explanation.[...]

AdSense - Eligibility For Ads Is Based On Content


Many blog owners want the legendary wealth, from publishing a Blogger blog, and adding AdSense ads.Not everybody understands the AdSense review process - and the fact that "Congratulations!" is only the beginning.There are actually 4 steps in the review process, which must complete successfully, to provide paying ads for your blog.This is what you see, with a new blog.Each review step follows the previous step, one by one.Automated blog size analysis.Manual ad placement and content analysis.Automated blog content analysis.Automated assignment of available ads to blog pages.Automated blog size analysis.With a Blogger hosted AdSense account, Blogger checks each blog, periodically. When your blog is eligible to apply for AdSense, based on age and size, you see the legendary "Congratulations!" offer.This is what you see, with an eligible blog.You now have a working "Earnings" dashboard page - and can select ad placement options, and apply.You have to place ads, before you apply, and evaluation can start.This is the beginning of your road to riches - but only the beginning.Manual ad placement and content analysis.After you position the ads and apply using "Earnings", you wait for approval during the "2 to 3 week" evaluation period. Until people decide that the blog is well written, with consistent and easy navigation, and properly located ads - and contains material that is informative, interesting, and unique, AdSense won't place paying ads in the blog.Any ads visible, after you select ad placement, will be public service announcements. You won't earn any money, with PSAs displayed. Some blog owners will see blank spaces, where ads are supposed to appear.Automated blog content analysis.Following approval, the AdSense crawler has to analyse post content, so actual paying ads can be chosen.If content cannot be analysed, paying ads can't be chosen.The AdSense crawler can't navigate this blog, with numbered pages.Blogs that use JavaScript, to link pages, are a problem when the blog is being crawled. This includes the Blogger dynamic templates, and some "Responsive" class templates - and third party templates with features like numbered pages.Post content only accessible behind JavaScript can't be read, by the AdSense crawler. You may receive a rejection, based on "difficult navigation" or "inaccessible content".Automated assignment of available ads to blog pages.Following post content analysis, available paying ads are assigned, on a page by page basis. AdSense won't sell ads for prohibited or unwanted content.If paying ads are not available, to match the content as analysed, the blog won't get paying ads - and won't make money.The bottom line.Until actual paying ads are placed into the blog, you can't start to make money. And paying ads won't be added, until the blog is ready.As usual, I'll advise you to start a blog with informative, interesting, and unique content - published regularly. And keep publishing, frequently.And, wait patiently.Some new #Blogger blog owners setup their blogs - and wonder, immediately, why they aren't seeing paying ads on their blogs. They fail to understand that ads only appear on blogs after several careful evaluation processes.[...]

Custom Domain Publishing, And DNS Latency


The Internet is diverse and large - and the Internet directory system, aka the DNS Infrastructure, supports the diversity and size.When we setup a new domain, the registrar frequently advises us to wait patiently, before continuing.Congrats on your new domain! Now, we suggest that you wait 24 - 48 hours for the new domain to propagate, before trying to publish to the domain.When we update a domain - and add or delete a single DNS address - we won't always get advice about waiting, from the registrar.Responsible helpers will occasionally provide advice to be patient, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.After you correct the addresses, please wait 8 hours (2 x "14400" seconds) before continuing. This will let all DNS servers on the Internet receive the corrected addresses.This advice is generally given, for domains that use a 4 hour ("14400" second) or greater Time To Live or TTL.Many registrars use a 1 ("3600") or 2 ("7200") hour TTL, for individual domain DNS addresses. Domains with 2 hour or less TTL generally do not require latency advice, because most forum topics take more than 2 - 4 hours to complete.Adding a domain - and updating a domain - involve different latency.The difference between "new domain" and "domain update" advice - and irregular presence of either - causes confusion.Some advice about domain updates involves unnecessary waiting. In other cases, new domain owners jump right in, and try using their new domains, immediately - and regret later.Moving too quickly, with Blogger custom domain publishing, can lead to Google database corruption. Fear of the apocryphal "Another blog ..." error - and similar Blogger access disruptions - leads many technical helpers to routinely advise unnecessary waiting periods.People who make changes, and see their changes work immediately, cause similar confusion. Somebody who is advised to wait 2 to 4 hours, before publishing the blog to the domain - and who observe that the domain, perversely, is immediately operational - may misunderstand.Remember that everybody who wants to read a blog won't have the same DNS service. Differences between one reader (or search engine), and another, will cause various confusions.Waiting too long wastes time - but not waiting long enough can cause worse problems. For best results, there will be unnecessary waiting, sometimes.Just be aware of the different latency periods - and try to provide relevant advice.Domain addition latency can be 24 to 48 hours ("86400" to "172800" seconds).Domain update latency can be 10 minutes, to 48 hours ("600" to "172800" seconds).Domain addition latency can be 24 to 48 hours ("86400" to "172800" seconds).Domain addition latency results from the different name servers - and server owners and update policies - all over the Internet. Any given name server updates their local domain master database periodically, by retrieving the zone file from the various master name servers.If the domain master database on a given server is updated daily - and if your domain was setup 1 minute after the daily update, your domain will not be added to that server until the next daily update.Now consider that there are thousands of name servers, owned by hundreds of registrars, ISPs, and other Internet services. All local name servers are updated on a schedule considered appropriate, by the owner of each service.For best results, your domain needs to be indexed on any name server that might be used by any one of your readers - or any one of the search engines that provide necessary search results, for any one of your would be readers. Do you see the possibilities for confusion, for any new domain?This justifies waiting "24 to 48 hours", so your new domain will be visible to everybody, at th[...]

Custom Domains And HTTPS Redirection Code


As most of us know, Blogger HTTPS support does not include custom domain publishing.The advantages offered by HTTPS access are widely advertised - and have led to envy between blog owners who publish to custom domains, and native BlogSpot blog owners proudly advertising their new HTTPS connectivity.Long ago, we saw possibly malicious code which helps our readers avoid using country code aliases, to read our blogs from an aliased country. Recently, there was dodgy code which blocked HTTPS mode, to read a customised blog.Now, we have custom code to force HTTPS access, for BlogSpot published blogs.Along with providing code to help blog owners avoid country local domain aliasing, some marginally helpful hackers are providing code to help blog owners force reader access to HTTPS.Some blog owners always wanted HTTPS to be used, to access their blog.Some blog owners wanted their readers always using HTTPS to access their blogs, before forced HTTPS access became an option. They Googled, and found, semi helpful hackers who provide clever code to force the "HTTP --> HTTPS" redirection. This is clever code - when only BlogSpot access is involved. When you add BlogSpot to custom domain redirection, it becomes another "404".Adding this clever code is an excellent solution - until the blog owner forgets about it, and later upgrades to a non BlogSpot custom domain.With a custom domain published blog, the redirection becomes a problem.The added code contains no exception to permit custom domain published blogs to remain in HTTP mode. When accessing an otherwise properly setup custom domain published blog, from a reader using the "" URL, this prevents the BlogSpot to domain redirect from operating.BlogSpot URLs, which should redirect to the HTTP published custom domain URL, instead redirect to a non existent HTTPS URL - and result in another "404". As the custom domain URL becomes more commonly used for a recently published blog, confusion increases when the rarer BlogSpot URL reference is encountered.My blog has been using the domain URL for months, why is this happening now?The problem involves dual redirection - to "https:" mode, and to the custom domain.After painful problem diagnosis, we find the clever redirection code buried in template HTML - and we see that the blog reader is starting from the BlogSpot URL, and using the BlogSpot to domain redirection, to access the blog.With blog access redirected to "https:" mode, then subsequently to the custom domain URL, the readers sees a "404" - because the custom domain URL is not available as "https:" content.This problem will become increasingly rarer - but not extinct.As self caused custom domain victims become rarer, this way of breaking ones own blog will become more obscure - and it's likely that some cases will go, unsolved. This will be similar to the problem of un migrated classic templates, which has increasingly less experienced support.If you must install unsupported template tweaks into y[...]

Revert A Page / Post To Draft Status


Sometimes, we need to remove a page or post from a blog - but prefer to not delete it.There are various reasons for not wanting to delete a page / post immediately or permanently - maybe when removing a post for problem diagnosis, or to change the URL to match the publish date. Reverting to draft status is easily reversed, and has no permanent side effects.When you want to quickly - but not permanently - remove a page or post, you can revert to draft status.Reverting to draft status is convenient, safe, and simple.You can revert a page or post using Page / Post Editor, or the Pages / Posts dashboard page.Revert, using the Pages / Posts dashboard pages.Revert, using the Page Editor / Post Editor.Revert, using the Pages / Posts dashboard pages.The Pages / Posts dashboard page is a menu. Simply select one or more pages or posts, then click "Revert to draft". Click on "Yes" to verify. and you're done.Hit "Revert to draft", after selecting a page or post.Revert, using the Page Editor / Post Editor.Any time that you are editing a previously published page or post, click "Revert to draft". And you're done.Hit "Revert to draft", when in page / post editor.And when you're done, you're done.Once a post is newly draft, it's offline. Page / post content in cache on your readers's computers will be readable until it expires. New readers, on the other hand, will see a "404" immediately.You can recover the post with the URL - or rename to a new URL.If you revert to draft - then later, re publish without changing the title, you will get the same post, with the same URL, back. If you change the title with the post in draft status, you get the same post content, under a new URL, when you re publish.If you do the latter by mistake - then discover the mistake later, you can recover the mistake by merging the new and previous URLs. Just add a custom redirect from the new to old URL (or vice versa).Review / Recover The Draft Inventory, With One Mouse ClickAny time that you need, review the inventory of Draft posts. Just click on "Draft" under "Posts". You can Edit then Publish - or just Publish, immediately.Check out the current Draft posts complement, from Pages or Posts - Draft. Then recover one or more.Just select one or more posts, then "Publish".Or edit a page or post, then Publish.Either way, you can recover any pages or posts, reverted, easily enough - as long as you revert them, instead of deleting them.Just understand the possibilities.Reverting a #Blogger blog post to draft status is a quick, yet reversible, way to take a post offline. The URL will be recovered, automatically - as long as you do not change the title.[...]

Blogger Magic - Move Content Between Blogs


Some blog owners, who publish multiple blogs with different subjects, may decide that some subjects would be better discussed in a different blog.With various posts published in one blog, the owner may decide that those posts should be published in a different blog, to continue discussion. The question now is how to move posts, from one blog to another?The dashboard "Export / Import" feature, which is now labeled "Import & back up", lets us copy pages and posts from one blog to another. Just copying all pages and posts, though, will create problems with duplicated content.If you are going to move specific posts from one blog to another - and continue to publish both blogs - you have to add extra steps to the process.Use "Import & back up", on the Settings - Other dashboard page.Export all content from the first blog.Import all exported content, to the second blog, as "Imported".Publish imported content, selectively, in the second blog.Delete content re published, from the first blog.Setup custom 404 or custom redirects, from the first blog.Remove imported yet un published content, from the second blog.Export all content from the first blog.Using the "Import & back up" wizard, on the dashboard Settings - Other page for the first blog, click "Back up Content". This will export all pages and posts, in the blog, to the file which you select.To make it easier, label the posts that you want to "move" to the other blog, before you start "Back up Content".I labeled my posts "Move".Now, "Back up Content", from the first blog.Use the file manager provided by your operating system, to create or select a file / folder, and actually save the file.Import all exported content, to the second blog, as "Imported".Using the "Import & back up" wizard, on the dashboard Settings - Other page for the second blog, click "Import Content" - then find and select the file just created. This will import all pages and posts, as exported from the first blog - and place the imported pages and posts in the special "Imported" status, on the Pages and the Posts dashboard pages.Continue with "Import Content", to the second blog.Select the file that you just created, above.And having Imported everything, there are the posts - including those labeled "Move".Publish imported content, selectively, in the second blog.Using the "Pages" and "Posts" dashboard pages, select the newly activated "Imported" menu, as you wish. This will list all imported pages and posts, in turn.Find the pages and posts that you want moved, select them, and click "Publish". If you labeled the posts to be "moved", simply display, and Publish, all posts with the designated label.And, I Published the posts labeled to be "moved".Note that, once Published, the "Imported" status is cleared.Delete or revert content re published, from the first blog.To prevent problems with search engines detecting duplicate content, you can delete or revert to draft status, each post in the first blog, the you just re published in the second blog. If you revert to draft status, you will have backed up content and a recoverable page / post URL.Again, if you labeled the posts, you can delete or revert posts using the label.Setup custom 404 or custom redirects, from the first blog.You cannot use a custom redirect to automatically redirect from the first blog to the second. You can, however, setup a custom 404 page, in the first blog - or make custom redirects to a custom 404 page, in the first blog - advising the reader that the post just requested is now part of the second blog.The reader will still have to intentionally click to jump into the second blog - but until Blogger blogs are not used as spam[...]

Act Immediately, When Invited


Some moments come fleetingly, and never again.One such moment may be, when you receive a blog membership invitation.The purpose of this message is to inform you that xxxxxxx has invited you to join their private blog "xxxxx xxxxx". To accept this invitation, click on the button below.orThe purpose of this message is to inform you that yyyyyyy has invited you to contribute to their blog "yyyyy yyyyy". To accept this invitation, click on the button below.Unless you know the blog owner, this may be your one chance.If you get an invitation to be a designated reader on a private blog - or an author on either a private or team blog - decide, and act as soon as possible.Any invitation that you get will be temporary. Blog membership invitations expire, after a fixed amount of time.Accept the invitation, to view and note the URL.If the blog is private, and you accept the invitation as a reader, make a note of the URL too.Long ago, you might get a "preview link" in the invitation - allowing you to view the blog, and bookmark / copy the URL for later. The "preview link" feature was abused by too many owners - and appears to be gone now.No preview = no URL until after you accept the invitation.Become an author, on a team blog!Become a reader, on a private blog!There's a limited amount of detail, in the invitation.How useful is either invitation, if you don't accept, when viewed later? You can get the owner name (as provided by the owner), and the blog title - and that's it. Invitations contain only the author name, the blog title, and a membership token.A reader invitation, for a private blog, may not produce an entry in the dashboard "My blogs" list.Both author and reader invitations will expire.Act promptly, for best result.If you get an invitation, and you file it away so you can "think about it", don't think about it too long.Once the token expires - and if you don't know the owner - you'll not be able to contact the owner. And until you accept the invitation - and actually view then bookmark the blog - you won't find out the URL.Act quickly - or never.If you get an invitation to be an author on a private or team #Blogger blog, or a reader on a private blog, act promptly. Invitations expire too soon - they contain few details - and won't be very useful later.!category-topic/blogger/z-lKeqO-ssA[...]

Blogger Magic - Adding Label Search URLs


One of the simplest ways to make a blog useful is to add label searches.Adding label searches, in page / post text, is not easy - unless you know how to build the URLs. Here's a label search from this blog. that I want, when using that label search, is to add another reference to my "Blogger Magic" post series."Blogger Magic" emphasises how easy it is, to use Blogger. How easy is it, to remember that syntax - to add a label link? Maybe, a "Blogger Magic" reference, in this post?When you read a blog post, that has label references, look at the bottom of the post.Please note the advice, at the bottom of the post.Look in the post footer, for the "Labels" section.Here's the bottom of another post, from this blog.Here's the bottom of this post.Note that not all blogs will provide a "Labels" posts section. That is an owner choice.Look at a label link, in the "Labels" section of the post - when provided.There's the bottom of two of my "Label Search" posts - "Blogger Magic - A Blog Within A Blog", followed by this post "Blogger Magic - Adding Label Search URLs". Now, look at the Labels links.In most blogs, the Labels links would be labeled "Labels". I call mine "Topics". As owner of this blog, that is my personal choice.Also, in most blogs, the "Labels" section will be found, in the post footer. Some blog owners have chosen to position their "Labels" in the post header. This, too, is their choice - and carries with it, some risk.See "Label Search"?Look in the browser status area, when hovering over the link caption.Look at the "Topics" section. See "Label Search"? Hover the mouse cursor, over the "Label Search" link.See the label search URL, in the browser status area?Look in the browser status area, when hovering over the link caption.Hover the mouse over "Label Search", and look in the browser status SearchFor a blog using an HTTPS redirect, you might see a slightly different URL.If this blog uses the "HTTPS: Redirect" option, you might see it slightly differently. on either of the above 2 links. OK, I cheated with the second link - since this blog, right now, does not support HTTPS - and I obviously don't want you looking at an HTTPS Error display.Whether HTTP - or HTTPS - is in use, there is the label search link.Whichever you see - and decide to use - with your blog, there is a label search URL. Now, get a label search URL from your blog - and use the URL, in another page or post in your blog.This post opens many links in new tabs / windows, intentionally.BTW - and if you have clicked on any of the links above - and since you have apparently read to this point - I have to warn you that many of the links, above, are intentionally coded to open in a new tab / window. That is necessary, based on the nature of the links in this post.Many of the links in this post are clickable, simply to illustrate to you the content in label searches - as opposed to links which lead you to additional information in the blog. So as not to lead you away from this post, you should not lose context after clicking on a link - as long as you simply close the new (illustrative) tab / window.My sincere apologies, if my seemingly gratuitous opening of new tabs / windows inconveniences or offends you.Some #Blogger blog owners want to use label search URLs, in page or post text. Getting a label search URL is easy enough, when you look in the post label search section - which is generally in the post footer.[...]

Troubleshooting Custom Domain Issues


If you are trying to make your custom domain published blog work, see my guide Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems.

If you want to know how to setup a custom domain properly, from the beginning - and avoid the need for Troubleshooting - read Setting Up DNS Addresses For Custom Domains. Avoid the most basic mistakes made - read The Simplicity Of A Custom Domain Setup.

If you just setup your custom domain - and want to minimise the effects of the URL change upon your search engine relationships - read Managing The Migration.

If you're just browsing, then read on - but get a good cup of coffee first. And welcome, to Nitecruzr Dot Net.(image)

Troubleshooting Your Custom Domain Problems


Of the many accessories and features in Blogger, Custom Domain Publishing is possibly the most problematic. Looking at the Labels index in this blog, I see the Custom Domains label on 363 posts (as of 2015/06/15) - which makes it one of the most heavily labeled single topics here. There are several challenges with diagnosing and resolving a custom domain problem.It has various different causes.It leads to many different symptoms, which can easily be confused for other problems.Its symptoms can be chronic or intermittent- and may be immediate, or may take months to exhibit themselves.It may require resolution by any blog guest, by the blog owner, by Blogger Support, and / or by a third party such as the domain registrar.As you read this article, click on some of the many links in the text, and read the linked articles. Please think of this article as the first chapter in a very large book - right now, a book with 363 chapters.How To Use This GuideAlways start properly, with properly setup DNS addresses.Verify DNS addresses, using Dig. If any doubt about Dig results, compare logs from multiple Dig utilities, including a Dig against the authoritative domain server. Possibly 90% of all custom domain problems are caused, directly or indirectly, by spurious DNS addresses.If examination of multiple Dig logs shows properly setup DNS addresses, look at HTTP traces against the BlogSpot and domain URLs.If neither Dig nor HTTP traces provide a definitive diagnosis, consider that you have internal database corruption.As you diagnose your DNS setup, only look at "A" and "CNAME" records.As you diagnose and / or fix the problem, do not delete the Google Apps administrative desktop account.These are the known custom domain publishing diagnoses. Here's a brief, one line summary of the problems, which are discussed, in some detail, farther below. Click on any one, if it looks promising, to jump to the detail discussion.Domain Purchase UnsuccessfulOnly Name Registration Purchased, No DNS HostingDomain Addresses Not DefinedDomain Ownership Not VerifiedNon Google DNS server Part Of ConfigurationDomain Addresses Not Properly ChosenDomain Previously Registered, And Used In BloggerDomain Registration ExpiredBlog Published To Domain, Using Mixed Case URLBlog Published To Domain Root, With Asymmetrical DNSDomain Redirected To Google Ad Services, Sites, or Start Page URLDomain Published, PartiallyInternal Blogger Database CorruptionThe Blog And Domain Are In TransitionAll Issues May Not Be Discussed HereDomain Purchase UnsuccessfulThe domain will not be setup. The blog may, or may not, be published to the domain.This will follow use of "Buy a domain".The primary symptoms will vary. We see both "404 Not Found", and "Another blog is already hosted at this address", fairly common for this problem.This will be an issue for newly purchased domains.It will be diagnosed by use of the WhoIs log showing " appears to be available", and verified by examination of the Google Checkout logs, and bank account ledger entries.The blog owner generally has to correct a problem with his bank account, then repeat the purchase of the domain.Only Name Registration Purchased, No DNS HostingThe domain will not be setup, nor the blog published to the domain.This will follow domain registration, purchased from a third party registrar.The primary symptom will be the query "What are the DNS servers for Google?", "I need 2 IP addresses for my domain!", or "I can only change NameServer1, NameServer2 in my domain setup!".This will be an issue for newly [...]

"Delete permanently" Means Delete, Permanently


For a long time, blog owners have been requiring the ability to delete their blogs.In the beginning, people would delete a blog - whether intentionally or mistakenly - then change their mind, or realise their mistake.I did not really want to delete my blog.And the inevitable question.How do I get my very important blog back? Surely, it's in your computer somewhere??But this question was not always answered, with encouragement.Too often, Blogger Support would be forced to give the bad news.You deleted it, and it's gone.Blogger added the "Deleted blogs" dashboard list.Eventually, Blogger Support tired of providing negative answers - and Blogger Engineers added the "Deleted blogs" display, to the dashboard.A blog, deleted by the owner, and listed under "Deleted blogs", can be recovered by the owner, when desired - up to 90 days from deletion. Unfortunately, the dashboard "Deleted blogs" list was not the final solution.Some blog owners did not want a deleted blog listed, under "Deleted blogs".Some people would delete a blog - then sometime later, learn that the blog was not really deleted.I deleted my blog - but now I see it listed, under "Deleted blogs". How do I delete my blog, so it does not exist?And the answer.Wait 90 days - and it will be removed.But that answer did not always satisfy.I can't wait 90 days - I want it deleted, now!And for that requirement, there was no answer.Some blog owners might report deleted blogs, resurrected - but not by them.Occasionally, we used to see a report in the forum, mentioning a blog that had been deleted - and was now online, with a new owner. Some resurrected blogs might have hacking, malware, or spam added by the owner - others might be part of an identity theft campaign.Regardless of the nature of each attack, a few former owners were not happy with their personal situation.Blogger recently added the "Remove permanently" option.Recently, Blogger added the "Delete permanently" option, to the dashboard "Deleted blogs" list. Now, a deleted blog can be removed immediately, at the discretion of the blog owner.A blog, when deleted, goes offline - and is moved to the "Deleted blogs" list.If the owner wants the blog restored, he can use "Restore blog".If the owner wants the blog gone, he can use "Delete permanently".With "Delete permanently" used, the blog disappears from "My blogs".With the blog removed from "My blogs", there is no way for the former owner, or a would be new owner (impersonator / spammer), to request un deletion.And, as noted in Blogger Help: Back up, import, or delete your blogWhen you delete a blog: you have a short period of time to restore it if you change your mind.When you permanently delete a blog: all of your blog information, posts, and pages will be deleted, and you won’t be able to restore them.The "Delete permanently" option can't be reversed.When used, the option "Delete permanently" has immediate and permanent results.The blog is removed from "Deleted blogs".The blog contents cannot be restored.The URL can never be re used.In the words of the philosopher,He's dead, Jim.End of story.Let's examine the deletion sequence.Here's my dashboard - showing my test blog, awaiting deletion. Compare this display, with my test blog, deleted.Go to the dashboard Settings - Other page, and click on "Delete blog".There is the "Delete blog" wizard - and a chance to "Download Blog".So, click on "Delete This Blog". And, it's deleted. But what does that really mean?Here's my dashboard - showing my test blog, deleted. Compare this dis[...]

The Mysterious "Destination" / "Points To" Label


Some blog owners buy domains, for publishing a Blogger blog, and ask about how to address the domain.What address do I use for "Points to"?Other owners may ask a similar question, referencing "Destination" or maybe "Target".There is no real difference, between all 3 labels. "Destination", "Target", and "Points to" all refer to the same DNS address value.To compound the confusion, 4 different addresses are required, when addressing a Blogger custom domain root.Defining the DNS servers used by the domain root ("naked domain") requires 4 address records - and the labels used, in the zone editor, will vary from registrar to registrar.We know of 3 different labels, used by Blogger custom domain instructions.The referential Blogger document How do I use a custom domain name for my blog? uses 3 labels to identify the 4 name servers, which are provided by Google. Blogger uses the triplet label "Destination, Target, or Points to" as their example.Note that not all registrars use "Name, Label, or Host" and "Destination, Target, or Points to" - because not all registrar zone editors display addresses in a neat column based display.Google provides 4 name servers, to give us multiple redundancy.Google provides four mutually redundant individual servers, each responding to a specific IP address - for custom domain clients to address the domain root, in a round robin sequence.There are 4 name servers provided by Blogger, to address a custom domain root.Each domain root name server entry uses 2 important label values ("Name, Label, or Host" - and "Destination, Target, or Points to") - with a zone editor that displays addresses in columns.Each label may have 1 of 3 values, depending upon the zone editor provided by the registrar.Here is the Dig Log, for the domain root. Look at the 2, 4, 6, and 8, in the 4 address 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A the GoDaddy zone editor, you'll see these entries depicted as  Host   Points to           TTL  @    1 Hour  @    1 Hour  @    1 Hour  @    1 HourThe GoDaddy zone editor uses the labels "Host" and "Points to".Similar labels ("Name", "Label" and "Destination", "Target") are used by various other registrars, in their own zone editor.A Zone Editor display, showing the base DNS addresses, for GoDaddy.Here is the display, used by GoDaddy, for "". Here is the zone editor display, as provided by GoDaddy.Do you see the 4 address records, beneath "Points to"?The labels in the address records differ, from registrar to registrar. The "Name, Label, or Host" address values (here, shown as "@") will differ, from registrar to registrar - but the "Destination, Target, or Points to" address values will not differ. A properly addressed domain will have the same 4 "Destination, Target, or Points to" address values, as every other properly addressed 3600 IN A 216.239.3n.21Each address will have one of four values for n: 2, 4, 6, or 8.Complementing "Destination, Target, or Points to", we have ano[...]

Reader Zoom Level Affects Screen Space Needed


I have suggested that properly sizing the Jump Break and Title sections of each post is an important decision, when publishing a post in your blog.Publishing this blog, using carefully sized post title and jump break sections, allows me to consistently publish posts, with maximum detail visible in main page view - and with the "Read more" link visible.Potential readers may read a post in this blog - instead of returning to a SERP, and reading another blog. This affects a key reader retention metric, the "bounce rate".All of that considered, sizing of the introductory post sections won't always produce predictable results.Reader zoom level is a semi random factor, which makes blog section sizing less predictable than one would wish, when trying to increase reader retention.I size my posts using "100%" zoom, in the Chrome browser. This may, or may not, produce the same effect, for readers using Edge / Internet Explorer, Firefox, or any other browser. And the differing browser will not be the only varying factor.All of these details can affect zoom level, screen space requirements, and reader retention - for any different blog. Here it is helpful for the blog owner to know about the typical reader.Display screen size.Reader age.Multi tasking activity.Tech interest level.Display screen size will affect how the blog sections look, to each reader.Browser choice is not the only variation, that can affect screen space and blog section display sizes.Reader display screen size used is a detail, that I cannot control. The computer on which I compose most posts has a 6" high screen. A second computer, that I use from time to time, has an 8" high screen. The second computer, even at a 125% zoom level, still displays more post content in one screen page.This post (in main page view) displayed, at 100% zoom, on an 6" vertical display.Let's compare this post, displayed at several zoom levels.Here's this post, in the individual post page display - without Jump Break. See how it looks, zoomed in various font sizes. Note that here I use a maximised browser window, though some readers will resize the browser window to fit the blog content.This post (in Preview mode) displayed, at 100% zoom, on an 6" vertical display.This post (in Preview mode) displayed, at 100% zoom, on an 10" vertical display.This post (in Preview mode) displayed, at 75% zoom level.Smaller zoom is more likely to be used by people with better eyesight - using better resolution and more expensive computers, and smaller browser windows.This post (in Preview mode) displayed, at 125% zoom level.Larger zoom is more likely to be used by people with marginally worse eyesight. This will frequently involve older people.Older readers will be more likely to use higher zoom levels.Reader age is another detail which each blog author may consider, in blog design.Blogs which attract older readers should be designed for displays which use higher zoom levels - or use larger fonts, to begin. Older readers, with marginal eyesight, will be more likely to surf the web with their browsers zoomed higher.Multi tasking encourages smaller browser windows - and lower zoom levels.Younger readers, who like to multi task, will probably use low zoom - and size the browser window smaller, so they can have multiple windows, simultaneously visible in large computer displays. Older readers will be more likely to focus on one task at a time - and will maximise the browser window, with higher zoom.Blog subje[...]

The New Followers Gadget


The new Followers gadget is out - and is causing some confusion.If you are Following a blog - either your own blog, or somebody else's - and you examine the Followers gadget, you will see a button labeled "UnFollow".Long ago, "UnFollow" was a selection, in the "Options" menu.The "Unfollow" button is there, to let you stop Following a blog that you are Following."Unfollow" lets you stop Following any blog - yours or not.If you are Following this blog, you should see a button labeled "Unfollow".Previously, "Stop Following" was just one link, in the Followers gadget Options menu. Now, it's a button, in the gadget.This blog, with the Followers gadget, as I see it.If I wish to Unfollow a blog - possibly because I can Follow only 300 blogs at any time - I can click "Unfollow".Since I am Following my blog, I see a button labeled "Unfollow".Long ago, "Stop Following" was an "Options" menu selection.Previously, the "Stop Following"" option was available, behind the "Options" link in the gadget.What we used to see.A blog that you are not Following will display a "Follow" button.We see a "Follow" button, on blogs that we are not Following.I am not Following this blog.Since I am not Following this blog, I see a button labeled "Follow".It's that simple. If you are Following a blog, you'll see an "Unfollow" button. If you're not Following, you should see "Follow".If you wish to Follow, you will need a Blogger / Google account - though not necessarily a GMail account.If you see "Follow" when viewing this blog, you are welcome to click on the button.The "Options" wizard is now titled "Manage followers" - and is accessed through a link in the Stats dashboard page. Right now, the "Block" button is the only "Manage followers" option.The #Blogger Followers gadget now has an "UnFollow" button, visible to people who are Following a blog. Previously, "UnFollow" was a "Stop Following" selection, in the gadget "Options" menu.[...]

The CAPTCHA Continues As A Challenge


This month, we are again seeing evidence of recent security changes by Microsoft. We see signs of continued frustration, in the process of publishing comments - and publishing posts, as part of the Import process.In the process of diagnosing an apparent comment publishing problem, I ventured into the comment publishing experience, yet again.I temporarily tweaked commenting permissions for this blog, to allow anonymous comments and to require the CAPTCHA.With CAPTCHA required, I published a test comment to my earlier post in this blog.I did my best - which was not good enough.CAPTCHA solving continues, as a challenge.I entered a test comment, and made appropriate selections.I got a challenge."Select all the food."I did my best.Apparently, my best was not enough."Select all images with a store front."I tried again. Not all images here were completely obvious, either.My second try was successful.Hmm.Select all the food.Zoom in on the fourth image, above - and tell me which pictures, that I did not select, are food? To whom? Will zooming always improve chances of success?CAPTCHA solving, as spam interdiction, will always lead to frustration.There will be cultural issues - and resolution problems - with CAPTCHAs. This version of the CAPTCHA beats the one from several years ago - but still will cause frustration.And need I again point out - will require proper filter tuning, on each computer used. Note that ongoing changes by Microsoft are currently affecting publishing comments - and publishing posts during the Import process.And our experience may very, depending upon many different details, varying by blog, by computer, and by person. My sympathies to all who must deal with spam - and with spam interdiction.The CAPTCHA continues to be an unavoidable element in comment publishing and other episodes of #Blogger life. And like life, some episodes are more pleasant than others.[...]