The hottest BlogSpot news of the week is 302 redirection of almost all BlogSpot domains to country specific URLs. Instead of the .com domain extension, your visitors will see their country specific domain extensions. Blogspot blogs in India so far have been redirected to blog-name.blogspot.in address instead of blog-name.blogspot.com. For instance, if you are viewing a blog with address blog-name.blogspot.com from United States (USA) then you will be redirected to blog-name.blogspot.com.us. The new URLS will now correspond with the country of the reader’s current location. This is called "country-code Top Level Domain" or ccTLD in short and this redirect is popularly known us "302 Redirect" which is a temporary change and not a 301 redirect which is a permanent change of address.
Why are Blogs redirected?
Most often local government agencies ask Google Blogger to remove content from specific pages. Since freedom of speech is what a company like Google supports therefore instead of deleting those pages, Google will only stop displaying those URLs in that specific country but will continue displaying them for rest of the world.
This is the reason Google reported:
Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law. By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD.
Will this change effect Custom Domains?
Bloggers who have purchased custom domains will not be effected only those who are using the free subdomains i.e. blogspot.com will be victims of URL redirection. Those with custom domains do not have to worry about either loosing traffic or Duplicate content issue.
Will This Effect your Traffic and SEO?
Since Blogger servers will be generating several ccTLDs for all your visitors who will be visiting your blog from different country locations, this will give rise to same content with different URLs. Search crawlers/spiders will find the same content on different domains and hence this could drastically effect your search results and organic traffic. Your blog can get penalized for promoting duplicate content with different domain names.
Suppose if you blog at blog-name.blogspot.uk then crawlers will find similar URLs promoting the content you publish with different names such as:
and so on... Leading to
Duplicate content Detected!!
Should You Worry?
Of course not now! the moment this news broke out. Many were shocked at such an unwise step taken by Google but now luckily blogger team is trying their best to minimize the possibility of negative impacts of hosting your blog content with different addresses. The first and foremost that they offcially implemented is addition of canonical tags to all domains. If you check your templates coding you will find a new line of code added near the head section of your template:
<link href='http://blog-name.blogspot.com/' rel='canonical'/>
Those who use wordpress blogs are well aware with this tag but I would need to explain what this tag does to blogspot users.
Blogger has officially added canonical tag to your templates just below <head>. So you can relax and use your blog as you normally do. :)
What is a canonical tag?
Normally content management systems such as blogs sort pages by categories and tags. For example you can have two links having exactly the same content, such as:
Only a difference of a tag such as alpha and price could cause serious problems. Google robots will only consider the first link that it come across and when it finds the same content on another link, it will mark the content as duplicate and the blog will face serious drop in traffic. Thanks to canonical tag, you can now let crawlers know that although the URLs are different, the content is the same. Since your blogspot domains will now contains several domain addresses therefore the canonical tag will tell spiders that though this blog has several different URL's for the homepage or subpages but the content is same and not a duplicate.
Watch this video by Matt Cutts from Google Webmaster help to learn more about canonical tags.
How To Country Code redirection?
If you want to see the actual domain version of any of your favourite blogs without being forced to see your ccTLD name added to the URL then simply add /ncr just after the domain URL to see the actual domain name.
What do you think?
Do let me know what do you think about this latest development. I have looked into this issue closely and will be updating you with the slightest of new developments. Check your templates to see that a rel='canonical' tag has been added just below the head section. If you don't see one then just add the following code below <head> inside your templates:
This Code has been UPDATED
<link href="http://blog-name.blogspot.com/" rel="canonical"/>
Replace blog-name with your blog's title. Done!
If you need any assistance then feel free to post your query. Peace and blessings buddies. :)
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