April 16, 2012

Redirecting from Blogspot.com to country specific domains

In efforts to country specific laws, Blogger have begun redirecting blogs hosted on blogspot.com subdomains to country specific domains (ccTLDs).

For example, if you are in the UK and viewing a Blogger hosted blog which would usually have be hosted on a *.blogspot.com subdomain, you'll be redirected to *.blogspot.co.uk.

This is happening to enable Blogger to censor content on a country-specific level. For example, if the UK asked Blogger to remove  a page of content from a blog, the page would no longer be available to view by visitors in the UK; it would however be available to view in other countries.

Most Blogger users will not notice any other change to their sites except for the ccTLD redirect and custom domains are not affected at all. Blog authors/owners will continue to manage blogs on Blogger.com.

When will these changes happen?

Not all countries are yet affected by the ccTLD changes, though it is planned to roll this feature out internationally over the coming weeks or months.

At the time of writing, bloggers in India, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and some European countries have noticed ccTLD redirection for their sites. Feel free to let us know in the comments below if your site has experienced the change.

Accessing content on *blogspot.com outside the United States

If you would prefer to see Blogger hosted content on the *blogspot.com subdomain, you can do so by typing "ncr" after the blog's domain name. For example,

[blog-name].blogspot.com would become [blog-name].blogspot.com/ncr

You can also use this technique to view an individual post, like this:


For those who would prefer all readers to visit pages of their site at the *blogspot.com subdomain without being redirected to their country-specific ccTLD, Emilio Cobos and Vagabundia have developed a script which may be added to your Blogger template.

The original article explaining this redirection script is in Spanish, but you can read it in English if you prefer by using this Google Translated link.

Thanks to Matias for the heads-up in the comments of my previous post.

Will these changes have an effect on my blog's search engine ranking?

Unfortunately this may have a (hopefully temporary) effect on the way our sites are crawled as blogspot content will be found on a number of different domains. However, the Blogger team understand the concern Blogger users have about this change and are doing everything possible to minimize any negative consequences.

What do you think about these changes?

I understand many Blogger users may be concerned about the ccTLD changes to their sites, particularly as this has not been mentioned through the regular Blogger channels or announced in our dashboards (though you can read this official help article).

Personally I believe the Blogger team are working in our favor and that these changes yield a long term beneficial outcome. Rather than censor sites internationally, these changes will only censor content where local law is enforced, avoiding complete removal of blogs and enabling visitors elsewhere to view original content.

But what do you think? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Image credit: Bull3t, via Flickr Creative Commons

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