March 22, 2012

Et Tu, Google? (A Little Help for Blogspot/Blogger Users)

And so Google, the owner of Blogspot/Blogger, has crossed the Rubicon of good manners by deciding to play a nasty trick—to say it as politely as possible—on bloggers outside the United States: now if you click on (and any other blog) from your non-U.S. country, instead of the domain extension, you will see your country specific domain extensions. In the last few days, this change had been rolled out in India only, but over the last weekend the practice seems to have become general. This redirection is called “country-code Top Level Domain” (ccTLD).

Why are they doing this? This is how they themselves explain their decision:

We are doing this to provide more support for managing content locally. If we receive a removal request that violates local law, that content may no longer be available to readers on local domains where those laws apply. This update is in line with our approach to free expression and controversial content, which hasn’t changed.

Of course, there are immediate and unpleasant consequences of this “amazing trick,” such as the fact that, in Google’s own words,

After this change, crawlers will find Blogspot content on many different domains. Hosting duplicate content on different domains can affect search results. We are making every effort to minimize any negative consequences of hosting Blogspot content on multiple domains.

Did you get it? If we receive a removal request… Et tu, Google? Well, perhaps this is what the future holds for us. Be it as it may, a fix must be found for this… and I actually found it by surfing the net. To disable the “country-code Top Level Domain” you simply need to add a little code to your blog template. Just follow six simple steps… Believe me, it works perfectly!

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