Category Archives: Blogger Buzz

The Buzz from Blogger

A first few tweaks toward a better Blogger

From New York to Jakarta, Blogger is one of the most popular ways to publish the things you’re passionate about. Still, we’ve heard that there’s more we can do to make the platform a better place to have your unique voice be heard. So we’ll be making some adjustments over time to bring you a faster, easier to use and more beautiful Blogger.

To kick things off, we’ve taken a crack at simplifying Blogger’s dashboard so that it’s easier for you to get right to the tools you need. Now, whenever you open Blogger, you’ll be taken right to your blog with the most recent post, putting you one click or tap closer to drafting something new.


We’ve also updated Blogger’s header bar, making it consistent with what you’ll find in other Google products. And as part of our commitment to building products that are accessible for all, we’ve adjusted Blogger’s colors to make things easier to see.

We’re starting small with these adjustments, but hope they help you create more amazing work. Please send any feedback our way and stay tuned for more updates to come.

Happy blogging!


Posted by Guy Ronen, Product Manager

More custom template flexibility


More custom template flexibility

Last May, we added some expressions to our templating language to make it easier for you to customize your blog’s look and feel. These new expressions proved popular with those of you who enjoy advanced blogging tools, so we wanted to offer you even more flexibility. 

Starting today, we’re introducing a new set of operators, which we’re calling lambda expressions, that allow you to apply rules to whole sets of data (think posts, comments, or labels), rather than just individual instances. 

Let’s say you wanted to add a flower image to all posts with the label “Flower,” for example. With lambda expressions, simply define a variable name that each item in the set will take, and then refer to the variable name as though it were each item.

<!-- Show a Flower image if the post has the label flower -->
<b:if cond='data:post.labels any (l => l.name == "Flower")'>
 <img src=’/img/flower.jpg’ />
<b:if/>

An example of adding a flower icon to posts labelled 'Flower'


There’s lots more that you can do using lambda expressions, like only showing posts in your feed with a given label or quickly calculating how many posts you have with a given number of comments. For a full list of the new lambda expressions available, check out the help forum.

Happy Blogging! 😃

Posted by Luke, Software Engineer

Keep your readers interested with the AdSense Guide to Audience Engagement

Today, information is at our fingertips and we can access it from anywhere on any device. Just a few taps pull up millions of websites all competing for our attention. For bloggers, engaging with your audience has never been more important or more challenging. To help lay the foundation to a winning engagement strategy, the AdSense team created the AdSense Guide to Audience Engagement.




Research shows that 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs.


To help keep your audience engaged, get your free copy of the AdSense Guide to Audience Engagement.
In the guide, you’ll learn:
  • How to help your audience become familiar with your brand
  • Best practices to design user journeys
  • How to develop content that resonates with your audience
  • Ways to make your content easy to consume
  • Why you should share the love with other sites by referring to good sources


If you’re interested in more updates from the Google AdSense team, follow us on  Google+ and Twitter. We’d love to hear what you think.

Posted by Jay Castro, the AdSense Team.

Bringing HTTPS to all blogspot domain blogs

[Cross-posted from the Google Security Blog]

HTTPS is fundamental to internet security; it protects the integrity and confidentiality of data sent between websites and visitors' browsers. Last September, we began rolling out HTTPS support for blogspot domain blogs so you could try it out. Today, we’re launching another milestone: an HTTPS version for every blogspot domain blog. With this change, visitors can access any blogspot domain blog over an encrypted channel.
The HTTPS indicator in the Chrome browser
As part of this launch, we're removing the HTTPS Availability setting. Even if you did not previously turn on this setting, your blogs will have an HTTPS version enabled.

We’re also adding a new setting called HTTPS Redirect that allows you to opt-in to redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS. While all blogspot blogs will have an HTTPS version enabled, if you turn on this new setting, all visitors will be redirected to the HTTPS version of your blog at https://<your-blog>.blogspot.com even if they go to http://<your-blog>.blogspot.com. If you choose to turn off this setting, visitors will have two options for viewing your blog: the unencrypted version at http://<your-blog>.blogspot.com or the encrypted version at https://<your-blog>.blogspot.com.
The new HTTPS Redirect setting in the Blogger dashboard
Please be aware that mixed content may cause some of your blog's functionality not to work in the HTTPS version. Mixed content is often caused by incompatible templates, gadgets, or post content. While we're proactively fixing most of these errors, some of them can only be fixed by you, the blog authors. To help spot and fix these errors, we recently released a mixed content warning tool that alerts you to possible mixed content issues in your posts, and gives you the option to fix them automatically before saving.

Existing links and bookmarks to your blogs are not affected by this launch, and will continue to work. Please note that blogs on custom domains will not yet have HTTPS support.

This update expands Google's HTTPS Everywhere mission to all blogspot domain blogs. We appreciate your feedback and will use it to make future improvements.


An update to the Blogger post editor to help with mixed content

Back in September, we announced that HTTPS support was coming to blogspot.com, making it possible for you to encrypt connections to your blog; since then, many of you have enabled HTTPS for your blogs. In some cases, not all of your blog’s functionality has worked over HTTPS due to mixed content errors often stemming from your template, gadgets, or blog post content.


To help spot and fix some of these errors, we're releasing a mixed content warning tool that alerts you to possible mixed content issues in your posts, and gives you the option to fix them automatically before saving.





To use the tool, turn on HTTPS for your blog, open the Blogger editor HTML view, and click Save or Publish. If the editor detects any errors they will be shown above the editor, along with the option to fix the errors found.


Happy blogging!

Posted by Shweta Karwa, Software Engineer, Security.

Best practices for reviewing products you’ve received for free

Editor's note: This post was cross posted from the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

As a form of online marketing, some companies today will send bloggers free products to review or give away in return for a mention in a blogpost. Whether you’re the company supplying the product or the blogger writing the post, below are a few best practices to ensure that this content is both useful to users and compliant with Google Webmaster Guidelines.

  1. Use the nofollow tag where appropriate

    Links that pass PageRank in exchange for goods or services are against Google guidelines on link schemes. Companies sometimes urge bloggers to link back to:
    1. the company’s site
    2. the company’s social media accounts
    3. an online merchant’s page that sells the product
    4. a review service’s page featuring reviews of the product
    5. the company’s mobile app on an app store

Bloggers should use the nofollow tag on all such links because these links didn’t come about organically (i.e., the links wouldn’t exist if the company hadn’t offered to provide a free good or service in exchange for a link). Companies, or the marketing firms they’re working with, can do their part by reminding bloggers to use nofollow on these links.

  1. Disclose the relationship

    Users want to know when they’re viewing sponsored content. Also, there are laws in some countries that make disclosure of sponsorship mandatory. A disclosure can appear anywhere in the post; however, the most useful placement is at the top in case users don’t read the entire post.
  2. Create compelling, unique content

    The most successful blogs offer their visitors a compelling reason to come back. If you're a blogger you might try to become the go-to source of information in your topic area, cover a useful niche that few others are looking at, or provide exclusive content that only you can create due to your unique expertise or resources.

For more information, please drop by our Google Webmaster Central Help Forum.

Posted by the Google Webspam Team

Source: Blogger Buzz


An update on Google Friend Connect

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.


As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.


We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

Source: Blogger Buzz


Highlight the posts that matter the most

As bloggers, we all know how important it is to post frequently in order to encourage readers to come back. Of course, the more you post, the more quickly your posts slip down into the archives, making it harder for your readers to discover everything you’ve posted that they might be interested in.

To help make it easier to showcase the posts you want your readers to see, we’ve created a new gadget called Featured Post. With Featured Post, you can choose posts you’ve shared on your blog and highlight them wherever you’d like.


Whether you’d like to re-share that delicious holiday recipe from a few years back, spotlight a can’t-miss promotion you’re running, or just revive something quirky from the archives, the Featured Post gadget is a simple way to show off the content that matters most.

To try it, just head to your Layout tab, add a gadget, and select ‘Featured Post’. You’ll be able to place the gadget wherever you’d like on your blog and then choose the post you’d like to show. If you’d like to highlight something new, you can change the post you feature at any time.

Happy blogging!

Posted by Guy Ronen, Product Manager

Source: Blogger Buzz


HTTPS support coming to Blogspot

This morning we posted an update about Blogspot to Google’s Security Blog https://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2015/09/https-support-coming-to-blogspot.html.

Since 2008, we've worked to encrypt the connections between our users and Google servers. Over the years we've announced that Search, Gmail, Drive, and many other products have encrypted connections by default, and most recently, we've made a similar announcement for our ads products.

In this same vein, today we're expanding on the HTTPS Everywhere mission and beginning an initial rollout of HTTPS support for Blogspot. HTTPS is a cornerstone of internet security as it provides several important benefits: it makes it harder for bad actors to steal information or track the activities of blog authors and visitors, it helps check that visitors open the correct website and aren’t being redirected to a malicious location, and it helps detect if a bad actor tries to change any data sent from Blogger to a blog visitor.

While this initial rollout won’t support all of our Blogger users, we wanted to take the first step to make HTTPS available for Blogspot; for those users who want to try it early.

We’re rolling this out gradually and Blogspot authors interested in enabling HTTPS support can begin opting-in today. Simply log into https://www.blogger.com, click on the blog you’d like to make HTTPS enabled, navigate to the Settings page, and select "yes" for "HTTPS Availability". Unfortunately, blogs with custom domains are not supported in this first version.
Once enabled, your blog will become accessible over both HTTP and HTTPS connections. Blogspot authors should be aware that if they choose to encrypt at this time, some of the current functionality of their blog may not work over HTTPS. This can be a result of template, gadgets, and blog post content, and is often caused by mixed content errors, some of which may be fixable by the author themselves.

We’ll also be moving some of our own blogs over to HTTPS gradually, beginning with the Official Google Blog and the Google Online Security Blog.

For the Blogspot authors who try this out - we’re interested to hear your feedback while we continue to improve this feature and its capabilities! For more information, visit our Help Center.

Source: Blogger Buzz


Even more expansions to the Blogger template language

Recently we introduced a new set of expressions to the Blogger templating language, designed to let you customize the HTML of each post and page on your blog. We’ve gotten great feedback on them, so we figured we'd offer even more.

Now you can try out new tags, like:

  • b:elseif for a simpler multiple-case b:if branch.
  • b:switch and b:case for succinctly handling several possible cases of a variable.
  • b:eval for evaluation of more complex expressions involving data variables.
  • b:with for creating a nicer variable alias for a calculated value.

An example of customizing the markup of your blog, using the new switch tags.


If you’d like to customize your blog's template using these tags and expressions, just head to the dashboard under Settings > Template > Edit HTML. To see the full specs of the new tags or learn more, check out the help article.

Happy Templating!

Posted by Luke Bjerring, Software Engineer

Source: Blogger Buzz