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Helping The Blogspot Bloggers – A Tough Test To SEO Blogspot

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on March 18, 2007
Internet Marketing Ireland

Well it never just rains. It has to pour. I made an offer of some free SEO reviews a while back and a nasty confluence of happenings has upset my apple cart.

But I’m going to try and get some advice out to a few more people now. And this is going to be the toughest task I’ve had in a while. You see it never dawned on me that so many folk would be on hosted blogs. Let’s just say that optimising Blogspot is not a straight forward task.

As a result I’m amalgamating the site reviews for all Blogspot blogs into one post. Apologies, but BlogSpot limits much help I can give to these hosted blogs. Here’s the post navigation to make life easier for you.

Internal navigation (this is another mammoth post)

General topics:

  1. Taking Control – getting your own domain
  2. Blog titles and META tags
  3. Best use of the Header tag
  4. Using blog categories to theme your site
  5. Linking to other blogs and content
  6. Keep comments on the same page

Site-specific topics:

  1. bocktherobber.blogspot.com
  2. twentymajor.blogspot.com
  3. elblogador.blogspot.com
  4. skinflicks.blogspot.com
  5. theangrydome2.blogspot.com
  6. greeninkpen.blogspot.com

The Blogspot Conumdrum

I’m going to jump to what I hope is a logical assumption – if you asked for some SEO advice you must be passionate about blogging. So in that vain I’ll try to offer advice that might help your blogging careers:

Some specific advice for the Blogspot bloggers


The more I look at Blogspot the more I think that there is something wrong with the architecture of that platform. When I see pages that had received Pagerank (yep, it’s only toolbar PR) that subsequently go supplemental I have to wonder whether the archive architecture is the problem. And I wonder if the problems would persist if the same blog was on WordPress or similar?

I want to apologise to the Blogspot bloggers who asked for my advice. I really hadn’t considered the implications of hosted blogs – I’m so used to viewing Blogspot as a spam platform that it didn’t dawn on me that many people actually use the platform for quality content. (I probably should mention that Blogspot is absolutely notorious for splogs and sneaky redirects. If you want proof then just head over to www.blogspot.com and check the recommended blog link bottom-left of screen. It’s NOFOLLOWed – they don’t even trust the blogs they recommend!)

Individual advice to each blogger is limited because, to be honest, you will all suffer from the same deficiencies in the Blogspot platform. My wish is that I could offer more, but the blogging platform that is Blogspot has become my nemesis. I do hope, however, that you will all find something of use in this post (and if you only read the small piece relevant to your blog I strongly advice you read the whole piece – most of this applies to all Blogspot blogs).

I hope to make some amends by publishing a guide to blog post keyword research using freely available tools. The guide should help you write posts that increase your search engine visibility. It may take me a couple of weeks to put it all together (and finish the rest of the reviews), but I will post something here ASAP.

Oh, and one final observation for this post. Is it just my imagination or do Irish bloggers tend to curse a lot?

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  1. Yet again Richard your dishing out some priceless help. You did after all make some promises and the Irish bloggers probably wouldn’t forget to easy about that. :-)

    Performing SEO on blogspot is very restricted and to be honest its something I don’t even look at with my own blogger account. What I have noticed though that proper use of post titles and linking back to older posts has helped my own blogspot rank high, on Google that is.

    I think I’ll be trying out some of your tips and see if I can rank even higher. Although my blogspot isn’t a serious project its good to play around with.

    Oh and I agree, Irish bloggers do curse a lot on their posts but there again it gives their blogs more character (I think).

    Comment by Gavin — March 18, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

  2. Hi Gavin

    So you something going on blogger as well? I really think Google should stick to search. They seem to arse up content management systems IMO (think Groups, think Blogger).

    The only thing about cursing is the C word. Goes down like a lead balloon for US visitors. F word isn’t too bad, but the C one, well I wouldn’t publish it.

    Now I just hope that the bloggers in question will see this. Quite a few have no contact details on their blogs. Suppose I’ll have to leave a few comments for bread crumbs.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 18, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

  3. Hi Richard,

    Yeah with blogger being free who could resist? Totally agree that Google should step away from CMS, I don’t like their set-up nor do I think it can do anything special and plus its a haven for so much spam.

    Couldn’t agree more about the Irish bloggers using the C word. For the most part I cant even link to some of the great posts out there as my blog is targeting the Irish American audience and I pride myself that its family friendly. The Americans get very offended on the c word, even though it seems to be part of everyone’s vocabulary over here.

    I couldn’t never understand why they do get offended by the word and you wouldn’t believe how many times I was told to stop using it by my American friends. :-(

    Comment by Gavin — March 18, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

  4. I must be completely out of touch with Irish blogging – most of the blogs I’m subscribed to don’t have any cursing. I’d say that the Swearing Lady is the only one who does. *shrug*

    Take a look at US photographer Chris Weeks – he’s a talented photographer but like Gavin I have to resist the urge to link to him sometimes because of his language. Any Irish blog I frequent is tame by comparision! To be honest, cursing makes a post more colourful and entertaining but it brings the tone down and it’s not something I’d do. Maybe if I did I’d get more feedback! :)

    Oh, thanks for the SEO series, I must blog the photoblog one and add a few of my own tips!

    Gavin – I’ve been asked by Irish girls not to use the C word, it’s not just Americans. Rarely use it these days.

    Comment by Donncha O Caoimh — March 18, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  5. Hi Donncha

    I suppose it all depends on your audience. I’m a bit surprised because I’m not usually reading blogs with high fevered profanities left, right and center. All the SEO and marketing stuff tends to be more corporate-type blogs so those writers rarely let go. Personally I’d rather read something that’s just plain funny than profane.

    Changing over. Out of curiosity do the WordPress crew put a lot of thought into crawlability and general site architecture? I’ve only looked at the few Blogspot blogs, but I have this sneaky feeling that the way they archive the pages, combines with the navigation architecture, results in indexing issues on Google. That might seem odd given that Blogspot are owned by Google, but I’ve learnt that disparate parts of Google very often push and pull in very different directions and I reckon hat the only thing Search thinks about when it come to Blogger is how to mitigate all the spam.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 18, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  6. Thanks Richard, I appreciate it. I see where you’re coming from about the length of the homepage – it’s grand with broadband, but quite possibly takes ages to load up normally. I’ll see what I can do about the rest – usually when I look up to see if my blog is on a serach engine, I use Google. I must investigate Yahoo.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by Dario Sanchez — March 19, 2007 @ 12:23 am

  7. I also note on Yahoo I – and some other bloggers – are lumped in with porno sites!! What the hell?

    Comment by Dario Sanchez — March 19, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  8. Hi Dario

    I only use Yahoo! to check backlinks. I never actually use it for search, although I’ve been hearing that their results are getting much better recently.

    Porno sites on Yahoo! – can you post the search query pls? Might be related to Blogspot (which is full of spam).


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 12:47 am

  9. Great post Richard.

    I’ll second the canonical URL issue – I had been meaning to fix it on BifSniff for a long time, but only got around to it the other day.

    As part of fixing it I had a look at how much of an issue it might have been and I discovered that it should have been a top priority – but as BifSniff is not an earner it can be hard to find the time to fix things up!

    So I highly recommend anyone with a hosted solution who hasn’t sorted it out – do so!

    If you’re on WordPress, my experience in implementing the htaccess stuff might be handy.

    Comment by frankp — March 19, 2007 @ 12:58 am

  10. Hi Frank

    I’ve still got about half of the blogs yet to be analysed and discussed, one of which is bifsniff.com.

    It might be interesting to see what you came up with yourself and what I can notice. From the sounds of things you’re doing some work on the site so it will be more interesting for me to look at it now.

    This week is crazy, but I hope to get a few more blogs cleared by early next week.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 1:06 am

  11. Don’t worry Richard,

    Your offer was extremely generous, and whenever you get around to it is fine…

    I’m keeping an eye on the advice you give to others too and seeing what I might be forgetting myself, so it’s all useful!

    The biggest issue I foresee on BifSniff is the current lack of focus – it’s currently a creative & fun outlet for me, but as a result I blog about whatever I have in my head at the time.

    Those who are blogging for business, or even just blogging in a niche which would be easier to gain ground in should probably get priority in your list.

    Plus, I’ll be very interested in your advice (being a fan of your approach) but I do have experience in SEO myself (wearing my other hat – Aonach.com) and those that don’t will probably benefit even more from your views.

    Comment by frankp — March 19, 2007 @ 1:25 am

  12. It will be good to compare and contrast actually. You can put 100 SEOs in a room (web designers can wait outside) and you’ll be hard pressed to get any 2 of them to come up with the same observations.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 1:34 am

  13. Hi Richard

    Thanks for all the hard work. I also hate that C word. Commitment.

    I read your comments very carefully and I’m proud to say I understood about half of it. Unfortunately, a lot of the terminology is a bit esoteric for the likes of myself.

    Just to clarify: are you saying that in fact it’s impossible to migrate your blogspot posts to WordPress if you’re using the new Blogger? For me, that would be a good reason to stay with Blogger, because of all the cross-linking I’ve done. I wouldn’t like to lose the references, and although I know it would still be possible to link back to Blogger from new posts on WordPress, the look and feel of the pages would be different and very jarring for the reader.

    Some people, like myself, have their own domain name redirected to blogspot. Isn’t it possible to go a step further with that so the blogspot address is completely hidden? I don’t know if there are any downsides to doing that, like losing links on other people’s sites.

    Comment by Bock the Robber — March 19, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  14. It is possible to import your entries from the new Blogger now. I was merging changes from the Blogger importer into WPMU just a moment ago!

    URLs will probably change unless you do significant hacking of the permalinks although I could be wrong because I haven’t really used the new Blogger system yet.

    Comment by Donncha O Caoimh — March 19, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  15. Hey Bock

    From my understanding it is possible to migrate from the new blogger to WP. It’s just not trivial. Previously WordPress had a nice import utility that took care of it for you, but since Blogger updated this apparently no longer works. The workaround is linked in my post above.

    You should take a look at my Bubble Brothers post – I wrote quite extensively on the ability to move from Blogspot to your own hosted blog.

    Blogger also offer a Custom Domain facility. Your Blogger account basically ‘appears’ on your own domain. The downside to this is that you’re pretty much still stuck with the Blogger platform. But you would then have your blog appearing on your own domain. Your links *should* also remain in tact and be properly redirected from Blogger. This actually might be a neat solution for you. However, in the long run if you are serious about blogging I suggest you start thinking about how to break free from Blogger.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  16. @Donncha – when will we see this function in standalone WP?

    I don’t suppose you know of any decent tutorials for migrating from Blogspot to a standalone WP install?

    Good news though, anything that helps people break free from Blogger has to be appreciated.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  17. Not sure when the importer will go into a stable release but I’ve been running trunk on my blogs for ages and it’s been fairly ok. WordPress.com does too of course. You could try copying wp-admin/import/blogger.php into your WP install if you want to test it. I’m not sure if it’ll work in older versions of WP.
    It’s here: http://trac.wordpress.org/browser/trunk/wp-admin/import/blogger.php

    Comment by Donncha O Caoimh — March 19, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  18. Thanks for the advice Richard. I’d figured that Blogger was a crock a while ago but I’ve no budget for this hence the blogspot. Yes the odd swear creeps in here and there but that’s just the rich tapestry that is my use of the English language. I do try to use specific keywords in my post titles and I sometimes run a but of text with the hyperlink for the story but I don’t want to editorialise my own cartoons so I keep text to a minimum.
    Anyway fair play to you for the hard work, you’re a gentleman.

    Comment by Green Ink — March 19, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

  19. Hello Mr Green Ink

    I’m just sorry I’m not offering more. You know that I reckon you can probably get a domain and hosting for about 50 quid, so if you can find the funds I would seriously consider moving of Blogspot.

    Are they original images? If so I might try to give you some help with image search – that can be a nice way to get some traffic.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 19, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  20. Sure. Just look for ‘dario sanchez’s angry dome’. Bock, ellybabes and a few others are mentioned. It’s down on the last few pages.

    Comment by Dario Sanchez — March 19, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

  21. Richard, all of the images on Green Ink are my original work with a few exceptions. Your suggestions for image search would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Green Ink — March 20, 2007 @ 1:38 am

  22. Mr Green

    I’ll try to put up a post about image search over the weekend (busy week). If I don’t get the time to do a post I’ll email you some details and ideas.

    Best rgds

    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 20, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  23. Richard, thanks. What’s the problem with the domain being accessible at http://twentymajor.net/ and http://www.twentymajor.net/ ?

    Comment by Twenty Major — March 20, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  24. Twenty

    Google sees them as different sites. That might sound hard to believe, but I can guarantee that if you redirect one onto the other it will help with rankings. All backlinks will then benefit one version of your site rather than be split (e.g. some people will link to www, others to non-www).

    You achieve the redirect with .htaccess if your hosted on an Apache server.

    I would also look at redirecting the old site over to gain all the link love from the Blogspot blog – you had some serious link power which would be a shame to lose.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 20, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

  25. You achieve the redirect with .htaccess if your hosted on an Apache server.

    It is Apache. Don’t know how to do the redirect though.

    I would also look at redirecting the old site over to gain all the link love from the Blogspot blog – you had some serious link power which would be a shame to lose.

    I read the comment on the Bubble Bros post where you said at the end ‘then pray’. That kind of put me off.

    Comment by Twenty Major — March 20, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  26. Twenty if you have ftp access then it’s pretty straightforward. I did it recently on BifSniff.com and I have a post over on Aonach about how to do it that I put up just today – hope it’s ok to link to that here Richard!

    Let me know if the post is understandable!

    Comment by frankp — March 20, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  27. No Probs Frank

    The redirect is pretty trivial Twenty. If you’re stuck I’m sure Frank will help you out. You can give me a call either and I’ll get it sorted. It’s a 3 minute job.

    Setting up the redirect from Blogspot – when I said pray, I was referring to whether it would work or not. In your case you’ll know instantly. The only thing you need to find out is whether this affects the Blogspot blog – i.e. will you lose any of the data held by Blogger? My understanding is that this won’t have any impact on the Blogger data. It simply redirects the visitors(and the search engines) with the correct header – a 301. Sorry I cant be more definitive. I’ve never really used Blogger.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 20, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  28. Cheers Frank, Richard.

    One question though – if, for example, someone follows a Google search to the blogspot blog for a particular post will the redirect not just send them directly to the index page of the new blog?

    Comment by Twenty Major — March 20, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  29. Richard

    Do you know any site where all these terms are explained in idiot-language that even the likes of me might understand?

    Comment by Bock the Robber — March 20, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  30. @Twenty

    I posted about fixing the canonical URL thing in Apache recently:

    You can do it using a .htaccess or directly within the Apache config if you have access to it.



    Comment by Michele — March 21, 2007 @ 1:23 am

  31. Hey Richard- thanks a million for the advice. My technical knowledge is precisely zero, so I’ll try and take on board your advice. I’m sure your comments will also be of great use to other bloggers to whom your points also apply. Go raibh maith agat!

    Comment by El Matador — March 22, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

  32. Some great info in all these comments, nice one Richard.

    On the topic of blogger. Was looking the stats for my blogspot and noticed I have been out ranking authority & Gov sites for a specific company name. The only use of SEO was proper use of keywords and internal linking, the only link building is from irishblogs.ie

    Would be interesting to see what numbers people are seeing from search engine traffic to their blogspot.

    Comment by Gavin — March 23, 2007 @ 12:12 am

  33. @Bock – I assume that you nedd to know what the bloody hell the supplmental index is and how to add NOFOLLOW to your links?

    The supplemental index is Google’s secondary index where they put all the content that they don’t think is very important. Basically you don’t want to be there if possible. If I remember correctly you have qute a good amount of links pointing at your site, so I’m not 100% sure why you’re there. NOFOLLOW is a small piece of code you can add to your links that basically tells Google (and other SEs) not to pay too much attention to those links – this helps keep your ‘site power’ rather than giving it to others.

    @El Blogador – You’re very welcome. I’m sorry if some of this flies over your head. Obviously that’s one of the beauties of Blogspot – simple to use. But in the long run you should really try to find (corner) some techie and get them to help you take the next step and take control. Once you’re set up it’s just as simple as Blogger (even more so with all the great plugins you can get for WordPress).

    @Gavin – did you see the WMW stats on the number of splogs hosted on Blogger? I think they reckon it’s up to 75% of all Blogspot blogs… And the figures for some of the smaller hosted blog platforms… 100%

    Rgds to all

    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 23, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  34. Was there any mention of splog numbers on WordPress.com? We spend so much time killing those that I would say we’re fairly spam free.

    Comment by Donncha O Caoimh — March 23, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  35. @Donncha – saw it here. It doesn’t point at the original source. No mention of WordPress hosted platform.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — March 23, 2007 @ 11:08 am

  36. Thanks Richard

    Eh, I’m a bit embarrassed because it all probably seems obvious to you, but this piece of code, NOFOLLOW – how do you put it there?

    Comment by Bock the Robber — March 23, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  37. [...] Seo for Blogspot (Blogger) blogs: Helping The Blogspot Bloggers – A Tough Test To SEO Blogspot PhotoBlog SEO: SEO For Thin Content Sites – Making A P h o t o B l o g More Visible Corporate Blogging SEO: Putting Some Fizz Into Bubble Brothers – Beware Of Corporate Blogspot Blogs Bookmark this post: [...]

    Pingback by Are You Confusing Search Engine Bots? | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — April 9, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  38. Hey Richard,

    Awesome post, i’ve just started out with the learning process for the shed site we’re starting up and we wanted to put a blog about garden sheds on the back and i had been going to just host it on blogspot but now i’ve learnt that i should definately put it on our domain.

    Thanks a million

    Cheers, ToNy!

    Comment by sheds — May 16, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  39. No problem Tony

    Best of luck with the site.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — May 16, 2007 @ 11:19 am

  40. [...] SEO for Blogspot (Blogger) sites (multiple sites) [...]

    Pingback by Normal Services Will Resume Shortly | Search Marketing Ireland .:. Red Cardinal Online Marketing — May 21, 2007 @ 5:55 am

  41. Hi Richard, Something nice to cover would be trackbacks via Blogger/Blogspot. They are not built in though there appear to be third party hacks solutions.

    Comment by dublinnorth — May 21, 2007 @ 8:36 am

  42. [...] SEO for Blogspot (Blogger) sites (multiple sites) [...]

    Pingback by Spiderability is the First Step to Search Engine Nirvana | Search Engine Optimisation & Online Marketing Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — July 4, 2007 @ 10:09 am

  43. I wanna say thank you for the advice you have shared to us about the deficiencies of the Blogspot platform.

    Comment by Elvin.p — November 19, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  44. I have a my own blog in blogspot.But page rank is n/a.What should I do to improve the page rank?

    Comment by microsoft certified IT companies uk — December 2, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  45. thanx for the nice post…very helpful

    Comment by VoidBD — January 3, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

  46. Thanks to post this blog information. this is really really very good information about blog. I have a my own blog in blogspot.But page rank is n/a.What should I do to improve the page rank?

    i want to make my blogger attractive. so help me create gud blog .

    Comment by Neeraj — January 22, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  47. Great post. I loved the Mandelson reference! Beautiful.

    Comment by ben — April 17, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

  48. Just look for ‘dario sanchez’s angry dome’. Bock, ellybabes and a few others are mentioned. It’s down on the last few pages.

    Comment by John — April 21, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

  49. Hi,
    first of all great post! It is very interesting for me, because i am really newbe on seo optimization.

    I have a little question. I love to write long posts (about 1500 words) and i use a lot the Heading tags, but only the h2 tag (h1 is for the title of the post) for each paragraph.
    Do you think that is better if i use also the h3 and h4 tag? Or you think that it should be an exaggeration?

    Sorry for my bad english but i am italian, i hope you could answer to my question. :)

    Comment by Manuel Tozzi — October 7, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

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