Blogger to customers: Your blog will now run on multiple domains so we can censor it

The worlds largest blog host by a wide margin, Blogger (or Blogspot.com) has now actively started redirecting visitors to top level country domains (ccTLD’s) based on which country they are in.

I run a real-time analytics service and we have roughly 700,000 Blogspot customers. At 1AM on January 30th (UTC time) we saw a huge number of new domains appearing on our radar. Most of these were new blogspot domains ending in the .in top level country domain and we saw several others.

The way this new configuration works is as follows. If you have example.blogspot.com as your blog:

  • If visitors arrive from a country in which this is not enabled by Blogger, they will see example.blogspot.com as per usual.
  • If visitors arrive from a country that has requested, or may request in future, that Google censor content, the visitor is redirected to example.blogspot.ccTLD, where ccTLD is replaced with a country top level domain. This is example.blogspot.in in India or example.blogspot.com.au in Australia, for example.

The effect of this is:

  1. Blog owners are likely to be looking at their blog on a different domain to their visitors. E.g. you will see your blog on example.blogspot.co.nz if you are in New Zealand and your visitors will be visiting your blog using domains like example.blogspot.co.za, example.blogspot.in, example.blogspot.com.au, etc.
  2. Because your blog now lives on multiple domains, your content is duplicated on the Web. Google claim they deal with this by setting a canonical tag in your HTML content that points to the .com domain so crawlers will not be confused.
  3. Your visitors are now spread across as many websites as Google has top level country domains for Blogger. Rather than having a single page about bordeaux wines, you instantly have 10 or 20 pages about bordeaux wines, they’re all identical in every way except the URL and your visits are spread evenly across them.

A URL or Uniform Resource Locator has always been a canonical string that represents the location of a page on the Web. Modifying the worlds largest blog hosting service to break this convention in order to enable Web censorship, by Google no less, leaves me deeply concerned. I can only speculate that either Google is throwing Blogspot under the bus, or Google’s view of their company and its role on the Web has become deeply flawed.

17 thoughts on “Blogger to customers: Your blog will now run on multiple domains so we can censor it

  1. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you dowload it froom somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really maake my
    blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Cheers

  2. (1) New York, New York (2) Houston, Texas (3) Chicago,
    Illinois (4) Los Angeles, California (5) Detroit, Michigan (6) Miami, Florida (7) Cleveland, Ohio.
    There is a collection of terrific South Beach dining experiences
    offering delicious seafood, steak, pasta, hibachi, Brazilian Grille,
    Pizza, as well as authentic Cuban cuisine. With this beach a favorite
    hang-out for celebrities, chances are you’ll spot someone famous here.

  3. Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy
    reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Appreciate it!

  4. Which means that do you need to make an application for visa or mastercard consolidation?
    You’ll be able to program that using a loan provider but there can be particular together
    with non-profit companies that supply very much the same services.
    Simply get the right one to use and after that come together with them.

  5. Many students do not pass their GRE examination in the first time itself, but if
    you plan on doing so, then taking a GRE preparation course is
    the best way to ensure that you get higher scores in the first
    attempt itself. When you start out in private tutoring be rigorous about recording
    how much time you spend on tasks and set
    your fees accordingly. Therefore excellent practice tests
    are essential in your preparation for the GRE tests.

  6. Heya excellent website! Does running a blog such as this require a great deal of work?
    I’ve very little knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyway, should you have any suggestions or techniques
    for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless
    I simply had to ask. Thanks a lot!

  7. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after
    browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back
    often!

  8. Hi there, I discovered your site by the use of Google whilst searching for a similar topic, your site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

  9. This is really exciting! I don’t think you’ve taken into account what happens day to day, but still a good post.

  10. I doubt its evil. Google favoured national content stuck to national tlds for quite a time. What you describe is just an extension of their long term agenda of newly divided, filtered world. It is not for censorship, I doubt that. Its for selling more ads.

  11. Very nice article,
    Search localization invented by Google aims at restricting the freedom of information spread. I believe that Google plays the cup of the web right now.
    For example, there are many videos on YouTube aren’t available for anyone who lives outside certain countries like US, Canada, or Britain. And I am not talking about entertainment videos. In this sense, it just another step forward in the same direction adopted by the big brother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.