Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why is Google redirecting my Blogger Blog to country specific URLs

Launched first in India if you are a blogger with a blogspot address, visitors to your blog will now be redirected to a .in URL. So if you have a blog with abc.blogspot.com, users accessing your blog will now see abc.blogspot.in. This comes close on the heals of Twitter adding the ability to censor Tweets that might not comply with local law in certain countries. Especially in India Facebook, Twitter and Google were pulled up by the Government and have been asked to take down certain objectionable content. This might have caused a backlash of sorts. One of the reactions might be this. In fact Google on their support page have said that blogspot blog across the world will be getting country specific domain names. 

How to view a blogspot blog without the country specific URLs (ccTLDs )
Let us say you are visiting abc.blogspot.com, You will now need to use abc.blogspot.com/ncr , NCR stands for 'No Country Redirect'. This way you get to view the original blog without any country specific redirect. it will also always display in English, whether you’re in India, Brazil, Honduras, Germany, or anywhere.

Why is this happening?
This is done to comply with local law and country specific requests to take down content. This gives Google the ability to censor content based on compliance with local laws. 

Is there is positive side to all of this?
Yes, and it is huge, once a request comes in to take down content it will be done only on country specific URL or ccTLDs, which means your content is still available in other countries. 

Will this effect a blogspot blog with a custom domain
No, if you have a custom domain you will not be affected

Will this effect my  search engine rankings on Google
Yes, it might effect your search engine rankings. Google says they are finding ways to minimize this as far as possible. Crawlers finding same content on two different domains is something that will cause a drop in Google search engine listings

Google has this to say about content removal.
The majority of content hosted on different domains will be unaffected by content removals, and therefore identical. For all such content, we will specify the blogspot.com version as the canonical version using rel=canonical. This will let crawlers know that although the URLs are different, the content is the same. When a post or blog in a country is affected by a content removal, the canonical URL will be set to that country’s ccTLD instead of the .com version. This will ensure that we aren’t marking different content with the same canonical tag.
Read more @ Google support

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