Category Archives: Blogger

(How to) Submit Sitemap of a Blogger Blog to Google Webmasters

Google signifies the importance of sitemaps in one sentence – “Submit a Sitemap to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover”. In simple words “Sitemap” is a list of all (or some of) the page URLs of a site arranged in a hierarchical fashion. It “helps” search engine bots find pages of the site. Usually sitemap is an xml file uploaded to the root of web site and its link is placed at the home page. Unfortunately Blogger does not allow uploading a file (other than images) to server so you cannot have a sitemap.xml file. Then how to create and submit the sitemap of your blogger blog to Google? Here is the simplest solution to this eternal problem:

How to submit sitemap of a Blogger blog to Google Webmasters?

1. Interestingly you don’t have to create a sitemap for blogger blogs, it is available ready-made in the form of blog’s post feed address.

2. So just go to google.com/webmasters and login with your Google Account (Gmail login ID)

3. Set up your blog at Webmasters central (if you have not done it already)

4. Click at your blog name

5. At Dashboard look for the “Sitemaps” heading (usually at the lower right corner of the page)

6. Click “Submit a sitemap” (if you have not submitted any still) or click “More”

7. At “Sitemap” page click “Submit a sitemap” button, a box will pop up

8. Type the following text (Blue) in the popup box (after blog URL)

          feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated

click adjacent “Submit sitemap” button and done…..simple right?

Now rest assured as your blog’s sitemap has been successfully submitted to Google…

SEO/Blog promotion tips from Google for Blogger Blogs

Here are some “Official” suggestions about blog promotion from none other than Google itself. These suggestions are given at a Google (Blogger) support page. Surprisingly the page looks like that it has not been updated since ages and is blogger centric. Most of the tips are very basic but useful (and some still relevant). Have a look at these (some written as such and some modified a bit):

SEO tips from Google for Blogger Blogs

1. Set the blog to Send Pings: “To get your blog included in various “recently updated” lists on the web as well as other blog-related services”.

2. Turn on Post Pages and Turn on your site feed (irrelevant suggestion as both are set On by default in almost all blog platforms)

3. Write quality content and do it well – “If your “style” is bad writing, worse grammar, no punctuation, and an ugly design, that might be okay for a niche crowd. But the idea here is to achieve mass appeal, so fix yourself up a bit”.

4. Publish regularly

Simple: the more you blog, the more traffic you’ll get

5. Keep search engines in mind: There are a few things you can do to make your blog more search engine friendly. Use post titles and post page archiving. This will automatically give each of your post pages an intelligent name based on the title of your post. A well crafted post about something very specific can end up very near the top results of a search.

6. Keep your posts and paragraphs short: “Strive for succinct posts that pump pertinent new information into the blogosphere. Keep it short and sweet so visitors can pop in, read up, and click on”.

7. Put your blog URL in your email signature

8. Sumbit your address to blog search sites and directories: “People look for blog content at Technorati, are you on their list? You should be. Submit your blog’s url to Technorati, Daypop, Blogdex, Popdex, (all are dead now!!!) and any other site of that ilk you come across”.

9. Link to other blogs: “Links are the currency of the blogosphere and it takes money to make money so start linking” (Hmm great advice!!!)

10. Comment regularly: “Most comment systems allow you to leave a link back to your blog which begs a visit at the very least. So if you feel inspired, leave a comment or two in your blog travels”.

What are your views about the tips? do share here. The original page can be accessed here.

How to show Adsense Ads Inside Blogger Blogposts (inline and wrapped by text)?

It is a proven fact that higher click-through rates (CTR) are achieved when Adsense (or any other ad network) ads are placed close to the content of the post and this placement is the best out of the lot (between post title and body, inline and wrapped by post text). Here is how you can do the above arrangement in your blog:

1. Login to Blogger and Go to “Design/Edit HTML”
2. Check “Expand Widget Templates”
3. Search for ANY of the following lines of code in the template (use “Find” by pressing Ctrl+F)

<div class=”post-body entry-content”>

OR

<data:post.body/>

(variable according to different templates)

4. Add following lines of code

<div style=”float: left; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 10px;”>
YOUR PARSED AD CODE
</div>

Just below

<div class=”post-body entry-content”>

OR

Just above

<data:post.body/>

Replace “YOUR PARSED AD CODE” with your actual Adsense ad code (note that you cannot place the Ad code as such in the blogger template i.e. it must be parsed (made xml compatible) first. Read this post to know how to parse Adsense Ad code for xml templates)
Click “SAVE TEMPLATE” and done.

NOTE:

1. The above arrangement will show ads at home page as well as post pages. If you want to show the ads at post pages only (and not at blog home page) then use the following code (instead of code given in point 4 above):

<div style=”float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 10px;”>
<b:if cond=”data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;”>
YOUR PARSED AD CODE
</div>

2. The above code will align the Ads left to the post text, however you can also change it to right by changing “float:left” to “float:right” in the code. You can also change margin width that suit your template (for example it can be set more than or less than 5px).

(Guide) Setting up a custom domain name for a Blogger Blog

This tutorial post explains how to setup a custom domain name for a Blogger blog i.e. if you have your blog at free blogspot subdomain (like blogcollab.blogspot.com) and want to change it to your custom .com/.net/.org domain name (like blogcollab.com) without leaving Blogger platform.

A) Registering a domain name:

There are two options –

1. Register domain name with a registrar other than blogger (GoDaddy, namecheap, register, yahoo etc).
2. Better still you can register your domain name with Blogger itself. Then it will be the only step required as blogger will automatically configure your new blog URL and DNS settings. To purchase domain name from Blogger
Login to your Blogger account
At Dashboard go to “Settings” (of the blog you want to purchase a domain for) and in Settings select “Publishing”.
In Publishing menu select “Switch to Custom Domain”. At the opened page you can buy a domain from Blogger. No need to read further if you do so.

B) Setting up the new domain name:

However if you registered your domain from registrars other than Blogger then follow the steps given below to set up new domain for your blogspot blog:

1. Login to your account at the domain registrar site
2. At the “Dashboard/Control panel/Administration” find the option of “Domain management/Manage Domains/Domains” (Variable according to various registrars). Select the domain name you have registered.
Now find and select option “DNS Management/DNS Settings/DNS Configuration/DNS Control” or something denoting like that.
3. At “DNS management” page find and select option CNAME.
4. At CNAME page find and select “Add a new CNAME record” (However if there is one already, edit this record instead). Fill up the details exactly as follows:
In “Name/Source” field: enter “www” (Without inverted commas)
In “Host name/Address/Points to/Alias/Data/Destination/Target Host/Record Value” (Variable according to various registrar sites): enter “ghs.google.com” (Without inverted commas)
(If required) Set TTL value as 1 Hour/1 Day/Default (Whatever applies according to your registrar).
Click OK/Submit/Add record

5. Now go to “DNS management page” again (Point 3 above) and select “A records”. At A records page click “Add a record”. Fill up the details as follows for A Records
Host Name: www
Points To/Destination IPv4 Address: 216.239.32.21
TTL: As in point 4 above
Click “Add record”
Repeat the above procedure of adding new A records three more times, keep the Host name www but change the “Points to/Destination address” to following three different values in the three records (Enter TTL same as above)

216.239.34.21
216.239.36.21
216.239.38.21

This way four “A records” will be added (That point to Blogger’s different IPs)
Almost done!!!

Now the only step left is changing settings in your blogger account.
Sign in to Blogger
At “Dashboard” click “Settings” (If you have more than one blog then choose the desired blog settings). At Settings page select “Publishing”
Click on “Switch to Custom Domain”
At the next page select “Switch to advanced settings”
Enter your registered domain name (Including www) and word verification and finally “SAVE SETTINGS” and done.

That’s it!!! All set up, now time to spread the word about your new domain name.
Note: You will have to use www with your domain name on Blogger (it will not allow a naked domain like blogcollab.com).
It may take some time for your new domain to set up and load when accessed from a browser. So don’t lose heart if 404 (Not found) error show up for a while after setting up the domain.

Update Step 5 above is to redirect your naked domain to www variant and is optional. Some registrars (including Godaddy) do not allow to create the four A records giving error. In this case follow the steps given in this post

Adding Bing verification Meta Tag to a Blogger Blog

In a previous post I described the process of adding Google and yahoo verification Meta tags to blogger blogs. To get sizable organic traffic it is necessary to get indexed in the big three search engines (especially in case of new blogs). In this post I will discuss the same for Microsoft’s popular Bing search engine (formerly MSN or Live search). If you have read the above post, the process is essentially the same in this case also. Simply follow the steps given below:

How to add Bing verification Meta Tag to a Blogger Blog?

1. Go to Bing webmaster tools and login to your Bing account (You will need a Windows Live ID to login (former Hotmail ID will also do fine). If you don’t have, create one here

2. Enter the required details: Web address (URL) of your blog/site, and it’s sitemap (optional but should be added if there is one) and your e-mail ID.

3. Click “Submit”. At the next page you will be asked to verify the submitted site by either adding an xml authentication file into root folder of your site (Not possible in a blogspot blog) or adding a Meta tag (A line of generated code) into blog’s template. Copy this Meta tag.

4. Login to your Blogger account. At the dashboard, click “Template/Design” and then “Edit HTML”.
Find the <head> tag in template code and paste the above copied Meta tag code just below <head> . Save the template and done.

Now go to the authentication page (In the Step 3 above) and click “Return to Site List”. A message will be displayed against the site’s name depicting the verification status. This process will verify your ownership of the blog with the added advantage of getting recognized and indexed by Bing.

Adding Description/Keywords Meta-tags to a Blogger Blog (Why and How?)

Meta tags are small pieces of codes (incorporated into website’s html code) that tell search engines precisely what a site or page is all about (including its content in short summary, important keywords in the page and/or the author of the post). Usually three types of Meta tags are used – “Description”, “Keywords” and “Author”. Out of these “Meta description” and “Meta keywords” tags are most important. It is a proven fact now that adding precise and well written Meta tags increase site’s search engine rankings and hence visitors. More so in case of blogs, Meta tags are very useful SEO tools. Here I will tell you about adding three important Meta tags to Blogger/Blogspot blogs:

The problem with Blogger is that if you add a simple Meta tag like

<meta content=’My blog is about …..’ name=’description’/>

into blog’s xml template then it will be the same for blog’s home page as well as all the posts. This will be considered as “Duplicate meta tags” or “Search engine spamming” by search crawlers. Consequently you may be penalized by search engines resulting in low rankings of your blog in search results. Here is the solution to avoid this and utilize the full potential of Meta tags in Blogger blogs.

Adding Meta Tags (Description and Keywords) to Blogger Blogs

Except home page (for which you can write and add description via Blogger dashboard – Settings) following code can be used to add “Post title” as the description Meta tag. So you will have description Meta tags for each blog post without any extra effort. Note however that after using this method write post title carefully (i.e. include all the important keywords describing the main topic of post) as it will be the description Meta tag.

<b:if cond=’data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl’>
<meta content=’YOUR Blog Description‘ name=’description’/>
</b:if>
<meta content=’BLOG KEYWORDS like technology, mobiles etc‘ name=’keywords’/>
<meta content=’BLOG AUTHOR NAME‘ name=’author’/>
<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;’>
<meta expr:content=’data:blog.pageName’ name=’Description’/>
</b:if>

Add your description, keywords and name in the above code and then copy the modified code. To add it to your blog’s template login to Blogger and at Dashboard Go to Layout/Edit HTML. Search for the following line of code in the template (By pressing Ctrl+F in your browser)

<b:include data=’blog’ name=’all-head-content’/>

Paste the copied code just below this line and save the template. That’s it, now wait for the search engines bots to arrive at your blog and you will see a marginal increase in number of visitors within next 3 days. My blog visits increased by 20% after adding the above Meta tags. However always remember the fact that nothing can increase visitors more than “Good, original and quality content”. So keep writing…. You may also read this useful post about Meta tags by Peg Corwin that will help you in this matter.

A Simple “Click-to-Add” Search-Bar widget for Blogger blogs

Content search option is an essential part of any blog/site to help visitors find anything specific they want. It is also a part of easy site-navigation from SEO point of view. A Search bar comes built-in as a part of Blogger top-navigation bar, but in this age of designer templates and customization you will hardly see that navbar in good blogs (it is usually removed or hidden). So a search-bar widget has to be added manually to the blog to make your visitors life easy. Here I present a simple “one click install” search bar widget you can add right away in your Blogger.

This is my first Blogger widget at BlogCollab. To be frank, I am not an HTML expert and it was quite a hard work for me. I dedicate it to newbie bloggers, seeking simple widgets which can be added to their Blogger blogs with ease and without much code tweaking.

To add this search box to your blog, just click the button below that will take you to blogger sign in page (if you are not already signed-in) – sign-in to blogger and follow the simple prompts – and the search bar along with a button will be added to your blog as a new page element. You can later move and customize this widget according to your preference via layout page of your blog.






Enjoy and don’t forget to say thanks……’-)

(Guide) How to write HTML/JavaScript in Blogger Blog posts to show it as text?

UPDATE: The feature described in method 2 below is now available in main Blogger itself (no need to go to draft.blogger.com). To use it while writing post, click “Post Options” (Bottom right of the compose box). From the expanded menu check the box “Show HTML literally” and done. Now Blogger will not interpret the written code. The easy way out…

html code blogger

This post is an extension of my previous popular post “How to write HTML code in blogger blog post”. While creating new post in blogger, when HTML/JavaScript is written in Compose/HTML box, blogger tries to execute it (Rather than showing it as a text). Thus it becomes a nuisance when one writes a long code to share with readers but nothing shows up (Textually) on publishing the post. Fortunately there are at least three solutions to this problem as I know:

1. Use HTML/JavaScript parser

Go to Blogger HTML/JavaScript code parser and paste (or write) your code in the box and press “Convert”. A modified code will appear in the box, copy this code and paste in your post compose box and that’s it, as simple as that. Update – This method no longer works!

2. Use Blogger draft to create posts

(As Google guys have finally listened and incorporated an official solution to this problem in Blogger itself) – Blogger Draft is actually Blogger’s extension in which Google incorporate new experimental features to test them. When tested successfully, these features are added to main Blogger. Login to Blogger Draft and go to New Post. Click “Post options”, this will open many options. Select “Compose Settings” to “Show HTML literally” and bingo now you can write HTML/JavaScript as such in the “Compose/Edit HTML” box. You will also find many new features in Blogger Draft.

3. Manually change your code

Change all < characters to &lt; and all > to &gt; (Use “Replace” feature of any word processing software e.g. Microsoft Word to change the characters easily and speedily).

How to write HTML code in blogger blog post?

Want to write HTML code in one of your great code-editing-tutorial post but it is not showing up as you want? Well here is a simple solution.

html code blogger

How to write HTML code in Blogger blog posts as text?

It’s a nuisance in blogger, when you write HTML/JavaScript in the default post-editor it will not show up as text. Actually blogger by default tries to interpret the written code. To overcome this, you will have to alter your HTML/JavaScript as follows:

Replace all the < characters with &lt;
And all the > characters with &gt;
(Exactly the same including the semicolons).

For example if you want to write the below given code in your post
<b:skin><![CDATA[
Then it will be written as &lt;b:skin&gt;&lt;![CDATA[ in the Compose box.
It is better to write your post in a text-editor like Microsoft Word and use its “Find and Replace” feature to change the above characters with ease.

Update – Please read this updated post on this topic with some easier solutions to this problem. 

[How to] Add Google and Yahoo verification Meta tags to a Blogger Blog?

Google and Yahoo are the biggest players in Internet search arena and once established, your blog will be getting most of the visitors referred by them (the organic traffic). So to get recognized by two giant search engines early, you need to add their verification (Authentication) Meta tags. These tags are basically required to verify that you are the owner of the site. Apart from this there are many other advantages of the same, as the Google itself says at Webmasters central “Improve your site’s visibility in Google search results”. Here is the complete guide discussing, how to add these Meta tags to blogger blogs?

1. Adding YAHOO Verification Meta tag to a Blogger Blog

You will need Yahoo ID to do this. Login to Yahoo and go to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Under “My Sites” type your Blog’s URL address (including http://) and click “Add My Site”.

At the Authentication page click at “By adding a META tag to my home page” – A Meta tag like <META name=”y_key” content=”f7b9180a81a10dba”> will be displayed with instructions to add it to site. But if you add it as such to blogger blog’s template, blogger will show an error message. To avoid it, add a slash (/) just before ending “>” in your above Meta tag.

Copy the modified code.

Now to add it to blogger blog follow the steps given below:

Login to Blogger and at Dashboard Go to “Layout/Edit HTML”

Find <head> in the template code (By pressing Ctrl+F). Paste the above copied tag JUST BELOW <head>. Save the template. Go to Authentication page and click “Ready to authenticate”, wait for the confirmation and done.

2. Adding GOOGLE Verification Meta tag

Login to “Google Webmasters” with your Gmail ID

Click on “Add a site”, enter your blog’s URL and click Continue

“Verify ownership” page will open. Choose Meta tag from “Verification method”.

Rest of the procedure is same as in the above Yahoo case: Copy the given Meta tag and paste below <head> in your blog’s template (it does not matter which Meta tag is above or below as both of Google and Yahoo will be there one after another) – now save the changes to Template.

Now go to the verification page (From where you copied the Meta tag) and click “Verify”, wait for the confirmation.

Note: These Meta tags are deleted when a new blog template is installed. So every time you change blog’s template, don’t forget to add both of the Meta tags again. Better save them in a text file. With the help of these tags you can also track your blog’s performance on several parameters (Indexed pages, in-links, external links etc).

Read also How to add your Blog/Site URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing Search Index?