How To Redirect a Blogspot Blog To Another Site

If you’ve been using blogger as your website, you might have decided it’s time to change your CMS. And that might also mean switching from the standard .blogspot.com address to a custom domain. But how do you ensure that the search authority and visitors from your current site are transferred to your new one as effectively as possible? Well, here’s how to redirect a Blogspot blog to another site.

How To Redirect a Blogspot Blog To Another Site

Before we get into the exact instructions, it’s worth explaining a little about Blogger and how redirects work between different urls. Or if you want to remove pages from your current website, including after a redesign. One of our main services is assisting with this process for business clients ranging from small websites to massive enterprise solutions. We’ve migrated a large number of websites over the years, and ensured traffic and search rankings are kept as high as possible during the transition.

If you’re in a hurry, already know about website redirects, or find it boring, you can skip the next bit!

 

Blogger and Redirects:

Blogger was originally launched in 1999 as a blog-publishing service by Pyra Labs. The company was founded by Meg Hourihan and Evan Williams, who also went on to co-found Twitter and Medium. Blogger itself was acquired by Google back in 2003. And although new features have regularly been added, the service itself hasn’t radically changed for a long time now. So although it’s still a very popular way to start blogging and publishing content online, many people find they want to switch to an alternative like WordPress after a while.

By default, your Blogger site will have an address ending in blogspot.com. If you’ve bought a custom domain for your site, e.g. www.thewayoftheweb.net, then everything will work on your new site as long as the urls of your posts stay the same. But your old site will revert back to blogspot.com and display your old duplicate content unless you either delete or redirect it.

However, when urls are being changed or posts are being removed, that’s when redirects are useful. For any permanent changes or deletions, you would want to use what is called a ‘301 Redirect’. This indicates to search engines that the content has been permently moved to a new address. And redirects your users to the new page automatically. So unless you want to completely ditch your old content and let users see a 404 error page, you’d typically put a 301 Redirect into your .htaccess file for PHP websites and web.config for IIS sites.

But editing .htaccess and web.config require server access. And Blogger doesn’t allow that.

Meanwhile adding redirection plugins and services to your new website and domain won’t have any effect on your old blogspot.com address.

But there is a solution. It uses what’s called a Meta Refresh to perform a client-side redirect (rather than the server-side options described above).

How To Redirect a Blogspot Blog To Another Site – Detailed Steps:

Rather than putting an instruction directly onto your server, we’re going to add a Meta Refresh tag to the header of your old blogspot site. This will refresh the page content, and in the process, send visitors to your new website. It does have some downsides, which we’ll outline later. But the advantages will generally outweight the negatives.

And don’t be scared of the code in the steps below. It really is very simple.

Step 1:

Go to Blogger and log into your website. When you’re viewing the main dashboard, click on ‘Theme’ in the left hand menu. You’ll see a preview of your theme with the option to ‘Edit HTML’ under the ‘Live on Blog’ window.

Click Edit HTML and you’ll see the code for your site:

How To Redirect a Blogspot Blog Theme Editing

This can look intimidating, but adding the Meta Refresh code is very simple. You need to locate the <head> tag in the code, and then add the following code straight after it:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;URL=’http://www.yournewwebsite.com/'” />

Obviously you’ll replace yournewwebsite.com with your new url!

I’ve highlighted the relevant code in the example below with a couple of red stars.

How To Redirect a Blogspot Blog Theme With Redirect Code

Now click on Save Theme, and you’re done!

Visit your blogspot.com address and check the redirect works.

 

Meta Fresh: Options and Downsides?

There’s not a huge amount of options available when you have a client-side redirect with a Meta Refresh Tag. The main one is how long it takes for your redirect to work. If you’ve put a message on your site explaining what’s happening, you may want to give your visitors time to see it before they’re sent to your new website.

Luckily, that’s simple. If you take another look at the code:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;URL=’http://www.yournewwebsite.com/'” />

You can see there’s a 0 value after content. Simple adjust that for the number of seconds you want to allow visitors to stay on your old site and see whatever is left there to explain the redirect.

See, easy!

Now for the Meta Refresh downsides.

Unfortunately, being an easy way to redirect visitors without accessing a server means Meta Refresh Tags have often been used by spammers and other people who might be less than honest.

So many SEO specialists will recommend that your refresh time is set to at least 5 seconds to avoid being seen as dubious and incurring a potential problem.

Also due to the spam problem, search engines will generally not pass all of the SEO value of the original site. You’ll still get some benefit, and obviously it’s better than nothing. But using a server-side redirect should generally be seamless for traffic and SEO authority.

 

The Best Solution for Redirecting Blogspot Sites?

Although using a Meta Refresh Tag won’t pass all of the SEO equity of your original blogspot site, it’s still going to pass more than if you didn’t put in any redirect at all. And as long as you keep an eye on your site to ensure you’re not accidentally seen as trying to trick users, then it has the major benefit of ensuring your existing traffic is carried across to your new website.

 

Search Traffic Refers More Visitors Than Social Media in 2017

Reports of the demise of search engine optimisation, and the dominance of social media, will need to be updated as search traffic sent more visitors to websites than social in 2017.

The figures come from a variety of sources. Shareaholic put Search at 34.8% of site visits compared to social at 25.6% in 2017, which puts Search as the biggest source of traffic for the first time since 2014. Meanwhile Chartbeat has consistently had Search ahead, but referrals grew since August 2017. Parse.ly also confirmed the rise for search and drop for social media.

Search Traffic Refers More Visitors Than Social Media in 2017

 

What is changing to search and social traffic?

Social Media platforms have come under criticism for their handling of fake news, spam content and clickbait. And as the largest of the networks, Facebook has come under particular scrutiny. So as a result, the most recent changes to the Facebook newsfeed have attempted to boost trusted sources and demote the rest.

At the same time, the efforts by Google to improve mobile search access, particularly around Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), have been driving a growth in search volume and traffic, while desktop activity remains largely the same.

 

What to do for your business?

The ‘battle’ between Search and Social for biggest source of website traffic is largely a pointless one. Regardless of which is marginally bigger, you really want to be using both to the best of your ability.

Search remains not only a large source of traffic, but one which converts to action well. Because if you’re optimising for the right searches and content, you’ll attract people actively in the market for your products and services. And it will deliver you a good source of new customers who don’t already know about your company.

Meanwhile Social remains a great way to increase engagement and repeat purchases. You can use it to reach targetted new customers, and to promote sales to existing fans. And to also improve your customer service and engagement. But it’s not really at its best as a pure sales channel generally. There are exceptions, and some small companies do a lot of social media-based sales through Facebook, Instagram etc. But although all companies can change how they rank, promote and share content via their platform, having a business based on social media sales through 1-2 channels will always seem a little riskier than also having search, email and other sales mechanisms in place.

 

If you’d like to know how we’ve increased sales through search, social media, content marketing and other methods, get in touch…

 

 

 

Clever Marketing From Marlboro

Smoking is bad. Even most smokers will agree that it’s expensive and has a range of negatives even aside from the massive increases in health risks. That includes everything from nicotine stained skin to the potentially risk of setting your own hair alight during a student event at a nightclub in Hull. While the last example may have just applied to me in the 1990s, generally most people have been in favour of increased restrictions on cigarette sales, advertising and marketing.

But the flip side is that it has forced cigarette promotions to become more interesting and innovative. The strong, iconic branding allowed variations on brand names to get around new rules on sports sponsorship. For instance, the Jordan F1 team was sponsored by Benson & Hedges for around 10 years, but switched to variations including Bitten & Hisses, Buzzin Hornets and Be On Edge where cigarette sponsorship was banned.

There are also plenty of examples of product placement, including paying stars like Silvester Stallone directly to use particular products in films. And books like Buyology by Martin Lindstrom suggested how brand associations like cowboys, camels and less obvious examples including colours etc can trigger us into craving a cigarette as much, if not more, than a direct advert would have done.

Which is why I admire the skill of those promoting smoking, and look to learn from them to better promote less harmful products (We work with a wide range of brands, but have turned down offers from companies we believe offer products or services which aren’t beneficial to customers).

 

Clever Marketing From Marlboro

A new law was passed in the UK in 2016. From May 2016, all cigarette packets will be a standard green colour, logos will be prohibited, menthols are being banned, and 10-packs of cigarettes have also been withdrawn. But there has been a year’s grace period for companies to adjust and sell old stock.

So in reality it means we’re going to see branding and packets of 10 cigarettes disappear from shelves by May 2017. And that’s why I have to admit some admiration for what Marlboro has done when I visited the shops…

Clever Marketing From Marlboro. 10 pack tin packaging

It looks like a normal packet of 10 Marlboro Lights and costs the same as it did last week. But rather than being the standard cardboard packaging, it’s a durable tin packet.

And I suspect many of the marketers reading this will have already guessed why.

From May, the company will lose all their iconic branding. And anyone who previously bought a pack of 10 might well give up, rather than double their daily expenditure on a packet of 20. For instance, when I’ve cut down by smoking before eventually quitting, I found buying a pack of 10 meant I definitely tried to make them last longer.

Without that option though, I might have just gone cold turkey.

So now they’ve taken a probably marginal hit in their profits in the short-term to provide smokers with a way to continue to share their branding, and to potentially still provide that 10-pack limit.

And while for many it’s an addiction with well-known health risks, most smokers will still feel slightly cooler taking out a branded Marlboro tin and refilling it from the non-branded packs than having to take out a dull green pack with a large diseased lung on it.

 

Marketing Under Restrictions Promotes Creativity:

Would Marlboro have done something like this to promote their brand without the upcoming regulations and bans? I highly doubt it.

I’d imagine most people reading this don’t have an unlimited budget or freedom. But if you did, the danger is that you’d simply pile much more money into doing the same things. And you’d have no incentive to optimise your Adwords spend or paid Facebook content if you could just double the budget instead.

Whereas the most creative marketing often comes from constraints. Whether that’s from laws, budgets or other restrictions, it’s something that can result in far more interest and impact. I’ve just been reading ‘Things A Little Bird Told Me‘ by Biz Stone, and in it, he talks about his time designing book covers. When a brief insisted a particular photo had to be used, other designers would avoid taking that work. Instead, Biz Stone would rush to grab that job, take the photo, and then do something like blow it up 2000 times to use the massively pixellated version.

Employees are often advised ‘Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’.

Perhaps our marketing motto should be ‘Don’t complain about constraints, bring me creative innovations’?

Flickr adds Downloadable Video Sharing

It’s not often that there’s a new feature worth talking about at Flickr. And it seems to have been so long that Flickr’s marketing team dropping it into a particularly bare email, giving it just two lines.

Flickr Photostream

But it’s actually quite interesting. Flickr has now made it possible to allow you to share videos in the same way as you can allow people to download your photos. You set your defaults and can tweak them for individual items.

It’s useful in two ways. Firstly it’s a way to allow videos to be used, modified and uploaded by others under a Creative Commons License, which is a great way to allow others to build on your work. And it also allows friends and family to potentially download and save videos which are important to them – meaning that your backup archive doesn’t just have to be on your own computer.

The first way is the most interesting though – obviously Youtube, Facebook and the likes of Instagram and Twitter are either the giants in online video or trying to get there. But although they all have ways to embed video and therefore display the original upload information and advertising, they don’t have any ways to allow people to share and download videos.

That relies on filesharing services like Dropbox, Hightail etc.

But that then relies on a personal relationship with the sender. I need to know the videos exist and be given the link to their location to be able to access them.

Flickr allowing video sharing changes that. It could really benefit a core group of video creators – although I wonder how many of them will actually be aware, given the lack of promotion about it. Strange considering how immensely important video is for big tech brands and publishers right now.

Youtube introduces Interactive Cards

Youtube has introduced interactive cards as a replacement for annotations on videos. There’s a new Cards tab available in the Youtube Video Editor to allow you to choose from 6 types; Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.

Youtube_Interactive_Cards

Youtube Interactive Cards

They’ll work across mobile and desktop and eventually annotations will be phased out to make way for the new interactive cards. Each type of card has specific settings – for instance Merchandise cards allow you to add an image, merchandise url and a call to action, while fan funding cards allow for donations to creators within the video itself.

They display as a small pop-up, and the teaser can then be clicked for more information. In addition there is an information button that shows throughout the video to see all cards at once. And the new interactive cards will also work in livestreams as well as pre-recorded video.

At the moment you can’t choose size, or position them anywhere other than on the right edge. You can have a maximum of 5 cards per video, and the colours are fixed. Plus their location will change depending on the device being used to view them – so it’s not a good idea to point to them when you’re on camera.

 

Friendfeed and GigaOm announce closures as Apple launches new products

While Apple launched new products including MacBooks and Watches, two pioneering services announced they would be closing. Friendfeed was a useful social network which combined short updates similar to Twitter with the ability to easily collect and aggregate your content from a huge variety of sources, into one feed. It launched back in 2007, and the service and team had been acquired by Facebook in 2009.

FriendFeedLogo

There’s no official news beyond the April 2015 closure date, but there is some unofficial code on Github to export your data if you wish.

And at the same time, one of the first big independent tech blogs has ceased operations. GigaOm originally launched in the mid-2000s, and became a full time job for founder Om Malik in 2006. It since acquired PaidContent, launched a paid Research area and various events etc.

GigaOm Logo

It’s sad news for those of us who have followed the site closely for 8+ years, and for the team of around 70 employees, although it may be wound down, acquired or who knows what else. It is known that the latest $8 million round of funding took place 12 months ago, but it has ceased operations due to being unable to pay creditors.

Whilst it’s unfortunate for all involved, including the millions of readers, it’s important to remember that the closure of GigaOm is more a reflection of the economics of an individual business. FriendFeed, meanwhile, reflects the trend for social network acquisition by the big players in the space – Facebook obviously went on to pick up Instagram and WhatsApp with far, far larger userbases and bigger brands.

Google Authorship and rel=author is no more

One of the main benefits of signing up for a Google+ profile as a writer, blogger and author has been the Google Authorship program, which began back in 2011 with the launch of Google’s own social network. And in a Google+ post, Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that not only will the search results no longer show any Authorship results, but data will no longer be tracked from the rel=author markup.

Since the start of 2014, Authorship has carried slightly less benefits for those who implemented it correctly with first a reduction in the amount of author photos shown per query, and then a complete removal of author photos, leaving only bylines. Now that’s gone as well.

Google+Logo

Should you remove Authorship markup?

Although the markup is no longer being utilised for authorship, Mueller has confirmed that it will be treated just like any other markup (e.g. Schema), and won’t cause any problems.

Part of the reason given for Google Authorship ending has been the low take-up and correct implementation of the process. Given that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated the importance of real identity and information tied to online profiles, it’s unlikely that Google won’t continue to try and complete the link between people and their work in a less public way in the future.

 

What about Publisher markup?

Although the links between an individual and their articles won’t be correlated and highlighted any more, there’s been no explicit mention of Publisher markup between a brand and their Google+ page. It’s always been slightly easier to implement, and obviously only has to be done once for potentially hundreds of authors working for a brand, so the future is potentially brighter for Publishers than Authors.

 

Why was it ended?

The reasons given for Authorship ending at Google are:

  • Low numbers implementing it, and even fewer implementing it correctly.
  • Low value to searchers. Mueller stated ‘Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results’ – partly this may be down to the need to display properly on mobile devices, and there have been conspiracy theories about the impact on paid search advertising, as well as the possibility Authorship didn’t offer an increase in click through rates after the initial novelty had worn off.

 

What now?

So for the time being, we’d recommend that if you have Authorship in place, you don’t rush to remove it. And you continue to link your Google+ page with your website.

Mueller also mentioned an expansion of support for structured markup such as Scheme.org, which we recommend all clients look at to see how it can be implemented.

And Google+ posts and pages will still appear in searches where relevant, so there is still some reason to post on the network, even if it’s lost one compelling reason for a lot of journalists, authors and bloggers.

 

How to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube Channel

The continued integration of various Google services with Google+ has generally been a positive move for both Google and businesses who can now access pages, page insights, analytics etc all in one place. But it does create an issue if you have existing Google+ pages and Youtube channels assigned to different registration emails, or if you accidentally create duplicates.

Fortunately, the process to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube channel isn’t as difficult as it once was.

 

Google+_Youtube_Merge

We’ve merged G+ and Youtube profiles for our own sites and clients

Disconnecting a Google+ page and merging an existing page with Youtube:

The first step is to make a note of the email address and Google account which your Youtube channel is setup up with.

1. Make sure that the existing Youtube account is added as a Manager to your Google+ page (Which is done under the Managers section of your Page Settings)

2. If a duplicate or alternate page has been created by mistake via Youtube, you’ll need to disconnect that Google+ presence by clicking on Disconnect in Youtube Settings, in the Name section.

3. Google will take around 20 minutes to proceed through the disconnection process. It’s a good time to get a drink and relax!

4. Now go back into Youtube Settings, and click on Advanced. You should then have the option to link the Youtube account to a Google+ Page. Click on that link and you should be able to select the correct page.

5. Once that’s done, you should be able to click on Edit to be sent to the Page where you can click on Posts etc to check it’s the correct one.

6. Once that’s all done, you can then go into Google+ with your original Youtube account and remove the Page created in error.

You’ll now have the benefits of a linked account, including access to a Youtube tab on your page, Hangouts etc. If you get stuck, there is a Google+ community dedicated to Youtube integration.

Best Business Social Media and Blogging Guidelines

Social Media policies and guidelines are vital for every business and employee. Not only are they helpful in ensuring that everyone in a company understands what is expected of them, they can also be a way to empower your employees to feel comfortable and confident in engaging with customers or clients via social media.

Rather than relying on the efforts of a small group of individuals to monitor, engage, interact and report on all activity across the plethora of social networks, blogs, wikis, forums and other locations, a good social media policy or set of guidelines means that the workload can be shared, and the responses can be crafted by those in the best position to respond with the right knowledge on a subject. That also cuts down on response times, as it avoids having to spend time internally contacting the right people within your business and obtain an answer.

Even with a small business, it’s good practice to instill the right guidelines and policies early on. That way you are already building a strong brand image and reputation, and new employees as you grow will pick up the right methodology by example as well as by instruction.

 

List of Social Media Guidelines and Policies:

Company NameDocument NameLink 
AFPGuidelines for using social mediahttp://www.afp.com/newsletter/new-social-media-guidelines.pdf(PDF)
American Medical AssociationProfessionalism in the Use of Social Mediahttp://www.ama-assn.org//ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9124.page
BBCSocial Networking, Microblogs and other Third Party Websiteshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidance-blogs-bbc-full
Boy Scouts of AmericaSocial Media Guidelineshttp://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx
Cabinet OfficeSocial Media Guidance for Civil Servantshttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62361/Social_Media_Guidance.pdf(PDF)
Civil ServiceLets Get Socialhttp://www.civilservice.gov.uk/news/lets-get-social
Coca ColaSocial Media Principleshttp://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/online-social-media-principles
Exeter UniversitySocial Media Guidelineshttp://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/web/socialmedia/
FordFord Social Media Guidelineshttp://www.slideshare.net/opinionwatch/ford-social-media-guidelines-scoot-monty
HPBlogging Code of Conducthttp://www.hp.com/hpinfo/blogs/codeofconduct.html
IBMSocial Computing Guidelineshttp://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html
Imperial College LondonSocial Media Guidelineshttp://www3.imperial.ac.uk/webguide/socialmedia
IntelSocial Media Guidelineshttp://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/intel-social-media-guidelines.html
International Olympic CommitteeSocial Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelineshttp://www.olympic.org/social-media-and-internet-guidelines
Inter-Paliamentary UnionSocial Media Guidelines for Parliamentshttp://www.ipu.org/PDF/publications/SMG2013EN.pdf(PDF)
Nursing & Midwifery CouncilSocial Networking Siteshttp://www.nmc-uk.org/nurses-and-midwives/advice-by-topic/a/advice/social-networking-sites/
OracleThe Oracle Social Media Participation Policyhttps://blogs.oracle.com/otn/entry/the_oracle_social_media_partic
RocheRoche Social Media Principleshttp://www.roche.com/social_media_guidelines.pdf(PDF)
TescoSocial Media Colleague Guidelineshttps://www.ourtesco.com/media/2013/09/social_media_colleague_guide_160913.pdf(PDF)
University of Texas at AustinSocial Media Guidelineshttp://www.utexas.edu/know/directory/guidelines/
Thomson ReutersSocial Media Guidelineshttp://thomsonreuters.com/site/social-media-guidelines/
University College LondonSocial Mediahttp://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-media
University of MichiganGuidelines for the use of social mediahttp://www.voices.umich.edu/docs/Social-Media-Guidelines.pdf(PDF)
University of YorkSocial Media Guidelineshttp://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/resources/policy/social-media-guidelines.htm
WalmartWalmart's Social Media Guidelineshttp://corporate.walmart.com/social-media-guidelines

 

 

2013 Reviews of the Year

As 2013 draws to an end, almost everyone is busy either compiling their reviews of the past 12 months, or publishing predictions and trends for 2014.

Predicting the future is always difficult, even when you spend your life watching an industry closely – it’s easy to get caught up in enthusiasm and shorten the timeline that you might have logically thought, and there are always external factors and events which we don’t know about yet which could mix things up a bit more…

Annual reviews can also lead to an overwhelming amount of information and data, but there’s often inspiration to be found, so we’ve compiled some of the 2013 reviews from the big internet names to share:

 

Tumblr 2013 Year in Review:

Tumblr2013YearinReview

Tumblr has released a big categorised review, including everything from New and Top blogs, to the most popular in Movies, Music, and even Sponsored Posts. Plenty of inspiration and enjoyment to be had, particularly if you’re a fan on animated Gifs.

 

Pinterest: Top Pins of 2013:

Pinterest2013TopPins

Staying with categorised imagery, Pinterest has also released a ‘top pins’ for 2013, separated in categories such as Home Decor, Art, Design and by country ( UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland).

 

Google: Zeitgeist 2013:

GoogleYearinReview2013

As always, Google has produced a range of videos and data to cover the top searches in 2013. Exploring the data via Google Trends is a bit more useful from a business perspective.

 

Bing: Review of the Year 2013:

BingReviewoftheyear

Bing has released the 2013 top searches etc in a more traditional article style via MSN news. Strangely they released the url bingtrends.com which redirects to MSN news for the UK. Either way, the information is there.

 

Facebook: Stories 2013

FacebookStories

Facebook Stories 2013 includes video and the Most Talked About Topics etc near you, as well as personal Year in Review features. Also available in text format for global and US information.

 

Reddit Top Posts and Stats of 2013:

redditlogo

When you start a look back at 2013 with 56 billion pageviews, 731 million unique visitors and 404,603,286 comments, it’s not been a bad 2013 for Reddit. Also includes top countries, top posts, and highlights from the End of Year awards.

 

Slideshare Zeitgeist:

 

 

Instagram has released blog posts covering 2013 Top Moments, and 2013 Top Locations.

And with a day to go, the most popular articles on TheWayoftheWeb.net in 2013 were: