-a sour soup. a distinct Filipino comfort food for the soul. as unique as its people. as diverse as its culture. a blend of ingredients prepared to its sour perfection, exciting the palate, soothing the nerves, rousing the senses, bringing back memories of scenic greens, warm sun, blue waters, and the solace of home.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sneaky Google How Could You Do This To Blogger?!

Related Post: What Haloscan Wouldn't Tell Us! Please Pass!!
Update at the end of the article. 11 December 2007
Update at the end of article. 13 December 2007

I've loved Google and all its products from the very beginning. I think they're far superior in Search than any other search engines. When they introduced gmail, I was among the first to use it as a secondary email though I still keep Yahoo!Mail as my primary just because I've used it forever and it's a hassle to shift things.

They developed Picasa- a photo organizing and editing tool and I use it all the time for quick editing of my photos. I have been using their toolbar even before Mozilla Firefox partnered with them as the browser's default search engine! I use Google adsense for all my blogs and sites. I prefer Google checkout when shopping! I love Google Earth and I use YouTube all the time! All my internet surfing and computing involves Google in one way or another. I'm practically a walking ad for them as I always recommend Google products to my non-geek family and friends.

The recent events with Blogger however, makes me rethink if Google actually deserves all my adulation and support! First, Google placed the "rel=nofollow" tag in our templates as default so every comment we get goes nowhere and just dies in our posts- meaning, the links left on the comments page would not be crawled by search engines for page ranking- rendering that comment practically useless to the person commenting! Second, it penalized sites who are doing pay per post and those selling text links in terms of their page rank. I don't do both so I'm not really affected by it. My website is also only 2 months old for me to even vie for a page rank!

AND NOW THIS: Google deviously and cunningly incorporated a new stupid rule they have for commenting on posts using the Blogger platform. They're making commenting almost exclusive to just Blogger readers. Other platform users like Wordpress and LiveJournal would have to contend to leaving their name either as anonymous or nickname that doesn't mean anything because there is no way of entering a URL link. Basically, non-blogger users comment wouldn't amount to anything with this kind of setup. This is discouraging for non-Blogger users obviously and makes receiving comments even harder to come by. And when we Blogger users don't do anything about it, then we probably end up with no more comments at all.

So Sneaky Google just went ahead on their own and started this thing if I'm not mistaken two days ago! Most bloggers haven't noticed this yet to react! Google didn't announce it. What were they thinking? That we users wouldn't care and if we did, just accept it?! I don't really see the logic in this! If someone outside of Blogger leaves me a comment, I wouldn't even know how to contact her back or how to get to her website because she couldn't leave her URL. Google owes bloggers for making them bigger than they already are and we don't deserve these restrictions!

The good news is there IS ALWAYS a workaround just like the "rel=nofollow"!

1. If you don't have a blog yet OR just starting: Get Wordpress!

They're a far better platform than Blogger in all counts! For one Wordpress has very classy, easy on the eyes, neat layouts! I could have chosen Wordpress but I thought I was being loyal to Google. And this is how Google repays me!! Now, it's too late for me to shift. I have gazillion links and widgets and I've submitted my URL to gazillion sites, it's too tedious to redo it all again...

2. Type in your URL on the comments page.

If you're a non Blogger user, make sure to type in your URL when you leave a comment. That way, the Blogger can still contact you or visit your site for reciprocity.

3. Rant, bitch and screw Google on this until they listen us!

They probably won't do anything but at least we let them know that what they're doing stinks! Blog about it! Share it! If you find this article informative or you've read about it here first, I appreciate your link back to this article.

4. Install **HaloScan! A Weblog commenting and trackback service.

This is the best workaround! It saved me and though I've found it by googling, I still hate Google for making me do all the trouble of changing my comments page and searching for it. Don't get me wrong, installing Haloscan was a breeze!! You can customize the look of the page and you can even put an image to it! I had mine installed and working in less than 5 minutes on both this site and The Postcard Collector site. Check out my comment page now and while you're at it, leave a comment for me. You'll see your URL and I have the "rel=nofollow" turned off! You'll sure to be rewarded by commenting on this site and at The Postcard Collector. :-)

Boo boo and thumbs down for you Sneaky Google! How could you?!!

**Author's note: Please read the updated article regarding Haloscan before installing the comments page. I now recommend installing with caution. I'm endorsing: caveat emptor or buyer beware!

UPDATE: As of today, 11 December 2007- we still have not heard from Google what this change in the Comments page is all about. Of late, I have seen some comments page with a drop down menu where you can choose which platform you use and would then require a login to get your ID. I understand this is all part of the move to end spamming- I'm all for that! Never mind if it's a bit of an inconvenience for non-blogger users. This is better than 'anonymous' or 'nickname' and not having any place to put a URL link.

What surprises me is this new drop down feature isn't available to all bloggers yet! I don't see it on either of my two blogs! I wonder if it's because I've mangled my template over and over and so Blogger can't auto-configure it. Maybe it only works for the regular templates. Bottomline, I don't have the new version, I'm dissatisfied with Blogger and I'm still bitchin'!

UPDATE: As of 13 December 2007- Finally Blogger updates it's official blog today after being silent for two weeks. Their latest blog is about the recent change on the comments page which I pointed out over a week ago. If your comments has been set to comment: anyone, then you don't have to do anything with it. To check the settings of your comments, simply go to settings, then comments and from there you will see options on who can comment. Please see photo below.

I will still be on the lookout for more Blogger changes and will rant or rave about it here! I am still undecided if I should shift to wordpress... too much hassle! Sigh.

© 2007

8 taster(s) say...:

Sea Eagle said...

Great post! You've summarised my own frustrations with Google & Blogger very well. So, far (in the space of a month) I've had my main 2 blogs dropped in PageRank from 4 to 0 because I advertise Text Link Ads on them. I didn't know about what's happened with the comments. It's not really a surprise though - Google seems to have dumped it's "Do No Evil" motto in favor of "Take Over The World". They want to penalise anyone who does not exclusively use their services. It's uncompetitive behaviour, and it seems that Google has been avidly reading from Microsoft's books of dirty tricks and stopping competition.

What has really peeved me off this week is that, without notice, they suspended a popular blog of mine without even looking at it. It's a completely legal picture blog, and Google/Blogger said their computer suspended it because it had - wait for it - too many outgoing links! Crikey - it's a picture blog! It's got thumbnails that link to full-sized images. Of course it's got a lot of links - people view the thumbnails and click the ones they like for the full picture.

I requested Blogger to manually review & reinstate it on the 30th November, but they haven't responded yet. Extremely poor customer service! I spent a lot of time building up my readership, and if it stays offline much longer, people will remove it from their bookmarks and stop visiting.

I would change to another blog hosting service in an instance if it wasn't such a hassle. Blogger's become too authoritarian and treats it's members and visitors with contempt.


Sea Eagle
http://scott2096.blogspot.com/| 12.05.07 - 2:25 am |

bingskee said...

noticed this last night while am doing the rounds. i was a former blogger at Blogger. had problems before so i shifted to WP.

bingskee | http://bingskee.com/| 12.05.07 - 6:32 am |

cyberpunk said...

wow, I half-noticed that change in the comment page but thought that my crappy connection was just not loading the page properly...and I even bothered a few months ago to remove the no-follow thingie on the template.

bad bad Blogger. I'll think about switching to HaloScan this weekend, although I prefer the wordpress style, where the comment box automatically appears below the post, instead of the commenter having to click "post comment" first

cyberpunk | http://kaide.blogspot.com/| 12.05.07 - 10:40 am |

JMom said...

Great post! My two blogspot blog with PR4s were zapped to 0 recently because i do TLA and PPP. Then I too noticed that they had taken the 'other' option on the comments. Google, I feel just appointed themselves god of the internet, and I'm choosing to become an internet atheist I am not changing anything about the way I'm blogging just to please them.

You should still consider moving your blog to wordpress before you get any farther and they do something else to mess things up. Importing your old posts to wordpress has gotten a lot easier; just one click.

JMom | http://amoores.com/| 12.05.07 - 10:53 am |

elay said...

glad i read this post..i have not really noticed those changes..but now that i have an idea on what sneaky google has been up to..i'm doing something about it. thanx.

elay | http://www.flygirl01.blogspot.com/| 12.06.07 - 8:35 pm |

mae said...

WOW!! Thanks for all the positive cheers! I am NOW really seriously contemplating of totally shifting my blogs to Wordpress!!

JMOM: Sorry to hear about your PR being affected. You got the term exactly right! Google plans to be the god of the internet!

you make it sound so easy to move to wordpress!! That is a totally unknown territory for me because I'm just familiarizing myself with Blogger and I might NOT understand how Wordpress works! So I can import everything? Really? I'll look into that. Thanks much- you just encouraged me!

elay: let's move over to WORDPRESS NA!!

mae | http://www.sinigang-dmeemai.blogspot.com/| 12.07.07 - 12:20 am |

eam said...

Sea Eagle: I'm sorry that you were affected with the page ranking. I really don't understand why they would do that! They seem so selfish that they just want all of us to be contend with their adsense and do nothing more! yes, they're getting to be like a monopoly like microsoft!! I think that's what they intend to do " Take over the World" because as it is, we're already so dependent on them on Search among other things... Sigh.

I know it is such a hassle to move things over to wordpress but now i'm really thinking about it...maybe i'll do it as part of my new year's resolution! lol

Let's do it! Let's move to Wordpress in January 2008!

Cyberpunk: Initially, I thought I had a problem with my connection too! So I went to check out other blogs and they gave me the same thing!!

I know what you mean about the wordpress style. I like that better too. Hey, when you find something better than Haloscan, please let me know! for now, i'll use this one... thanks!

Bingskee: Congratulations on making the move!! I want to!! BUT I might not understand their setup! Is it really easy at wordpress? thanks for stopping over and leaving a note...

mae | http://www.sinigang-dmeemai.blogspot.com/| 12.07.07 - 12:28 am |

jessie said...

kabayan, i have always been posting something about these (against Goog's rude policies) in my blogs especially at What Have You. You may visit the site if u have time.

maybe we can exchange links... our readers will also benefit from it.