Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Google Account Deleted - What to do

Blogger account is associated with a Google account. It is not rare to hear a blogger screaming for help after he deleted his Google account for that deletion will affect the Blogger account. So what should one do if one accidentally deleted the Google account? One should immediately report to Google Account Contact Form. There is a window of about a week to appeal, after which the Google Account will be permanently deleted.

Related posts:
Google Account deleted, cannot access blog, what to do

How to delete Google account

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Advice: Upgrade custom domain via Blogger and Google Apps

I have done two conversions of my blogs to custom domain. The first one, Blogger Book went well with no hitch. The second one, this blog which is now met a hitch. The domain was purchased and registered direct via Blogger Settings > Publishing cum Google Apps. This time, the blog was in transition for 3 days. On the third day, there was a big problem. Neither nor www.bloggertipsandtricks was accessible. I quickly changed back from custom domain back to blogspot.

I wonder if the reason for the problem this time was because when converting to custom domain, I completed the captcha (word verification) many times. I did not see the message "changes saved" at the top of the page because each time I completed the captcha, the box for completing the captcha appeared again and I thought I made a mistake, so completed it again.

I did not try to meddle with CNAME and ANAME. What I did was repetitively switched back and forth from custom domain to blogspot to custom domain many times. After a few days, somehow the problem solved by itself and this blog is now published to the custom domain

I have read many reports of blogger having problems with custom domain. So my advice to you if you want to go this route not to purchase and register your domain via any third party. Do that direct in Blogger within the blog SETTINGS > PUBLISHING. Google Apps will do everything for you. The conversion should proceed seamlessly without you having to do anything. Everything is automatic though the blog will be in transition for about 3 days.

If you meet any problem, try switching back to blogspot and then to custom domain until the problem is solved just like what happened to me on this second coversion.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Optimize blog and post title for search engines

When Blogger blogs are listed in the SERP (search engine result page), the default is the blog title is displayed first followed by the post title. See screen shot below:

blog title post title in search engine result page
This is bad especially if the blog title is long, the post title may be truncated. It is better to have the post title first before the blog title like the screen shot below:

search engine result page post title before blog title

In the above case, the post title is displayed first and the blog title is nowhere to be seen. Having the post title displayed first will result in better click through rate from search engines.

Note that had the blog title been as long as the post title you see in the above, the post title would have been obscured, not visible. Even if the blog title did not obscure completely the post title but is before the post title, this will result at less hits (traffic) from search engines. It is also bad for SEO (search engine optimization). It is thus advantageous to have the post title displayed first followed by the blog title.

I tested a hack I found at Optimize Blog Title for Search engine Results and increase visitors on this blog yesterday, Friday 6 February, 2009. I recorded the test at Testing SEO tip - post title and blog title in search engine result page. It will take some time before the change is indexed by the search engines.

And today, one day later, I found the very first search engine result which have the post title displayed before the blog title. Google for countdown for blog and see for yourself or refer to the screen shot below:

search engine result page post title before blog title

Note that the result is displayed as Countdown clock for blog: Blogger Tips and Tricks with the post title displayed first followed by the blog title.

Footnote: I discovered the above by examining the "Recent Pageload Activity" in Statcounter visitor counter statistics. This is one of the thing you can gain from installing a visitor counter. Note that not all the results will have this feature. Some not re-indexed by search engines will not have this feature and it will take time before the rest will display the same. How long I do not know but will continue to check the statistics in my visitor counter

Related posts: Post title SEO

Update: Received a comment "yOUR new custom domain is not configured good. Link took me on the google aps page."

The commentator is right. It was only yesterday I converted to custom domain. It will take a few days for the conversion to complete.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Extra Add a gadget (page element)

Update: Nitecruzr has an easier way of adding a gadget above or below the post gadget: Just drag and drop a gadget to above or below the BLOG POST GADGET.

The standard 2 column Blogger template have only 3 ADD A GADGET (page element) as shown in the screen shot below:

standard Blogger layout

It is useful to have extra ADD A GADGETs in the blog Header, below the blog Header and in the main column as shown in the screen shot below:

Blogger layout with extra add a gadget

Examples what I use them for is the Google custom search at the top of the main column and the AdSense link units below this blog title. A blogger also wanted to add a Marquee like the one above the blog title in the demo blog. This can be done by adding extra ADD A GADGET. To do this, go to LAYOUT, click EDIT HTML. This will take you to the template editor. Look for showaddelement. Change showaddelement='no' to showaddelement='yes'. If there is a a maxwidgets='1' in front of the showaddelement. Change it to maxwidgets='2' or more or even leave it as maxwidgets='' (unlimited number). If you have problem looking for the above, press ctrl+F and search.

The above (searchbox, ad unit, marquee) were added using a HTML/Javascript gadget. Whatever you add can be dragged to any sections of your blog using your mouse.

Bloggers Tips and Tricks new URL (custom domain)

This blog has converted to custom domain and the new blog URL is Those who are following this blog please take note.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hyphen in blog URL - good or bad?

In a 3 year old post How to build traffic to your blog, I have mentioned that it is good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to include key words in the blog URL and that search engines cannot distinguish between words in a compound word like for example This I learned from WebCEO. I got to thank a reader whose blog is Inside that ad who asked about changing the blog URL to include hyphen whose motivation to change was that old post. I am grateful that he has drawn my attention to that post which reminded me that I need to do an update on that post. I got to state here that what WebCEO taught is not true because you can try to google, for example, blogger for dummies, and you will see in the results page that the 3 words are highlighted (bold). this showed that search engines can separate out words in words combined into a single compound word. Thus if you have something in your current URL similar to bloggerfordummies, do not try to change the blog URL especially if it is an old blog as you will get dead links and will have to start all over again. I for one will only change to something like blogger-for-dummies only if bloggerfordummies had already been taken but I still want the words blogger and dummies in the blog URL.

One further thing. There are people who said that 1 or 2 hyphens may be OK but more than that, the URL becomes spammy.

Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Rounders 3" 3 column template by Amanda Fazani

I love the Rounders 3 template by Douglas Bowman because it is beautiful, green and I think a perfect fit for an environmental blog. However the standard Blogger Rounders 4 template is only 2 column when I prefer 3 column and 4 column. I was thus very happy when Amanda of BloggerBuster converted the standard 2 column to the Rounders 3, 3 column template. I thus used her template for the Environmentally Friendly Presents. Not only has Amanda converted it to 3 column, she also included a very handy Labels cloud. Do have a look at Labels cloud in the right sidebar of Environmentally Friendly Presents, you will fall in love with it I am sure.

Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Top 22 Money-Saving Firefox Extensions

Bloggers don't live in an ivory tower insulated to all the vagaries of life on earth. That includes $$$$$ plus that thing we need to connect with the web - the browser. Firefox was the very first browser with tabbed browsing for me and is my favorite (that is, until Google Chrome burst onto the scene) browser.

So when I received an email telling about this
(Money Saving Firefox Extension)
and asking if I would let my readers know about it, I thought, why not, especially we can save a bit of money or time (time is money), so there you are.

If you do use any of those tips, I would be extremely grateful if you can leave a comment here to let us know of your experience.

Find help, info, instructions, tips, tricks

Tip: Use search box below or this box, labels in the first right sidebar, archive, ctrl+F for this page or sitemap to find topics