07 March, 2012
Why Blogspot Blogs Redirect to Country Specific URLs
Blogspot has shaken up millions of bloggers with a rather disturbing and sudden ccTLD (country code top level domain) redirect change.
Your Blogspot blog's URL will now point from:
http://YOURBLOGNAME.blogspot.com.au for Australia, .in for India, depending on the country in which you reside. Other relevant country codes are to follow shortly.
The reason this has stirred up a lot of discussion within bloggers is centered around Page Rank.
Bloggers, having spent between 2, 5 or even 8 years building up their page rank using the blogspot.com URL are now confronted with a PR=0 in their PR rank toolbar checker.
According to Google/Blogspot, all Blogspot.com domains are now redirecting to a country code domain to correspond with the viewer's location. This means that if you are in Australia, and you view a blogspot blog, you will see "blogspot.com.au" at the end of the URL.
What is not so clear is how page rank will be calculated in each country. According to Blogspot, they will try to ensure that multiple domain hosting is not penalized in search engines. This insinuates that this change is a negative rather than a positive, at least in the short term.
Considering that Google (search engine) owns Blogspot (blogging platform), the communication between the two should be a breeze. However this is a large undertaking and most likely will take some time to sort out.
An ideal situation would be that duplicate content would be recognized as from the same site, and page rank/link love would flow back accordingly.
The reasons behind this change: Simplifying content removal. To comply with different laws for different countries, Blogspot can now remove banned material from a country specific site without touching the other country specific domains.
The advantage is that your blog won't get banned when you publish something that contraindicates the laws of a certain country. The likelihood of bloggers knowing which laws apply to which country are quite slim.
The point is, something quite serious and quite powerful is behind this to make Google/Blogger sit up and take notice. Recent legal problems between Google/Blogspot and India are likely to be behind these changes.
Custom domains however, will not be affected. This may begin a bit of a gold rush for buying domain names. Getting your own custom domain is a great way to protect your blog from unexpected updates.
So what has happened to your original blogspot.com blog?
If you go to a page rank checker and type in your .com blogspot URL, your page rank will be intact, which is a good sign for now.
What is not clear is what these changes mean for advertising revenue, post authority and the like. Is this the end of Blogspot blogs as high page ranking juggernauts, money spinners and voices of authority in Google?
Time will tell.
To view a blog in its original US form (using 'no country redirect') you need to enter: