Give Your Blogspot Blog Some Credibility

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If you’re using Google’s Blogger service as your blog-publishing platform, you should seriously consider dropping the suffix from your domain name. A recent study suggests that approximately 75% of Blogspot blogs are spam blogs or ‘splogs’ (full study in PDF). Here’s what you can do to prevent being associated with the pre-existing and newly created (because of the study) mistrust towards Blogger blogs.
If you wish to continue using Blogger, but want to drop the blogspot domain name, simply take advantage of the service’s Custom Domain option. Google launched this feature back in January, to allow you to take a domain that you already own and point your Blogger blog towards it. For example if your blog’s domain is currently and you own the domain, you can point Blogger to that domain. Consequently, a post that was previously found at would now be found at
It’s a seamless transition and Blogger ensures that anyone who types in your old blogspot domain name is automatically redirected to your new domain name. While there is the added cost of purchasing the domain, sites like GoDaddy routinely offer them for less than $10 per year. If you are trying to give your blog a little respectability, it’s a small price to pay.

Blogger has a tutorial on their help site that leads you through the process. Although there are some terms like DNS servers and CNAME records that might be a little confusing at first, it’s a fairly straight forward process. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I can answer them or direct you to a place that will be able to.
When this service launched in January I was one of the first to jump on board as I moved my ParisLemon blog over from to simply The move is already paying dividends, and I attribute at least some of the success over the past few months to the change.
Blogger no doubt still has other issues that it needs to improve to compete with the standards set by platforms like WordPress and MovableType (such as an overhaul of the comment system so it’s no longer a multiple page process, and the ability to create multiple pages for blogs, and so on), but in terms of quickly and easily setting up a blog from scratch, it’s hard to beat (no wonder spammers love it).
So don’t wait for Google to rise to the occasion and fix the service any time soon. Your reputation is in your hands, distinguish your blog from the millions of other generic blogs by giving it a custom domain name and giving it some credibility in the process.

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  • Dharmesh Shah

    Could not agree with you more.
    If for no other reasons, Blogger users should have their own domain because as soon as possible because it’s so hard to change this later (and no sense building SEO around a domain).

  • engtech

    So true.
    If you are remotely serious about blogging you should have your own domain name. It gives you complete flexibility to move, change blogging software, etc etc.

  • Chris Hemphill

    I think as far as free goes blogger is great. I was using a free wordpress account, but I didn’t like how little control I had of the site. So for as long as I’m writing and no one is reading I will keep using blogger.

  • Tim

    If you have a domain name with Dotster, you can add DNS Managemnet (which allows CNAME, etc.) for $10/year as well. Good on Blogger and Google for adding this feature to our Blogspot blogs.

  • Zach Katkin

    Something HAS to be done to prevent that 75% spam blogs on this system. Something has to be done in general to prevent this.
    Do you offer any suggestions on how to eliminate or bring that number down? Perhaps make owners of spam blogs and web sites type on a keyboard with razor blades?
    As much as I love AdWords and it’s counter part AdSense, as well as the myriad of other search marketing solutions offered by affiliate programs and search engines it has led to a huge explosion in fake ad sites.

  • MG Siegler

    @Zach, I would say Google needs to rework their sign-up process for a Blogger blog. Even if it’s a little harder initially for everyone to sign up, I think users will gladly take a few extra steps if it means knowing that everyone on the Internet won’t consider their blog a splog at first glance of their URL.
    Another thought is that perhaps the inclusion of free custom domain forwarding is one of the ways Google is trying to keep people on Blogger without having to try and filter out splogs. Other services like charge $10 a year for a custom domain ON TOP of what you already paid for the domain itself (I believe it’s $15 for a combo deal).

  • Ahmed

    I own a domain from GoDaddy, but apparently I can’t control the DNS settings unless I purchase hosting plan from them, which is useless because Google would host the blog for free. Is there a way to solve this?

  • MG Siegler

    You shouldn’t have to Ahmed. On your GoDaddy control panel when you click on your domain name, is there an Advanced DNS Settings link somewhere along the top?
    If there is, click that and you should find what you need.
    As far as I know all of GoDaddy’s services, even the cheapest single domain name purchases, allow for the editing of DNS settings.

  • MG Siegler

    An excellent question Laurel, and one I ran into somewhat. When I switched mine over, Google took its sweet time indexing my new URL and my pagerank plummeted.
    That said, I may have done this to myself as I actually switched domains TWICE, first to then a few days later to I think my indecision may have raised a red flag with Google, hence the wait.
    Others have told me they switched over with no problems…
    More then 3 months later however I notice that while my site is fine with Yahoo and Microsoft searches, Google is still severely lacking at turning up content.
    So yes, if any of that scares you, you may be better off switching to WordPress. I haven’t had any experience with it, but I too have given it some thought.

  • JC

    I’ve also made use of custom domains with my site. Still waiting for the PR to reappear a couple of months later. It’s indexing okay though.
    For those in the UK, offer domain names only with full DNS configuration – it’s easy to do.
    I like blogger and would like it more if it offered a superior range of (multi-page) templates. For me, that’s the biggest disadvantage of blogger compared to wordpress.

  • Ahmed

    MG Siegler, there is no Advanced DNS Settings link in the domain control center page. There should be a link next to Total DNS: but instead I find: (Not hosted here).

  • Paula Mooney

    Be warned that your Technorati ranking may suffer when you do this change, because folks will begin linking to your new blog URL and the old one will still have the old links.
    Technorati hasn’t merged them yet…
    That’s the only reason I haven’t dropped the blogspot yet.

  • MG Siegler

    @Laurel yeah I’d definitely figure out a solid name first, then make the switch (or do WordPress, didn’t know about forum integration, that is pretty cool)…good luck with the name.
    @JC, good tip for people in the UK.
    @Ahmed, that is very odd, none of mine are hosted with GoDaddy, but I see no such thing. I would contact GoDaddy, they have been decent with responding to me the few times I tried. Otherwise I’ll try and find some more info for you later on.
    @Paula, another great point! I emailed Technorati about this a little after my switch and they wrote me back saying that unfortunately there was nothing they could do at this point on their end to transfer the inbound links to the new URL.
    You would have to email every site that linked to you and ask them to make the switch…which would be not only annoying to you and them, but unreasonable. Everyone should take that into consideration.

  • Ahmed

    Thanks, MG. I appreciate it.

  • Ahmed

    Thanks MG, I finally managed to do it. One question though: how can I drop the www from the address?

  • MG Siegler

    I’m not sure that you can set Blogger to point to the non www (or whatever prefix you are using) version, what I did was set up a redirect on the domain’s godaddy page that points to (where blogger is pointing my blog to).

  • Richard

    I did some research on tis for a number of Irish bloggers and found that the custom domain feature was a bit of a crapshot. The system seemed to be quite fussy about where you published to (subdomain/main domain) and returned errors of various flavours during my testing. My advice is get off the platform all together – if you can buy the domain and set this up then just point your Blogger account at a new domain and host your own blog on a decent platform like WordPress. WordPress have a new Blogger export utility which should appear in the next version I believe.

  • Rob Spence

    I’ve tried to move, and partially succeeded. I have my own domain – and I’ve managed to set it up so that typing in that address gets youu to my blog. But I’m lost with the Cname stuff, and my domain company aren’t answering emails. Any ideas would be gratefully received.

  • Vern

    I’m a bit confused about Google’s host your site off-blogspot option. I love godaddy and will use them to purchase a domain name, but, do I need only the domain name or do I have to purchase a hosting account also? Does blogger send my posts TO a folder ON my godaddy hosting account? If so – then yeah, I need hosting too. Anyone?

  • Vern

    Ok, I figured it out -there are actually 2 ways to get your own domain name despite working with blogger. One is custom domain name. The other is FTP publishing to your hosted account located elsewhere (godaddy for instance). Thanks for your post. Nice blog design. Pronet huh? I’ve not seen that before. Nice formatting.

  • MG Siegler

    @Richard – fair enough, if you feel comfortable with being able to move your site over to WordPress and don’t mind paying for hosting I say go for it, it’s a very solid platform.
    @Rob Spence – it sounds like right now what you have set up might be a simple URL forwarding – you change the CNAME via your domain company’s control panel for your account, so they should be able to walk you through that if they ever respond to your emails.
    @Vern – right on, there are two methods to post or your own domain, custom domain and FTP – with custom domain google is still hosting your content while with FTP you, or whoever is hosting your site hosts the content.

  • Rob

    Thanks – I’ll chase them up.

  • Rob

    Ok thanks for the advice.

  • Rangan

    Yes, as you rightly said, those terms like DNS and “You need to create a CNAME record for your domain with the DNS, associating your domain with” are threatening to me.
    You said you will help. Will you please?