Country Specific Google Blogger Blog Web Addresses

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to read a Blogger blog web address using your country’s domain extension.

Currently, Australia is the only country that has the country-specific Blogger URLs implemented.  The complete Google Blogger country roll-out is supposed to take a while.  Update:  all visitors from India to blogs hosted on Google’s Blogger now see the URLs [yourblogname].blogspot.in rather than .blogspot.com as before.

After the changes roll out, visiting a blog at [yourblogname].blogspot.com will take the visitor to a blogger version for their own country. For example, blogs will redirect to [yourblogname].blogspot.com.au when a blog visitor from Australia goes to the Australian Blogger blog.

The reason Google has begun to direct users that read blogs on its Blogger/Blogspot platform to country-specific URLs is to help prevent censorship laws from any one country affecting those that may not find the content objectionable.

What this means is that in the event that content is banned in a certain country, and Google is required to remove it, it will still be made available for readers in other countries.

According to Google, the move is mainly to enable it to selectively block content in a particular country, in accordance with country-specific laws, while allowing it to be available to other users around the world.

“Migrating to localised domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law.” it said.

“Content removals can be managed on a per-country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD [country-code top-level domain],” Google’s support pages read.

Google already has ccTLDs implemented for its search engine, which return results tailored to the user’s location, and in some cases have been filtered to comply with local laws.

Similar to how users can opt to use the US version of Google search, users can view country-specific version of blogs by entering a special “no country redirect” (NCR) URL. For example, Australians can choose to view the US version of a blog by navigating to [yourblogname].blogspot.com/ncr. This sets a cookie in the user’s browser to stop redirection to the default local version.

If you self-host your blog, you may want to consider getting web hosting in your native country.  For example, an Australian blog may want to get HostPapa Australia web hosting to help avoid censorship issues from other countries like, say, China.

Also, if you depend on your Blogger hosted blog for say business or other important reasons, it’s time to “grow-up” and host your blog in your own web hosting account.  See best blog hosting for more details.

The new Blogger URL changes have SEO experts concerned.  Search engines traditionally penalize sites with extensive “duplicate” content.  Having content across multiple country extensions may hurt your site.  In addition, it’s unclear how Facebook ‘likes’ and other stat counters, some of which are domain specific, will change with the Blogger redirects.

 




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