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17 things wrong with Google Blogger

Monday, 18 June 2007 — by

I thought I’d revise a much earlier article about Google Blogger with some more of my whinging & whining and how things would be much better if only Google listened to me for a moment or ten. But then I decided to invite someone else and let them set loose their own whinging & whining, too. After which, I think we’ll have a hug, a sing-song and maybe a little cry…

So here’s a list of seventeen things that’re like totally and heinously wrong with Google Blogger, dude:

  1. Why do we still not have proper integration with the Google Webmaster Tools? Why does Blogger not auto-generate a Sitemap? There’s no way of adding a Sitemap to a Google Blogger account, which is a real pity.
  2. Why can I not choose the file name of my articles? Yes, yes, you can do this by keeping the file name small enough, but that’s not good enough. I want to at least be able to not only name my articles, but also choose the name of the actual file, too.
  3. And while we’re on the subject of file names, Google Blogger seems to cut off an article’s file name at or around 41 characters. Since this is the way things are, why isn’t there some kind of warning? After all, isn’t writing good headlines is the grand prize, here? C’mon, guys!
  4. If we’re going to have some kind of inclusion of Google AdSense in Blogger, why not make a decent fist of it? Right now, you can drop AdSense elements into your template, but why not within the body of the article itself?
  5. For the sake of all that’s sane & proper, why oh why oh why can I not remove the title of my ‘blog from my articles? In the current scenario, the so-called ‘smart title’ tag works along the lines of: “Blah, Blah! Technology” for the home page.However, for the actual article pages, I get: “Blah, Blah! Technology: How close are we to Star Trek technology?” which is an utter nonsense! This kind of illogical title formatting is utterly murdering my rankings and search relevance and is in short, SEO homicide.
  6. What’s a Label, anyway? To me, the new Labels are some halfway house between proper, full-blown categories and Tags, but ends up being neither one nor the other. Can we not just have Categories and Tags please? And just forgo the altered nomenclature that just confuses people to hell and back.
  7. Whenever I add or edit an article, I get a little rolling notification from Google advertising some of their other applications. One in particular is: “Write. Share. Post. Post to Blogger from Google Docs & Spreadsheets.”Doesn’t that strike you as being a little weird? Here’s a better idea: why not integrate Google Docs with Blogger so that I can create my articles from within Blogger instead of having to compose them on my Mac before then having to export them as HTML and hand adjust the code so that my articles look the way I want them to?
  8. Why can I not manage my article comments from within Blogger? Why do I have to actually go to my ‘blog to remove the Spam? This is just a complete oversight. This at least should have made the update, if nothing else.
  9. Let’s drop the Blogger NavBar, OK? Or at least give us the option to hide it. I’ve used some CSS know-how to knock the navigation off the top of my page, giving me some more vertical space.
  10. In my opinion, the Help system isn’t all that good. Specifically with regards to the more technical stuff. The descriptions are usually abstract, making huge assumptions about your knowledge of Google Bloggers template options without providing any supplementary links to any sources that might help enlighten you in that regard.I’ve had people tell me to just go and try different stuff. Frankly, that’s not good enough. I want a help system that actually helps and doesn’t require of me to experiment.

And here’s 2 more…

  1. I’ve now got past the 360 posts mark, so I’ve got a lot of content I need to wade through for reference, for emailing out to people, to include in more recent articles, ‘blog comments – you get the idea, right? So why on Earth is the search tool under Posts » Edit Posts not the same search tool Google use for the web? I appreciate that searching the web is a little different, but this is awful, it’s primitive and it’s often wildly inaccurate. Guys, search is your thing, what’s going on here?
  2. OK, we’ve seen what Yahoo! can do when it comes to mashups, so we need to see more of the same from Google. What we need is Flickr, YouTube, Last.fm and del.icio.us integration right out of the box. Let’s really get those articles buzzing with ‘sticky’ content, yeah?

And just for good measure, here’s 5 more things wrong with Google Blogger from M.G. Siegler over on Parislemon.

  1. The comments features. I absolutely hate that you get redirected to another page to leave a comment. Blogger desperately need a more Ajax-y method that does it all on page.
  2. The lack of pages. WordPress allows you to create any number of pages in addition to posts. Google Blogger could definitely benefit from having things like an ‘About’ page.
  3. Lack of templates and making it somewhat difficult to customize your own.
  4. The fact that you can’t get stats on your RSS readers. Yes you can do this with FeedBurner, but I know I have at least 50+ subscribers who signed up with my Blogger RSS and not my FeedBurner RSS. Hopefully this will change as Google bought FeedBurner [Ed. which could lead to all kinds of crazy monetization and analytics tools.]
  5. The fact that most Google Blogger ‘blogs are assumed to be spam ‘blogs since something ridiculous like 70% (I dont recall the exact number) are.

In conclusion

As users of Google Blogger, all we want are the same tools the other ‘blogging platforms offer.

If such updates aren’t forthcoming, then there’s little reason for likes of M.G. Siegler and myself to stick around.

And the problem for Google is that it’s the likes of M.G. Siegler and myself who make Google Blogger a respectable ‘blogging platform to use.

But I’ve been saying this for about a year, so just ignore me…

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Comment and be known


David Bradley → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 10:48 BDT

You could always switch to a proper blog CMS on your own domain. Now, that Blogspot allows 301 redirects to a standalone domain, you won’t even lose your pagerank etc if you do it right.

Wayne Smallman → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 11:52 BDT

That is the long-term goal, and the new web address is part of that strategy.

I’m still holding out for Google to get Blogger up-to-date and competitive with the likes of WordPress, so I can indulge my inner bloke, i.e.: be lazy and not make any effort at all…

David Bradley → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 14:03 BDT

the next step, of course, is to have a bot write unique, original, fascinating content for you while you’re sunning yourself on a beach somewhere…well that’s my aim, anyway ;-)

db

Wayne Smallman → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 14:41 BDT

Funny you should mention that.

I’m off on holiday at the end of the month…

ilker → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 19:45 BDT

You forgot the limitation of image sizes you can upload to Google Blogger. It allows for a max of 400px and anything larger becomes a thumbnail.

Wayne Smallman → Monday, 18 June 2007 @ 20:23 BDT

Hi Ilker! I’m guessing you didn’t get my message on StumbleUpon.

I didn’t go with your comments because you’re mostly happy with Google Blogger, and I didn’t think it’d be fair to drag you in on me having a moan!

Thanks for your comments anyway. The more the merrier…

Gil → Tuesday, 13 November 2007 @ 21:07 BDT

I’m kind of new to the bloging thing (so much time, so little to say, effectivey anyway) and like many “basic” users rely upon the simplicity of use that Google often demonstrates (and has excelled at in the past) for those of us who don’t hold degrees or relevant experience in code that you guys clearly do. I have to say that I agree with your points whole heartedly. Even as a novice I find Google Blogger limited in linking to other web content. Google PLEASE add more customisation options, especially the Nav-bar thing. It’s hard to find stuff!

Otherwise guys, thank you for this, The more I read the more I’m picking up, Keep up the good work.

Wayne Smallman → Tuesday, 13 November 2007 @ 21:23 BDT

Hi Gil! I’m glad you found this article helpful.

You’ll be happy to know that there is a way to disable the Navbar on Google Blogger ‘blogs, but it does involve messing around with your ‘blog template.

Just click on the link above and you’ll find a neat little step-by-step guide.

Incidentally, I’m no longer with Google Blogger. As of mid(ish) October, I flitted to WordPress, which I’m enjoying immensely…

Zinni → Sunday, 8 June 2008 @ 18:37 BDT

I think the reason that most of these things won’t change is that Google Blogger users would hardly be considered power users. Any serious blogger would never use Blogger because of all these reasons and a lack of control. Web hosting has become so inexpensive that really giving it a go on your own is not that risky.

For those reasons I doubt that we will really see much of a change. Not to mention that so many of the blogs are spam blogs and all they care about are making links to their porn.

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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