Finally exiting the Beta phase, Blogger goes live. Can the real Google Blogger please stand up?
Before I begin, this isn’t going to turn into some kind of Google assassination attempt. Besides, I’m not nearly vocal enough to make a dent, but I can at least try to be heard.
I happen to make use of several Google applications, most of which I’m very happy with. However, some of those applications I am less happy with, principally Google Blogger.
Right now, there’s just not enough compelling new features within Google Blogger to keep the pace with the other free ‘blogging tools out there.
And that’s as good a place as any to start with my list of nine things wrong with Google Blogger:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
OK, so that was back in November and the current Blogger update was well inside the beta phase at that point, so I’ll let that one pass for now.
Let’s hope someone in the know is reading this and my comments are at least considered for the next round of updates…