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A Look At The New Blogspot Search Preference Update

I was so pleased with the latest update (March 22) to the Blogspot platform I've decided to make a post on it. Major updates for the platform are few and far between and Google seem to be more interested in looks than blog mechanics at the minute; which is why I was pretty shocked to see this come out. If you are ever interested, you can read all the latest Blogspot updates on the official Blogger Buzz blog-site. It's got some good articles and in-depth guides that you might find useful.

In the latest update, Google have focused on improved search preferences; in a nut shell, how a blog is viewed by search engines. So what did Mr G have to say about it all:

"Ensuring that your blog, posts, and images are accurately indexed so they appear correctly in search results is valuable. Today we introduced a suite of new features that enable you to more effectively customize your search preferences. Managing how your blog is viewed by search engines  is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy blog, regardless of whether you’re new to blogging, or a seasoned veteran."

You can access search preference settings using the 'Search Preference' option under the 'Settings' tab. One thing I did notice is that this option is only available to people using the new interface, so you will need to upgrade unfortunately.

Clicking on the 'Search Preference' option will display three sub-sections: meta tags, errors and redirections, and crawlers and indexing.

"When enabled, some of these features, such as Search Description  and Custom robots header tags  will also appear in the “Post settings” area of Blogger's post editor as well. For example, if you elect to create a Search Description , you may do so for your blog, and/or individual posts."

This is the 'Meta Tags' sub-section. If you have already implemented the meta description tag into your blog HTML code (article can be found here), I don't think you need to worry about this setting. I'm unsure what the effects would be of enabling this option alongside already implemented meta description tags, so I would use either one or the other for now. You can also edit meta descriptions for each individual post and page.

Another great feature is the 'Custom Page Not Found' setting. This was something a Blogspot user was unable to implement before the update. You are able to enter a HTML message that will be displayed on the 'Page Not Found' page (instead of the generic message) when somebody clicks a old or erroneous link to your blog.

While majority of the new features are located in the 'Search Preference' option, a few more can be found in the post editor. Google have introduced setting which allows the incorporation of image ALT and TITLE tags (something you could only do manually before, check this article out here).

There is also an option that automatically adds 'rel=nofollow' attribute to a link. Would I advise this? In most cases, I would say no. There has been skepticism in the past where webmasters have claimed massive SERP boosts and increase page rank after adding 'rel=nofollow' attribute to all their links. I believe if you're linking to a page relating to your content (which is what you should be doing anyways), you shouldn't really need to worry about this.

Finally, there are some complex options found in the 'Search Preference' option that I haven't yet touched upon (custom robots and header tag settings), but believe to be useless to the normal Blogspot user. What did Mr G say about this:

"While most of these features are easy to understand and use, others, such as custom robots header tags are geared toward advanced users only, hence the warning message:

Before diving in, I would encourage a quick read through the Help Center articles . They’re comprehensive, and do a great job translating some technical concepts to the layperson."

What do you think of the new updates by Google? Drop Blogspot SEO a comment and tell us what you think! Why not join our Twitter or Facebook group and support Blogspot SEO! You can also follow us by joining our FeedBurner list. Not only will you receive all the latest updates, but you will get free SEO eBooks and software that you can use to rank your Blogspot blog or website. You can find out more information here.

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