Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ZenTiger Google have stuffed up NZ Blogger domains (Update 2)

This morning, without any obvious warning, Google decided to implement new region based domain names for all NZ and Australian Blogger accounts. Our post: Has Blogger Changed Our Domain Name?

So our assigned URL went from nzconservative.blogspot.com to nzconservative.co.nz for people accessing the .com address in NZ.

However, if you live in Australia, you'd instead see nzconservative.com.au.

If you happened to be in the USA and accessed our blog directly, it would presumably resolve to the .com address, but one commenter from Texas has noted that by going via a link on an Australian blog, they also get the .com.au address. This change has also affected other NZ blogs such as Contra Celsum, No Minister, Liberty Scott, Oswald Bastable's Ranting and so on.

In general terms, this should have no direct impact to our blog. Sure, it makes it easier for the government to apply filters to shut down our blog in NZ, but to complain about that here might get our blog shut down, so I'll save it to another post.

Google, in a document provided by the Blogger Support, assure us there is really no big deal, but they don't cover all options. Perhaps they felt that the Australian and NZ market is small enough to act as guinea pigs, and they'll smile and wave and assure us things are good and work out how to fix it for the rest of the world. We'll see. In the meantime, there are some immediate consequences in the area of blog rankings.

UPDATE 8:30PM:
Blogger have just rolled back the changes. Fantastic.

This will give us more time to assess our options.

Andrei looked at the site counter statistics and it looks like the Google ones might be OK, as they go off a different time zone starting point. So I've removed that part of the discussion.

The Alexa counter though will not cope with these (eventual?) Blogger changes. The nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz is not recognised AT ALL as a valid website, because Alexa doesn't currently treat the blog names specified as a sub domain as a distinct blog address. They've done this specifically for the sub domains under blogger.com and I don't know how or when they will account for the blogspot.co.nz sub domains, but I'll presume that if blogger provide better advance notice, other parties will be able to test and alter their tools to accommodate the new approach.

I'm still considering registering a separate domain and pointing all traffic to the new domain. Only problem is that Google may simply be slightly ahead of the curve and we can expect regional domains to fall under the new controls the governments of the world seem to be very keen to impose. In that regard, Google providing a way of keeping the pages up in countries outside of the one requesting the block may be a good move. I look forward to more conversation on this topic.

UPDATE 2 AT 8:51PM:
I just tested nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz and it still works, the only difference being it only takes me there if I explicitly type that address. If I use my old bookmarks, I am not redirected to the .co.nz. I don't know if this is a leftover from the change this morning, or it always worked that way. Interesting.

6 comment(s):

Andrei said...

It's no biggie really Zen.

A custom Domain name would fix.

Alexa is a load of bollocks anyway is way off the mark - its effectively spyware anyway.

Forget Wordpress - horrible software = constrains what you can do and you have to pay to break the constraints. It is very nasty, easy to use if you don't want to do much but very restricting, also buggy and slow. Blogger is way way better for all its faults.

Maybe discuss further off line?

Andrei said...

BTW statcounter is way off mark too - misses heaps, like mobile devices often, feed readers.

I know this from sites I run where I have the raw logs and can see how much Statcounter doesn't see and also why it doesn't see it

Andrei said...

A rollback has happened!!!!!

dad4justice said...

keep kewl too after school;-) this blog is the real deal, girls and boys.

Andrei said...

You can see where they are coming from.

Names of the Master and Second Mate of the Rena are suppressed in New Zealand but they have been published along with their photographs in the Philippines.

So if we put a post up? Just a link to Philippines article? Google has to operate in NZ according to NZ Law and as they own blogspot.com domain they are responsible.


we are using blogspot.com but they have responsibility - if the post is put up by someone in Australia or the Philippines the Government can go after Google. This way Google can comply with NZ Law and the post can remain, it is legitimate after all everywhere but NZ.

As to whether we or Google for that matter agree with the law in that case is another matter - another discussion

ZenTiger said...

They are responsible in the same way Toyota is with regard to every drunk driver that gets behind the wheel of a Toyota - but yes, the law has decided to make them responsible for the action. It's a new form of fascism where the government still acts as a police state, but it gets corporates to actually do all the leg work, and rather than taxes going up, the Google advertising rates are increased. Brilliant really.

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