Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ZenTiger Has Blogger (Google) changed our domain name?

I am alarmed to see our assigned NZ conservative domain name changed from a dot com (xxx.blogspot.com) address to a dot co dot nz xxx.blogspot.co.nz) address.

At this stage, it seems to me that Google have arbitrarily changed our assigned domain name without any form of notification or warning. Even though there is a redirect on, I'm not sure if it is also the cause of several issues I've experienced with some browser utilities and have yet to see the impact on our Stat Counter tools. A quick look and it seems Alexa has picked up the change, with our page rank going from 322,000 or so to 16 million, supposedly as it is detecting a new blog.

Has anyone else noticed their NZ blogger domains changing?

Update: A "planned" event to make it easier to allow different countries to prevent blog sites from publishing content in their country. Read the details here: Why does my blog redirect to a country specific URL?

If you want to preserve your blog address you need to add a "no country redirect" (/ncr) following the blog address, thus: nzconservative.blogspot.com/ncr where ever you create links or leave your blog URL. Not sure of the advantages this would provide, unless your country decides to block the country specific blog sites. Update: According to Google: "Blog owners should not see any visible differences to their blog other than the URL redirecting to a ccTLD. URLs of custom domains will be unaffected."

Hah! Not so, it looks like it's going to play havoc with our (Alexa) site rankings. I'll do a post to explain how later.

Update: Google have rolled back the changes. More here: The post I said I'd do later.

31 comment(s):

Martin Kearns said...

Hello ZenTiger

Greetings from the UK - visiting after seeing your comment in the Blogger help forums.

From where I am sitting your blogspot domain name resolves to.... your blogspot domain name; I have nzconservative.blogspot.com in the browser bar. Tested using IE 9 and FF8.

Hopfully, you are now also seeing your regular "blogspot" domain name too, and no unusual .co.nz or whatever.

Nice design, by the way.

ZenTiger said...

Hi Martin. I've just updated my post to show the URL bar, and seen that another NZ blogspot blog has suffered the same fate.

Alexa have created a new "site" for this entry, and our incoming links have disappeared.

That, and your comment indicate the change was very recent, and the DNS hasn't got around to updating over in the UK.

I'm wondering now if we'll lose all our old incoming links and so forth. Whilst the redirect is up, that may not matter but the redirect may only exist for a certain amount of time?

I can't find any information on Blogger announcing this. Is something else afoot?

ZenTiger said...

Checking Other sites:

http://jtcontracelsum.blogspot.co.nz/

http://oswaldbastable.blogspot.co.nz/


3 for 3 so far.

KG said...

Hi Zen. It shows as nzconservative.blogspot.com.au
here.(Firefox)

Andrei said...

Well I'll be - it's a none issue though.

The redirects will take care of everything - statcounter wont care, you can use Statecounter across multiple domains.

Looks like it messes with Alexa but that's a big who cares

ZenTiger said...

Awesome. Just checked an American blog, homed in America and it now comes up as .co.nz.

Starting to to look like some sort of error that will probably be fixed. (?)

Martin Kearns said...

This is either a glitch - or an act of mischief (possibly on the part of someone who is leaving Google's employ today?)

No way Google would implement a change like this without either consultation or prior notification with the people affected.

A British pound says it will be fixed within 2 hours :-)

ZenTiger said...

Andrei - up until the redirect gets turned off, if it had been a move to create country specific blog addresses.

also, I wondered if creating a .co.nz set makes it any easier to filter NZ blogs at some point in the future, so when a judge asks for name suppression, he also puts in place a mandatory blog shut down! Too paranoid? You don't know the 2020's like I do :)

ZenTiger said...

Thanks Martin. I'll spend the next two hours wallowing in conspiracy theories, and then get back to mowing the lawn.

KG said...

"Too paranoid?"
There's no such thing.

ZenTiger said...

I like Martin's profile description:

Possessed of a rare intelligence; swift, sure, ruthless and most dangerous when cornered... I am none of these things.

Well, he was swift. I cannot discount the rest now.

Lucia Maria said...

Looking at our stat counter, it seems to have happened somewhere between 8:26 am, when we had our last clean incoming link from nominister.blogspot.com, and 9:44am when keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz was the first blogspot.co.nz link to register on statcounter.

Martin Kearns said...

Oh bugger.

Andrei said...

What it means is that if we post something that offends the Chinese Government that post can be blocked in China but be available everywhere else.

Likewise breach NZ suppression orders on an American blog and that post can be suppressed in NZ

ZenTiger said...

Thanks again Martin for that link.

Seems my paranoia was not misplaced after all.

Q: Why is this happening?
A: Migrating to localized domains will ... providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law.

By utilizing ccTLDs, 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.


Although, on the face of it this would mean the NZ Government could take our .co.nz blog offline, but potentially leave our .com blog intact for American readers, so could be to our advantage in a sense.

On the other hand, it gets easier for China to filter out all .co.nz domains in the same way I'd like to see all porn sites restricted to .xxx domains for easier filtering.

ZenTiger said...

Snap Andrei, but still very interesting all the same. It's a signal that governments all over the world are going to be exercising more control over the internet.

Of course the NZ Government will only ever use the best reasons for such censorship, so no worries there. I for one support our alien overlords and the decisions they make for our own benefit.

On the other hand, the /ncr addressing option may prove to be useful.

KG said...

Just one question: Why the hell is Google co-operating in making government censorship easier?

Lucia Maria said...

KG,

It must help them.

They've already co operated with California putting pressure on Amazon (something to do with taxes) by removing easy functionality to a widget that looked up Amazon books and put in links from Blogger. That's gone now, and I've had to learn how to put those links in manually.

KG said...

Thanks LM.
Google search has a strong leftwards bias, the company co-operates with governments to facilitate censorship. I don't understand why any conservative would deal with them.

Lucia Maria said...

KG,

To this point, they've been the most stable and reliable blog platform. Having had a blog in times gone past that just disappeared into the ether (except for Google taking copies and preserving it in the Wayback engine), reliability has been important.

We also have a very high Google ranking - any issue that is topical in NZ, if we do a post on it, anyone searching on it will find our post on the first page very quickly.

There's pluses and minuses, really.

KG said...

I don't know of any "plus" which outweighs the evils of government censorship, LM.

KG said...

"..any issue that is topical in NZ, if we do a post on it, anyone searching on it will find our post on the first page very quickly."

Just so long as the government doesn't object to what you say about that topical issue....

Lucia Maria said...

KG,

Yes. Deal with that when we come to it! :)

KG said...

If you won't fight it now, I doubt you will fight it then, when it will be much harder.

Lucia Maria said...

Why are you assuming we are not fighting this? We have this post up, and have been posting on the Google forums as well. Not to mention a post on Alexa as well, who seem to be swamped with all the potentially millions of extra web addresses.

We fight with words, KG.

KG said...

Why?
"There's pluses and minuses, really"

Seemed to be a pretty good clue. But I'm glad to hear I was mistaken.

Lucia Maria said...

Ah, that makes sense.

You know, with a large part of my Dad's family being killed by communists, I've taken on the understanding that things can change very quickly and that safety is an illusion.

Therefore, there is a lot I don't tend to say online. Like why and how and what I'm doing - I prefer to keep that to myself, unless I choose to reveal it for a reason. Likewise, I also prefer not to link up all my online activities for easy access for whomever.

Of course, it may be all pointless, but I'm prepared to take the risk by keeping on blogging - and that's what Governments and Corporates are afraid of.

Diamond Mair said...

ZT, FWIW, viewing in the wilds NNE of Houston, TX, your URL is showing as: http://nzconservative.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/has-blogger-google-changed-our-domain.html
Emphasis added

I don't recall your previous URL, so as I indicated, FWIW ..................

Semper Fi'
DM

ZenTiger said...

Thanks DM. Interesting that you get an au domain. It was .com previously.

Andrei said...

Interesting that you get an au domain.

It is because he followed a Link fron CR built from a permalink obtained in Australia.

Seems Aus and NZ are the guinea pigs for this rollout

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