It seems a change is being happening on Google’s blog network, Blogger in India. If you try to access your blog or any blogger hosted blogs in India, you will notice that its been redirected to bloggers Indian specific domain blogspot.in instead of the regular blogspot.com. This seems not an isolated change happening, the redirection in blogger domain is happening in many of the countries.
According to one of the Google blogger help page “Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog your reading has been redirected to a country-code top-level domain, or “ccTLD.” For example, if you’re in India and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected [blogname].blogspot.in. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.“
If you visit a blog that does not correspond to your current location as determined by your IP address, the blogspot servers will redirect you to the domain associated with your country, if it’s a supported ccTLD. Blog readers may request a specific country version of the blogspot content by entering a specially formatted “NCR” URL. NCR stands for “No Country Redirect” and will always display buzz.blogger.com in English, whether you’re in India, Brazil, Honduras, Germany, or anywhere. For example: http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr – always goes to the U.S. English blog. This special URL sets a short-lived cookie (session and/or a short life time) that will prevent geo-based redirection from the requested domain. This applies to all web browsers and all Operating Systems.
Google is saying its a routinely launch limited updates, so in the coming months we will notice more ccTLDs on additional countries. This changes are happening because Google is trying to migrate to localized domains which will allow them to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while 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. So it seems more directed to the law enforcement in specific countries and also this will provide more control on the blogger blogs.
There seems to be many effects on search engine optimization (SEO) done on the blog caused due to redirection. Many users are reporting decrease in traffic and ranking, Alexa ranking of many blogs seems to be effected due to it. Also the share buttons (tweeter, Facebook) on this blogs seems to be displaying wrongly. Mostly after this url change, crawlers will find Blogspot content on many different domains. Hosting duplicate content on different domains can affect search results, but Google is trying to make every effort to minimize any negative consequences of hosting Blogspot content on multiple domains.
The majority of content hosted on different domains will be unaffected by content removals, and therefore identical. For all such content, Google will specify the blogspot.com version as the canonical version using rel=canonical. This will let crawlers know that although the URLs are different, the content is the same. When a post or blog in a country is affected by a content removal, the canonical URL will be set to that country’s ccTLD instead of the .com version. This will ensure that Google aren’t marking different content with the same canonical tag.
We will closely watching the blogger.com for updates and will report it here as soon as we get it. We still need to wait to see how this change effects on other search engines (like Bing,Yahoo etc). Do comment your views on this change by blogger?