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Create a Custom "Page Not Found" page for your Blogger blog

You can create a custom 404 error page for your Blogger blog in just a few steps.

1. Create your error page as a Draft Blogger Blog post
2. Copy the post HTML
3. Open your blog's Settings > Search Preferences
4. Under "Errors and Redirections" click the option to "Edit" Custom Page Not Found
5. Paste in the HTML of your Custom Error Page and click "Save Changes"

Note that the HTML must be less than 10,000 characters.

You can test how your error page looks by trying to open a page on your blog that doesn't exist - just add random characters after a slash at the end of your blog's URL.

Get detailed instructions:
https://www.peggyktc.com/2018/03/blogger-custom-page-not-found.html

Watch the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsUb900ZZZM
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Come discuss Blogger! I'll be joining Michael Daniels live on January 23 at 5PM PST

Bring your questions and comments.

Click the video link to set a reminder on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWUNFvrCApc
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Tips to succeed in Google News

If you want your content to appear in Google News successfully, follow these tips:

* Present clear headlines
* Provide accurate times and dates on your articles
* Block scraped or rewritten content - make it original
* Avoid duplicate content
* Be transparent about who you and your authors are
* Don't be deceptive

Google News Content Guidelines:
https://support.google.com/news/publisher-center/answer/6204050

Google News Technical Guidelines:
https://support.google.com/news/publisher-center/topic/9010253

Get all the detailed tips from +Google Webmasters for succeeding in Google News:
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2019/01/ways-to-succeed-in-google-news.html
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Newspack by WordPress.com is a new platform for small digital news organizations backed by the Google News Initiative

Partners include Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub and is funded by Google News Initiative and other programs that support journalism:

Today we’re excited to announce funding for a new platform, Newspack by WordPress.com, aimed at small- and medium-sized news organizations. Google, through the Google News Initiative, is taking the lead in backing the project and has committed $1.2 million. Other funders include The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which is contributing $400,000; ConsenSys, the venture studio backing Civil Media, which is contributing $350,000; and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is contributing $250,000. An additional $200,000 from a fifth source is expected to be contributed toward the project later this month.

What's the goal? Google explains:

Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems. Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them. So while Newspack publishers will have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the core product is not trying to be all things to all publishers. It is trying to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions that may divert scarce resources. We like to call it "an opinionated CMS:” it knows the right thing to do, even when you don’t.

If you are part of an interested small or medium sized digital news organization, see the official Newspack blog post for instructions how to sign up:
https://newspack.blog/

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (UTC -5:00) on February 1.

Read the announcement from +Google
https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/google-news-initiative/stop-presses-how-new-publishing-platform-can-help-local-news/

Read the announcement from +WordPress
https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/newspack-by-wordpress-com/
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Social Media 20 years ago: the birth of blogging platforms

Anil [Dash] sits down with some of the pioneers of the social web — Bruce Ableson (founder of Diaryland), Lisa Phillips (former senior system administrator at LiveJournal), and Andrew Smales (founder of Open Diary) — for an oral history about social media 20 years ago. What was the Web like in 1999? How did these websites begin, and what did the media think about them? How have the features of these networks influenced the Web that we know today, and can we get that old feeling back of the early social web?

Open Diary: founded October 1998, shut down in 2014, relaunched January 2018

LiveJournal: launched April 1999

Blogger: launched August 1999, purchased by Google in 2003

DiaryLand: launched September 1999

From Wikipedia about the invention of the term blog:

The short form [of weblog], "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog", meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.


Listen to the podcast, or scroll down the page for the transcript:
https://glitch.com/culture/function-episode-11/
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The official Google Webmasters blog turned off comments

You can still interact with them on their other official channels:

The official help Forum
https://support.google.com/webmasters/go/community

Twitter
https://twitter.com/googlewmc

+Google Webmasters is one of the few Google products that had been active here on Google+, and I'll miss that.

As for why: "Sometimes [the comments] were extremely thoughtful, other times they made us laugh out loud, but most of the time they were off-topic or even outright spammy"
For every train there's a passenger, but it turns out comments are not our train.

In short, we're turning off comments on the Webmaster Central blog, but luckily there are other channels to reach us, and to discuss important webmaster topics. Feel free to drop by in our Webmaster Help Forums, or join in the discussions on Twitter.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/connect/
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Beta test the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin: Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights data

Site Kit shows key metrics and insights from those four different Google products.

It does not appear to be able to insert or manage +Google AdSense ads or +Google Analytics code.

Sign up for Site Kit
https://sitekit.withgoogle.com/

Via +Google Webmasters on Twitter
https://twitter.com/googlewmc/status/1071030445633101826?s=19
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Google Search update: rich results expands for Question & Answer pages

In order to help users better identify which search results may give the best information about their question, we have developed a new rich result type for question and answer sites. Search results for eligible Q&A pages display a preview of the top answers. This new presentation helps site owners reach the right users for their content and helps users get the relevant information about their questions faster.

Add Q&A structured day to your web pages
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/qapage

Test your markup with the Structured Data Testing Tool
https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

Learn more on the +Google Webmasters blog
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/12/rich-results-expands-for-question.html
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Google releases reCAPTCHA v3: the new way to stop bots on your website

Instead of showing a CAPTCHA challenge, reCAPTCHA v3 returns a score so you can choose the most appropriate action for your website.

It sounds both more powerful and more complicated to manage than showing a CAPTCHA challenge.

... the reCAPTCHA adaptive risk analysis engine can identify the pattern of attackers more accurately by looking at the activities across different pages on your website. In the reCAPTCHA admin console, you can get a full overview of reCAPTCHA score distribution and a breakdown for the stats of the top 10 actions on your site, to help you identify which exact pages are being targeted by bots and how suspicious the traffic was on those pages.

Learn more on the +Google Webmasters blog
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/10/introducing-recaptcha-v3-new-way-to.html
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Avoid regret: make your Blogger blog private, rather than deleting it

If there is even a tiny chance you will want to access your old blog content or reuse the blogspot.com URL, you can effectively take your blog offline by making it private without losing anything.

Learn how to control access to your Blogger blog:
https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42673

Blogger Product Expert Adam explains why in more detail:
https://too-clever-by-half.blogspot.com/2018/09/never-delete-blogger-blog.html#more
Never delete a Blogger blog.
Never delete a Blogger blog.
too-clever-by-half.blogspot.com
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