Google Blogger Platform - You are Making It Hard for Me to Like You

This is not the same old Google Blogger schtick. Google does not want your blog...or your house, your wife, and your children. 

Not the Same-Ole Blogger Criticisms

A blogger's text on computer screen
blogging (Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash)

There are many websites circulating dubious indictments of the Google Blogger platform. Many of the authors slinging disparaging comments about Google Blogger are re-hashing old complaints. Things like a blogspot.domain, monetization, and SEO are old complaints long addressed. (OK, SEO requires some xml modifications, but I'll give it 'C', which is a passing grade.)

Your blog should not violate the Google's terms...

Yes, Google will take your blog down if you violate copyrights.  So, will your WordPress hosting company, eventually. So,  is that what we are talking about, how long we can skirt the rules? If you're paranoid that someone is out to shut your blog down, then don't use Google Blogger. A few less bad websites, like this one, lol, won't matter.)

My blog's technical problem was either theme or content. I guessed wrong.

I think I'm safe. I've looked outside. I don't think there's anyone watching me. I'm about to type that Google Blogger's Backup and Import doesn't work as well as it could. (Hmmn, website is still up.  Maybe,  it will come down tomorrow. )

My original problem turned out to a theme component that would not load to completion due to a conflict with a Google Blogger gadget left behind from theme swapping. 

For those familiar with WordPress, the Google Blogger gadget is similar to a WordPress add-in. 

In the WordPress world, the plug-ins are separate files, in their own folder, and thousands of lines of code to update, remove, replace, activate, deactivate, etc. The Google Blogger model is much simpler,  It's just one file. 

Was it the data? A test plan was devised.

So, not believing that the problem was the theme, I decided to test if it was data related. I devised a plan. I would backup my posts, remove them, replace them with test posts, and when my testing was complete, I would  restore the old posts. 

404 - Page Not Found (Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

It is a plan that would have worked in WordPress.

It almost worked in Google Blogger. Google Blogger's import command restores the website, but restores it with different URL's. 

Why does this matter? 

The immediate result will be a 404 error, page not found, for any URL previously indexed by Google

Red Dahlia, an annual flower.
Red Dahlia. An Annual. Photo by Thomas Wolter on Unsplash

Let us say you had achieved some modicum of success with your website and "" was your URL, after restoring your website, every URL on your site would  have a new URL, something arbitrary like "". 

The Google Blogger backend appends a number because the original verbatim URL has already been used. Even your permalinks will have the new number. Eventually, everything will catch. The Googlebot will reindex your sitemap.xml with the new URL's and everything will be fine.  However, it may be Fall now and you will have missed the spring growing season.

To exasperate the situation, the number is not the same on all posts...

Now, you can work to address the issue by setting up redirects on your key URLs, submit your sitemap.xml for re-indexing, etc. but, in my opinion, this whole scenario is rather ugly and would not happen in WordPress. 

So, there you have it Google Blogger haters, fresh data.

WordPress's backup and restore is superior to Google Blogger's backup and import.

I should mention that you must take care in both Google and WordPress to make sure you are backing up your images. (WordPress has several add-ins to solve this problem for you. )  The backup files in both cases, WordPress and Blogger, contain pointers to the graphics not the graphics themselves. 

Use Google Takeout 

In Blogger, to backup your photographs, you will need to use a Google application that few of us have used. It is called Google Takeout.  Google Takeout is an Covid-19 app that allows you to order Chinese food from your closest Chinese restaurant. (OK, not really.) 

Google Takeout allows you to navigate to the Google Drive location and download the folder containing all the images you uploaded while using Google Blogger. 

Re-associating your posts with your images in a manual process.

There is also no automatic way to relate the links in your blog to the images you have downloaded. This is a manual process. Luckily, I did not encounter any problems with my images, but I also did not remove them and restore them. (There are Wordpress backup and restore plug-ins that can handle this for you, but I see no equivalent in the Google Blogger arena. )

I'm still here.

So, I came from WordPress. I may go back again. I'm sure the Google Blogger community won't mind.