Knowledge is good only if it is shared. As a new blogger, I had learned to change the Web template, and found out the tips, tricks, hacks, and tweaks of altering the Blogger template, customizing CSS, widgets, layout, blog design, inserting JavaScripts, HTML codes, Google AdSense, and other settings the hard way, through many trials and errors. For the purposes of this guide, I had started with the old Blogger “Minima” template. As I made the changes or learned something new, I had documented them. Before changing any template, please remember to save a copy of the current template. After editing the template, preview it, and save it when you are satisfied with the change. Hope this guide will help those who are finding the way around, just like me.

Search Tips for New Bloggers

We have extended our month-long vacation by a couple of days. We shall be posting articles the moment we return. We noticed that Google had updated the Page Ranks. New bloggers who have been waiting anxiously for this can check their blogs' Page Ranks. We have the PR checker link in our SEO Tools - Search Engine Optimization article.

The blog we created recently in Aug 2007, Blogger FAQ and Help, has also got its first Page Rank, a PR4. All our blogs are now ranked:-

Tips for New Bloggers - PR6
Business Fables and Management Lessons - PR4
Famous Motivational and Inspirational Quotes - PR4
Blogger FAQ and Help - PR4

Thanks to everyone for the support!

Aug 19, 2007

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Make Blog Private and Unsearchable

Many people write blogs to share their thoughts with everybody and anybody. However, you may also use your Blog as an online diary, penning very personal and private thoughts. Like all diaries, you can either allow a select few persons to view the Blog or allow no one but yourself the right to view it. Also, you may not want it to be indexed by search engines, so that people searching for it on the net will not find it in the search results.

This article lets you know how to create private Blogs. If your intentions are the exact opposite, and you want to publicize your Blog to the whole world, follow our other guides to submit your Blog to Blog Directories, Google, Yahoo and Feed Directories.

First the caveat. These guidelines will only show you how to make your Blogger blog as private as you can get. As we shall explain, there is no guarantee that search engine spiders will never find your Blog because any site that is available on the net will be crawled by search engines. What we can do is to minimize that possibility.

Note that these steps are to be taken BEFORE you create the blog. If you already have an existing Blog, it has in all likelihood been indexed. These tips will at best prevent future contents from being seen.

Title and Blog URL

Do not want people to associate that Blog to you? When you create a new Blog, select a Blog URL and Title carefully; choose words that have no bearing or relation to you or what you do. After the Blog is created, DO NOT post. Post only after you have completed the following steps.

Permission

We start with the most crucial and essential step. Blogger has made it easy for you to create private Blogs. When you are logged in, go to Settings -> Permissions. You can restrict your Blog Readers to only people you choose or only the blog authors.

People who enter the Blog URL into their browsers can still see the Blog Title but will be prompted to enter their Google account particulars and password. If they are not given the rights to view the Blog, a message will be shown: “It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation.

While the contents cannot be seen, people do know that this Blog URL with that Blog Title exist and it is a private blog. As we had mentioned, if you don't want anybody to know this Blog is yours, it is important to have a Blog URL and Title that are not obviously connected to you.

Listing on Blogger.com

These are the further steps to take, just to be sure. Under Settings -> Basic, you can see a “Add your Blog to our listings?” option. Choose “No”. Click “Save Settings” at the bottom. This will do three things –

i) Your Blog will not appear when people search Blogger.com.

ii) This Blog will not be shown in the Blog List on your Profle page.

iii) The Blogger homepage showcases a list of recently updated blogs but this Blog will not be shown.

Ping Setting

Go to Settings -> Publishing and under the “Send Ping” option, choose “No”. Save the Setting. Whenever a Blog is updated, Google will notify some of the tracking services of the updates. If your Blog is private, there is no reason why these services ought to know of your Blog updates.

Site Feed

Your Blog contents can be read through your Site's Atom and RSS Feeds. People can catch up on news and articles by subscribing to these Feeds and viewing the material using their Feed readers. If you do not want your contents to be read or syndicated, go to Settings -> Site Feed and to the question “Allow Blog Feed?” select “None” and click “Save Settings”.

Meta Tag

Now that we have altered the settings for the Blog, we can add a further meta tag into our template to tell search engines not to index the site. Click Template ->Edit HTML and you can see the source code. Somewhere at the top, just below <head>, insert this line (shown in red):-

<head>
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow" />


Leave this tag there. Search engine robots which visit your site will not index the Blog pages and contents.

Profile

We thought we should cover this for completeness. In the top right corner of your Dashboard, you can go to the “Edit Profile” page. Under “Show my blogs”, if you see a blog that you do not want people to know about, remove it from the listing. People who view your Profile will not know about the Blog. You can also choose not to share information about your Profile by not ticking the box next to “Share my profile”.

External Links

The steps outlined above are within your control but this one is not. It is also the reason why we said we can only minimize but not eliminate the possibility that people know of your Blog. Anybody can link to your Blog URL since it is a valid URL. If your friends happen to know about your Blog and write a post mentioning your Blog or linking to your Blog, there will be an external link to your Blog. Whatever they write about it will be public knowledge. Hence, to have an online diary that only you know about, remember that a secret shared by two persons is no longer a secret.

© Tips for New Bloggers

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5 comments:

Roberto said...

Hi Bizwhiz,

Hope your vacation was just what you needed. I've been a little frustrated lately with the appearance and privacy settings on my author profile. All I want to show on my home page on the right side bar is "More About the Author, ......" Yet when I set the usual settings in the template layout for the profile I get the entire profile showing on the home page. I just want a lead in link for the reader to click and then see the full profile in the profile page. How can I achieve this?
BTW after I posted an acknowledgement for your help in an October post http://thesilverpeoplechronicle.blogspot.com/2007/10/in-recognition-of-our-technical-help.html
we received some very positive mails. My thanks again.
http://thesilverpeoplechronicle.blogspot.com/

bizwhiz said...

Hi Roberto

You can do what we did with our blog, create an image or text link. Readers who click on that can be brought to your Profile page. Create using a "HMTL/Javascript" page element. The code to insert is explained in Hyperlinks and Image Links.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
This post about private blogs was extremely helpful and JUST what I needed - thanks a million! It was nicely written and easy to understand (even I who have blogger in a different language could understand all the instructions!)

So thank you! You've really made my day; I wanted a private weblog and now I have it.

Zoe said...

Brilliant post, this is just what I've been looking for.

I have a question, however, that you may or may not be able to answer. Prior to knowing all of the above in said post, I wrote a lot of personal, and heavy thoughts in a blog, only to find it pop up in a google search. Now, I've deleted each and every post and shut down my blog, but is there anyway to remove my content from Google's damn cache? =/

Thank you.

M said...

Hello, I'm wondering how I insert a widget to my blog showing who links to my blog. I have seen one through Technorati but have searched their site and cannot find how to do it. Any help??? Thanks!