Thursday, October 4, 2012

Weekly News

It's been months since a problem was discovered in Blogger's new interface: pages' URLs change when they are updated, which is a disaster for SEO traffic. Amazingly, Google initially asked for details experienced by users, lots were provided, but there was no response from Google or any information that would indicate when a solution would be available, except a comment very recently that they are working on a solution that might be available within a couple of weeks. Worse, it switched users to the new interface before it provided a solution (see Page URLs Change, Though Link References Do Not Change), although it looks like the update introduced the problem to the old interface too (my gut tells me it might be a data management problem).

There's more. As I wrote earlier, I was planning to drop the old site and point the this blog to that domain, so that links to the old site would at least reach the blog, if not the original page. Google provides instructions how to use a custom domain with Blogger, so I canceled the old site, but when I followed the instructions, I got an error. Then I was alerted to yet another problem with Blogger:
Known Issue: Custom domains in Google Sites

We are aware of an issue with custom domains in Google Sites. The functionality to add a new custom domain is currently unavailable - however, existing custom domains are working. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and expect a fix within the next few weeks
It was posted on September 19th and note the timeframe of a solution!
That a company like Google cannot resolve such problems for months (and is unresponsive to boot) despite the damage it causes its users and so many complaints is a a phenomenon on the rise. Companies like Facebook and Google have, on the one hand, huge institutional market power and on the other hand hugely complex software infrastructures that are based on proprietary, ad-hoc software (all those "BigData", NoSQL or even non-database applications goodies) that are extremely difficult to manage, maintain, progress and optimize. This creates the combination of difficulty to satisfy user needs with lack of responsiveness.

Luckily, my domain registrar was able to provide a temporary solution by forwarding links to without users seeing the .ca.

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