Posted:
by Vardhman Jain, Software Engineer, Mountain View

Latency is a word you hear a lot at Google. We are always looking for ways to make our products faster, because we have consistently found that faster page loads mean more satisfied users. This post is the first of an occasional series that will discuss ways in which we’re working to make blogs load faster for all users.

A few months ago, we took a look at ways to improve the performance of Blogger blogs, and noticed that many pages — particularly search results pages, label pages and archive pages — were taking longer to load than they should.

This has lots of implications. Users suffer — pages take longer to load, and for anyone around the world who pays for their bandwidth, they can incur unnecessary charges as their browser downloads more content than needed. You suffer, because as latency increases, pageviews go down. (See here for a study Google did last year for this phenomenon at google.com.)

Starting today, we’re rolling out a change that affects how we paginate webpages on Blogger. We will dynamically adjust how much content to send to the browser depending on (a) the amount of HTML on the page being requested (in kilobytes) and (b) the number of images on the page. Users can continue to use “older posts” and “newer posts” navigation elements to see additional posts.

For major changes like this, we do incremental roll-outs so we can monitor performance as they progress. We expect the change to be fully deployed over the next week, and once fully deployed, we expect to see several results:
  • pages will load faster
  • pageviews, if impacted at all, may increase
We will keep an eye on things, and if we see anything unexpected, we will update this post. Otherwise, keep blogging — and we’ll keep working to make your blog faster for you and your readers!

Posted:
Earlier today, word spread about some popular music blogs that were recently removed from Blogger. While we make it a policy to not publicly discuss individual users or their accounts, we wanted to clarify a few things about how and when Blogger enforces its Terms of Service as they relate to our DMCA policy.

Last summer, we updated our enforcement of the DMCA. Our current policy is that when we receive a DMCA complaint, we:
  • Notify the blogger about the complaint by e-mail and on the Blogger dashboard.
  • Reset the offending post to 'draft' status, allowing the blogger to remove the offending content.
  • Send a copy of the complaint to ChillingEffects.org.
When we receive multiple DMCA complaints about the same blog, and have no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorized manner, we will remove the blog.

Inevitably, we occasionally receive DMCA complaints even though the blogger does have the legal right to link to the music in question. Whether this is the result of miscommunication by staff at the record label, or confusion over which MP3s are "official," it happens. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offenses, compelling us to take action.

Update: Should have linked directly to the instructions for filing a counter-notification.

Update 2/11/10:  We looked into this issue further and identified one case where a blogger did not receive notification of any DMCA complaints before their blog was removed. We're sorry about this.

We've contacted the blog owner and restored their blog, effective immediately, and we fixed the bug that caused the termination without prior notification. We're also looking into additional preventative protections. We know the DMCA process can be difficult to navigate, and we're working on ways to make this process as smooth as possible.

Posted:
By Sean McCullough, Software Engineer

Another top user-requested feature has just graduated from Blogger In Draft! Blogger now makes it easy to create Pages linked from your blog. 

This feature lets you easily publish static information on stand-alone pages. For example, you can create an About This Blog page that discusses the evolution of your blog, or a Contact Me page that provides directions, a phone number, and a map to your location.

You create a page similar to how you write a blog post. From Blogger click the Posting | Edit Pages tab, then click New Page. (Note: you can create up to 10 pages.)





Once your page is published, you can link to it from the new Pages widget. The Pages widget lets you add links to your pages as tabs at the top of your blog, or as links in your blog's sidebar.



In the Pages widget, you can decide which pages will be linked and in what order they will appear. You can also choose whether you want new pages to appear automatically in the Pages widget by checking or unchecking the box to the left of Add new Pages by default.

Finally, for those of you that have custom templates, your custom template may not automatically support Pages as horizontal "tabs". If you are familiar with HTML, follow these instructions on how to add Pages to your custom template.

Looking forward to seeing all of the Pages that bloggers create!

Posted:
By Wiktor Gworek, Software Engineer (Krakow, Poland) 

A while back, Google announced that they were shutting down Google Page Creator and offered users the option to upgrade to Google Sites. In the past, some custom template designers used Page Creator to host javascript, a file type that Google Sites does not support. Since a number of bloggers use templates that rely on files hosted on Page Creator, we realized that links to those files would break once the migration from Page Creator to Sites was complete.

Fret not! Rather than see our users' templates break, we built a tool to preserve these links and host the affected files. To find out if your blog is affected, login to your Blogger Dashboard. If we've detected that your blog template contains links to Google Page Creator, you will see the following warning:


If you see this warning, click Update and review to access the Blogger Template Fixer and correct the links on your blog. (Note: you may not notice any problems with your blog until Page Creator shuts down over the coming days). Visit our Help Center to learn more about fixing your template.

Also, if you have issues fixing your template, let us know at the Blogger Help Group.