A few Blogger bloggers have noticed their SERPs acting funny latelyâ€”theyâ€™re not there. Of course, the first hypothesis is that theyâ€™ve incurred some penalty from the search engines. But SEOptimise.com, one of the affected Blogger blogs, thought to check their code.
A little background: Blogger has made up a bunch of really ugly generic code so they can create generic templates that work for all their blogs without every blogger having to go through the code and insert their blogâ€™s name, meta data, posts, etc. This makes it easy on new bloggersâ€”until Blogger starts inserting unwelcome code into your blog.
The offending line this time was Bloggerâ€™s <$BlogMetaData$> element. Blogger Help says that this element should generate the following code, for example, when your blog loads:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true" /> <meta name="generator" content="Blogger" /> <link rel="service.feed" type="application/atom+xml" title="DanoTestMule" href="http://testmule.blogspot.com/atom.xml" /> <link rel="service.post" type="application/atom+xml" title="DanoTestMule" href="http://www.blogger.com/atom/6602135" /> <link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="http://www.blogger.com/rsd.pyra?blogID=6602135" /> <meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW" />
(this last tag will appear if your blog is set to unlisted.)
The problem is that last tag, ROBOTS NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW, has been appearing on blogs that arenâ€™t set to unlisted.
Letâ€™s just make sure weâ€™re clear here: Blogger, owned by Google, is inserting code to delete blogs from search enginesâ€™ indices when they donâ€™t want to be deleted. What is this, a convenient way to remove splogs and hope that legit bloggers find the code and fix it?
Be sure to check your source code when you load your Blogger blog. (SEOptimise.com also notes that you can hard-code your meta data into your Blogger template to replace the <$BlogMetaData$> tag as well as inserting your FeedBurner or other preferred feed URL.) This hasnâ€™t affected all blogs, but seems to be affecting some of the blogs that moved to the new release of Blogger recently.