Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Following Blogs Made More Difficult by Google

I noticed recently that the "Follow" link/button no longer appears at the top left of my Blogger page when I visit a new blog. This isn't a glitch - Google recently removed this option, as discussed here.

This was how I normally started following new blogs, so it wasn't immediately apparent that I could still follow a blog. Poking around, I found there are still two ways to follow a blog, neither of which is as easy as the old way.

1. Go to your Blogger Dashboard, where there's a button right below "Reading List" that says "Add". Once clicked, it brings up a window to paste in an url to follow:

 2. If the blog has a Followers Gadget click "Join this Site with Google Friend Connect":

I never tried this before today, because I'd never used Google Friend Connect. It requires a login, even if you are already logged into your blog. Select Google, and login, and then it will give you options for following the blog.

I suspect this change is somehow tied in trying to get everyone to join Google+.

I found a way you can make it easier for someone to follow your site, basically by creating your own custom link to replace the missing "Follow" link/button.

To do this, you need to create you own Follower Gadget with a html link. I have one now in at the top of the right column. Instructions are here, although slightly out of date.

What I did was go to the Dashboard, click Layout, and then Add a Gadget. 
In the window that opens, I pasted the following HTML text into the Content section


<p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here </a></p></data:post.body>

In place of ###, I put in my blogID number, which can be found at the top of the dashboard page in the url for the blog.

This seemed to work when I tested it using a different account.


  1. Those ass-hats. "Seldom used" according to them. They are also going to make it impossible for me to post any articles or stories when they get rid of the old interface which will mean my blog will only be for directions on how to actually find the new articles or story updates I post.

  2. WordPress looks more and more attractive...

  3. I absolutely hate the new interface. It is such an eyestrain and unlabeled gadgets waste my time. The only reason I started using blogger was for the ease of the follower button. Idiots.

  4. Man, I was so jealous of you D&D blogger people with all your followers...!

    Now Google done took it away from you! Heh.


    a Wordpress blogger

    PS Your captchas really suck, too.