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2019 Year in Review: Blogger Gets Mobile

Blogger turned 20 this year. While blogs may seem so last decade, Blogger has outlived Google+, and is getting a much needed mobile-friendly interface update.  And FeedBurner, currently used to manage Blogger's email subscriptions, has been updated with the removal of some outdated features.

It's very nice to see updates, even if they are minor ones.

There have also been a number of Google webmaster updates, including retirement of the old Search Console

Blogger and the shutdown of Google+

While Blogger and Google+ were separate platforms, many Blogger blogs used Google+ features, such as Google+ comments and a Google+ Profile as their author profile. Those were default options for some time, so many users may have had those Google+ features enabled, even if they didn't use Google+ itself as a social media site.

With the shutdown of consumer Google+ scheduled for April, many users were taken by surprise when it was announced Google+ comments and badges would be removed from Blogger blogs in the first week of February. 

Unfortunately there wasn't any easy way to save a copy of Google+ comments and most have disappeared forever.

After consumer Google+ shut down, Bloggers using a Google+ Profile needed to switch to a Blogger profile. Even no you may see older Blogger comments or posts attributed to "Unknown" because the poster hasn't signed in and updates their profile. 

Many avid Plussers were hoping for a way to import their Google+ posts directly into a Blogger blog, but that option was not available. While there were third party tools that let you move Google+ content to Blogger, it wasn't an easy process.

It was a painful reminder that anything you post online could be taken down at any time, and highlighted the value of posting on a platform like Blogger (or WordPress or others) that give you greater control over your content.

Blogger account pages go mobile

In the latter half of the year Blogger started implementing a mobile-friendly account page redesign. Blogger's last major redesign was in 2011, so it's excellent to see an updated version with a fresh look.

You can opt in to the new Blogger to check out the new Comments, Stats, Posts (and Pages), Layout, Theme and Reading List pages. Updated versions of the Settings and Earnings account pages, and the post editor, are not yet available.

Blogger does want your feedback, so if you try it, what you like (or don't) and what features you would like to see.

The Android Blogger app also got a much-needed update. It's fairly simple, but it can be useful to create basic new posts or edit existing posts on your phone.
I am hoping to see more account redesign updates in 2020. And in the meantime I'm humming the old Blogger Mobile Jingle (listen).

2019 Updates: Blogger

Spring cleaning at FeedBurner

FeedBurner is the Google service that runs your Blogger blog's email subscriptions. It also has a number of tools for managing and promoting RSS feeds.

FeedBurner hasn't been updated in a long time. That's why it was a bit of a surprise that two features were deprecated this year.

The "My Brand" service, that let you use your own domain to host your FeedBurner feed, was deprecated in July. Existing My Brand feeds continue to work, but no new domains can be added.

And the "Socialize" service that would automatically post new feed items to Twitter, was removed in October. It hadn't actually worked to link a Twitter account for quite some time, so this change was not a surprise.

FeedBurner also notified users with legacy accounts that they are "upgrading their systems" and so old FeedBurner feeds must be migrated to a Google account by December 31. To put the timing into perspective, the original deadline for account migration was February 2009, more than a decade ago.

So something is happening with FeedBurner in 2020, if only a move to new servers.

2019 Updates: FeedBurner

New Google Search Console and more Webmaster Updates

Google Search Console lets you monitor and manage how well your blog or website is performing in the Search results. This year Google said goodbye to the old version of Search Console, and added a number of new reports and features. Check out all the updates listed below.

There were also a number of other updates for webmasters:
And be sure to check out Google Webmasters own overview of 2019's top news and events.

2019 Updates: Google Webmasters

Subscribe to Google Webmasters on YouTube, where they have been posting news,  answering user questions and providing informative tutorials.

Google Search Console Updates
Other Webmaster Updates