How to Configure Search Preferences in Blogger

Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important for your blog. If you make your blog search engine friendly, then you must get more traffic than regular. Blogger included this feature as you can set —

  • Search or Meta Description.
  • Custom Page Not Found.
  • Custom Redirects.
  • Custom robots.txt.
  • Custom robots header tags.

Go to Search Preferences

  1. Sign in to Blogger with your Google Email and Password.
  2. Click the Down arrow Down Arrow Icon in the top left, then choose your blog.
  3. In the left menu, click Settings > Search preferences.

Meta Tags Setting

Enable Search Description

Choose “Yes” to enable your blog’s search description. Write a description about your blog up to 150 characters maximum. Search engines usually use the meta description of a page in their search results snippets like the image below —

Example of Google used the meta or search description in search result snippet

Enabling this feature will allow you to add Search description for every post in the Post Editor. Make sure the description is truly descriptive and keywords based are related to the content. To count characters, you can use this LetterCount tool.

Blogger Post Editor - Search or Meta Description

Find Search Description

The meta or search descriptions aren’t displayed in the pages the user sees. If you are curious to see where the meta description actually goes, then —

  1. Make sure you published a post with Search Description.
  2. Open the page in a Browser new tab (Google Chrome, Firefox).
  3. Right-click on the page or press Ctrl+Shift+I.
  4. Click arrow Expand head element to see meta description to expand <head> element.
  5. Find this <meta content=”The description you provided will appear here…” name=”description”>.

Errors and Redirections

Set Custom Page Not Found Message

When visitors or readers try to access a page that doesn’t exist in your blog is called 404 error page. By default, a message “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.” will be displayed on the Page Not Found page.

You can set a custom message will be displayed on the page instead of generic message. You can enter HTML message and design the message with CSS.

Go to the 404 Error page

To find the 404 error page, go to a link that doesn’t exist in your blog. For this, type some wrong characters after forward slash “/” of your site url. An example link below —

http://example.blogspot.com/hfkjdhkj
  1. Copy and paste the link in your Browser address bar.
  2. Replace example with your blog address.
  3. Hit Enter. Now you should see the 404 error page.

An Example HTML Message for 404

<img border="0" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yTKCZtKNDsY/WCIGnOnvF5I/AAAAAAAACfQ/ed-jeSK7mugnkMVPdOp1HjHXw84egCH3gCLcB/s1600/404-Error-Page-Banner.png" />
<h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist.</h3>

Click Edit of Custom Page Not Found option, then Copy and Paste the code in the text field.

Blogger 404 page error message preview

Set Custom Redirects

If any page url doesn’t exist in your blog but readers still visit to that page. They obviously go to the 404 error page and can’t find the content they are looking for. To solve this problem, you should add a custom redirect from that old url to a new url.

Crawlers and indexing

Set Custom robots.txt

You can use the robots.txt file to give instructions about your site to web robots. By default, your blog uses it immediately after you created the blog. To check this file, go to http://example.blogspot.com/robots.txt.

You might see the file like below if your site is not visible to Search engines

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Disallow: 

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Disallow: /

User-Agent: googlebot
Disallow: /search
Allow: /
  • User-agent: * — It means this section applies to all robots.
  • Disallow: / — It tells the robot that it should not visit any pages on the site.
  • Disallow: /search — It means the links having keyword search just after the blog address will be ignored. Therefore, a page url like http://example.blogspot.com/search/label/labelname will never be crawled or indexed.
  • Allow: / — It means that the robot may crawl your homepage.

You can generate a custom robots.txt file for your blog from here. After generating the file —

  1. Click “Yes” to enable custom robots.txt content.
  2. Copy and paste the generated code in this field.
  3. Click Save changes.

After a few moments, the file will be updated to this new code.

Blogger custom robots txt file

Set Custom Robots Header tags

You can customize your blog’s robots header tags for individual pages using this feature. To enable custom robots header tags —

  1. Click Edit button
  2. Select “Yes”
  3. Click Save changes

Once you’ve enabled it, you can see the custom robots tags is available for every post.

Blogger Custom Robots Tags for Posts

Warning: Before using this feature you should have knowledge about Robots Header Tags. If you don’t know anything about it then I recommend you not to enable it.

Robots Header Tags with Meaning

Directive Meaning
all There are no restrictions for indexing or serving. Note: this directive is the default value and has no effect if explicitly listed.
noindex Do not show this page in search results and do not show a “Cached” link in search results.
nofollow Do not follow the links have been used on this page
none Equivalent to noindex, nofollow
noarchive Do not show a “Cached” link in search results.
nosnippet Do not show a snippet (meta or search description) in the search results for this page
noodp Do not use metadata from the Open Directory project for titles or snippets shown for this page.
notranslate Do not offer translation of this page in search results.
noimageindex Do not index images on this page
unavailable_after: [RFC-850 date/time] Do not show this page in search results after the specified date/time. The date/time must be specified in the RFC 850 format.

Robots Header Tags Live Experiment

I am using Chrome browser to see the robot header tags.

  1. Open Chrome and go to your site.
  2. Right-click on the page, then click Inspect or press Ctrl+Shift+I.
  3. Select the Network tab.
  4. You may need to reload the page once again. Press F5 to reload.
  5. Scroll up and click your site name (example: www.egtutorial.com).
  6. If Custom robots header tags are enabled then you will see X-Robots-Tag like the image below.

Check Robots Header Tags with Chrome