Google recently started redirecting Blogspot.com blogs to Blogspot.in and other country specific domains. The reason being that Google wants to give more freedom of expression to users while also being able to adhere to removal requests from different governments.
The country based redirection was first rolled out in India thanks to some recent stupid court judgments against websites in India. However, this will highly inconvenience Blogspot blog owners in India since they will not have duplicate content. Even though Google has promised to minimize the negative effects of this change, you can definitely take an initiative to minimize the problems this will cause.
Google had introduced the rel=canonical meta tag to overcome this issue. This tag allows users to point tell search engines the actual location of the content if there are one or more URLs which have the same content, thus avoiding duplicate content on your website.
If you are Blogspot blog owner, you can avoid duplicate content by adding the following content to your template. Please note that you will have to edit the HTML code of your Blogspot template and add this before the </head> tag.
If you are using a HTML template for you blog, you should add the following code:
<ItemPage><Blogger><link href=’<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>’ rel=’canonical’/></Blogger></ItemPage>
On the other hand if you are using a XML template, you will have to add the following code to include all meta tags:
<b:include data=’blog’ name=’all-head-content’/>
Or also individually include the rel=canonical tag by using:
<link expr:href="data:blog.url" rel="canonical"/>
Once you have added the tags, make sure to save your template and then view source of your browser to check if the tag is added to your template. That’s it. Once you have added the rel=canonical tag, search engines will only index one page instead of creating duplicate content.