|"Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."|
I was a bit puzzled today when I received multiple messages from some of my readers that the store page on my blog was no longer loading. I went to the page and sure enough I got the above message "Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."
I freaked out a little bit wondering what might have happened to my page. Read on past the jump to see what the problem was and what my (imperfect) solution was
The "The" is The Problem
So after spending a few minutes looking at the URL for my store page and the URL I had previously been using I realized why my pages weren't loading. Apparently Blogger.com is now including the word "The" in it's URLs.
Previously if I created a page called "The Power Word: Gold Store" Blogger would omit the "the" when creating the URL.
The URL for the above page would be "http://www.powerwordgold.net/p/power-word-gold-store.html". Please note the lack of a "the".
So today I spent some time updating my store page, saved my changes and thought nothing more of it. Apparently when I saved my changes, Blogger.com decided since the page was called "The Power Word: Gold Store" it would go ahead and change the URL for that page for me.
I received no notice, no warning that the URL was changing. I had not way of knowing all the places I had linked my store would all of a sudden stop working.
The new URL for my store page was now "http://www.powerwordgold.net/p/the-power-word-gold-store.html". Please not that the new URL includes the work "the" in it, breaking all previous links to the page.
I'm not sure why they made this change to include "the" (and what ever other words they may have been excluding from URLs in the past) but if people are going to be breaking links when they update page with the word "The" in the title that is not good.
If Blogger is going to be retroactivly chaging the URLs they should at least make sure that the old URLs are reserved and redirected to the new URL. Or better yet don't change the URLs if the page was created before this change.
|Updating Blogger.com pages may change (and break) your URLs without notice.|
The (Imperfect) Solution
So I had two choices for how to solve this dilemma. I could either 1) redo all the places I'd ever linked my store page to the new "the-ified" URL or b) build a new "the-less" titled page and replicate my store page there.
The fact that I even have to choose between both of those bad solutions is kind of silly. That said, what I decided to do was create the duplicate page without a "the" in the title.
While having a page named "Power Word: Gold Store" (Ugha, ugha! Me caveman! Me go to Power Word: Gold Store!)isn't perfect I prefer it to risking having broken links scattered in the hundreds of places they exist.
Again to restate state the issue:
Old Blogger page title: "The Power Word: Gold Store" = Old URL: http://www.powerwordgold.net/p/power-word-gold-store.html
Updated Blogger page title: "The Power Word: Gold Store" = New URL (no warning or notice): http://www.powerwordgold.net/p/the-power-word-gold-store.html = broken link = no good.
(Imperfect) Solution: Create duplicate of the store page.
Duplicate store title (to match old URL): "Power Word: Gold Store" = New (old) URL: http://www.powerwordgold.net/p/power-word-gold-store.html
If you're having this issue I would say if you only have something linked in a few places I would change the links to the new URL (that includes the "the" etc.).
If you're like me and have links scattered all over the place create a duplicate page and name it what ever it needs to be to match (and enjoy the caveman speak).
A Word of Caution
I have no idea if this is this is a new permanent Blogger.com feature of perhaps just a bug. Either way I'm not risking it.
I have a few other Blogger.com pages that include "The" in the title. I'm going to have to be very careful to keep an eye on the page URLs whenever I update them. If, like my store page, they insert a new "The" into my URLs I'll have to once again create duplicate pages with Titles that don't include "The" to make sure the links works.
Google/Blogger.com, Please Read This
If anyone from Google (who owns Blogger.com) read this, please please please revert this change or at least make it so previous URLs for pages that had "The" (or other common words) omitted automatically redirect to the proper page.
We can't have links breaking all over the place.
I Could Be Wrong
I may be wrong about the above. It may just be temporary or I may have hit some sort of bug or glitch but I tested creating new pages and if "The" was the first word of the page Title is was included in the URL.
I just rally wanted to lay out my solution so others that may have this issue can fix it.
I love you Blogger.com. We go WAY back but this change, if it is a change, isn't one of your best moments.
UPDATE: Blogger/Google is now taking forum posts discussing this issue. We are not alone. If you're having this issue one of the best ways to help get it fixed in the future will be to add your experiences to this forum post: [Problem Rollup] Static Page URLs Change, Though Link References Do Not Change.