Since I moved the blog over to Google's Custom Domains I've had to accept Blogger's navbar across the top. I can't complain. Anyone can plainly see that I'm no design guru!
The Next Blog » interests me. It takes people off the site. It's like an old webring button. BlogSpot readers should be able to skip from blog to blog. Well. That's the theory. There's a lot of crap in there.
I decided to count how many Next Blog » clicks it would take me to visit 100 English language blogs. It took 241 clicks.
Here's a break down of a lazy Sunday hour.
There where three types of failure:
- Taken to a spam or porn blog
- Redirected off to a non-blog
- Taken to a blog missing the navbar
It's certainly possible for Google to check that a blog has the navbar before including it in the Next Blog ». Humble webrings do this. Google Analytics does this.
Of the spam and redirects out of the system there were two culprits who kept on coming up. Of the 32 redirects 15 went to JokesNJunk.com and 16 went to LookUpLive. JokesNJunk can still be found in Google. If you search for LookUpLive on Google there is just a diatribe of complaints about them.
I don't think Blogger should just look at taking out the spam. I think Blogger should enhance the button. I would be happy to fill in a little preferences poll and then enjoy a Next Blog » akin to StumbleUpon. In fact, since I surf with Google's personalised search then shouldn't Google already be able to to direct me to random but interesting blog.
Until that day the Next Blog » is simply incentive for people to spam the system.