Change Your Name Back After Connecting Blogger to Google+

Change Your Name Back After Connecting Blogger to Google+

Let's get one thing straight, Google Plus' "common name" policy is a misnomer. By forcing everyone to go by their birth name it leaves out those of us who are commonly known by our nicknames, pseudonyms, only first names or only last names. Now, I appreciate what Google is trying to do. I feel Internet handles are a relic of the past. I go by my first name online. And yet the Google+ common name policy still found a way to bite me, someone who goes by his real name, in the ass!

See, after connecting my Google+ profile (Alain-Christian on Google+) to Blogger my display name was changed to my full name. It's not like I'm trying to hide my last name but my first name is my brand. As of this writing the top nine Google search results for Alain-Christian are me. I didn't like seeing my full name on Blogger; it dilutes my brand! So yeah, even someone who goes by their real name online can be adversely affected by the Google+ common name policy. How to amend this?


This tweak will only affect your blog. All we're doing is editing the template. Your "Common Name" will remain as is on Google+ services and other people's Blogger Blogs. There are two places where your name might show up in the blog: author byline and comments.

Author Byline

First we'll find the the byline. Search the Blog1 widget for <data:*.author/>. Common strings in place of the (*) wildcard are post and data. Personal blog? Simply replace this tag with plain-text. Team blog? The best way to handle this is with a b:includable that does the name swapping.

<b:includable id='AuthorTweak' var='data'>
<b:if cond='data:data.authorUrl == ""'>
Team Member Uno
<b:if cond='data:data.authorUrl == ""'>
Team Member Dos

Remember: only include the names of members who need their names tweaked. The last line of this snippet ensures the remaining team names are displayed regardless. Code efficiently! By the way, authorUrl is a new layout data tag. It was originally exclusive to the comments section. I don't know when it was added but if I had to guess I'd say it was after Blogger's debut of dynamic templates.


Search for <data:*.author/> in the comments code like you did for the byline. Whether you run a personal blog or a team blog the solution is the same. See that code snippet up there? Reuse it! That's right, the same code works for comments, isn't that great? Now, you personal bloggers might be thinking, "Why not use this code snippet for the byline?" And it's true, you can do that. But I figure your name in plaintext is less characters than a b:include tag. Every byte helps!

Closing Thoughts

And there you have it. It's a simple code snippet. Use it as the foundation for your profile name changes. You know, it could even help you highlight author comments. We use a slightly more advanced variation of this code for MY STADY. You can see it here on GitHub. The great thing about GitHub is I'm able to leave very detailed comments. The first place I post information like this is the GitHub page. And some coding tips won't ever reach the blog because it's not broad enough. You don't need to sign up for GitHub to track the code changes, just follow MY STADY on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus for updates.

As always, let me know in the comments if anything needs clarification. Happy coding!

New York photographer, party mammal, and Internet troll for hire. Alain-Christian is an OG who’s been blogging for over 20 years dating back to the early days of AOL. He loves sharing his offbeat opinions on pop culture, bestowing his tech knowledge, and making arts.