Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm Not Dead Yet...

My usual apologies for not posting anything lately. I've been out of town (Christmas week cruise to Panama, Colombia, Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba) and I've been sick (really bad URI caught on said cruise), and it's just been a heck of a few weeks at work.

I had great plans to post something interesting today. Nice idea. At 9AM I received a text from my PACS guru: "What happened to your blog?" I went to my front page, and lo and behold..."This blog has been removed." Oy Vey! They got me! I had received no email notices or any sort of warning whatsoever.

Google Webmaster tools told me that the blog had "health issues," "malware" to be exact, but gave me no way to actually investigate what was wrong. To every indication, the blog was gone.

Going on Google's support blog revealed this:

Spam/Terms of Service - Appeal Guidelines - January 2013

Given the fact that automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, the Blogger Team is happy to investigate any reports of false positive spam reviews, posted here in the forum. That being said, before you request an appeal, it's worth describing a few examples of what Blogger regularly removes, as part of its zero tolerance policy to abusive / inappropriate content:

- Affiliate marketing.
- Content created wth scripts and programs, rather than by hand.
- Content scraped from other sources.
- Copyright Infringement (using photos of people without their permission)
- Content or links referencing GPT, PTC, PTS, 'Make money from home', 'Make money fast', or other referral-based activities.
- Large blogs with multiple, unfocused / unrelated subjects.
- Links to Illegal Downloads / Streaming / Torrents/ Games / Movies
- Links to Password sites/Account Hacks

Just reply here, in this discussion and post the following information

1) Saying that you've read these Guidelines
2) Please be sure to include ALL your deleted BlogSpot Links/URL(s) that have been marked as Spam
3) Also tell us what content you were posting in each of the Blogs

Please note that the Blogger Team may look at other blogs in your account, as part of their review. If you request an appeal, and Blogger discovers other abusive / inappropriate content during the investigation, you risk having all of your content permanently removed. Please consider this when requesting an appeal.

If you want to know why any of this is necessary, read here:
The only thing I could think of was that my account had been hacked, so I immediately changed all passwords, and waited to hear from Google.

The blog came back up this evening. Googles excuse? "It was probably just the Spam Robots being a little wonky this morning...Unfortunately it seems like a bug that Google have now hopefully fixed. Normally the Spam detectors would send out an email, it seems in this case that the emails did not get sent."

I guess one can't expect perfection from a free service, but I can't risk 8 years of my life's work on the whims of Google's Spam Robots. Thus, I've downloaded the entire contents of the blog to my computer, and I've mirrored it on WordPress ( Eventually, I'm going to host it on our PACS servers.

In the meantime, I'll get some more interesting content really, really soon!

1 comment :

Martin P said...

You're right about what to expect from a 'free' service, but its also a flaw in the rush to 'the cloud', which ultimately, not even the application providers have full control over. Me playing devil's advocate.

That said - if you're moving to self-hosted WP - be sure to keep it up-to-date. WP is arguable the most attacked package around & there are plenty of bots that scour the interweb for sites using unpatched WP.