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Google Accidentally Blocks Blogger Sites as Spam

August 6th, 2008

blogger-blogspot-logo.jpgIn its ongoing battle against spam blogs, or “splogs”, Google managed to inadvertently lock out many users of its Blogger service last week, apparently due to a bug in the data processing code. After becoming aware of the problem and realizing it was an error, a Google official named Brett noted in the Blogger Buzz Blog on Friday, “To those folks who have received an e-mail saying that your blog has been classified as spam and can’t post right now, we offer our sincere apologies for the trouble.”

Complaints from less-than-thrilled bloggers had begun to filter in to the Blogger Help Group earlier in the week after they received emails informing them that their blogs had been locked due to being classified as spam. Although the full scope of the problem is still not clear, eventually Google reinstated the affected blogs and issued an official apology:

We want to offer our sincerest apologies to affected bloggers and their readers. At Blogger, we strongly believe that you own and should control your posts and other data. We understand that you trust us to store and serve your blog, and incidents like this one are a betrayal of that trust. We are adding additional monitoring and process checks to ensure that bugs of this magnitude are caught before they can affect your data.

Incidents such as this one highlight the need for serious bloggers to have their own domains and regular paid hosting from a reliable provider. Although this will not completely eliminate potential problems with your data or website access, it generally reduces the possibility of something going wrong and creates a reasonable expectation of reliable service as long as you are paying for it. With free hosting providers like Google’s Blogger, you really don’t have that and are ultimately at their mercy in the event of a mistake or disaster.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with having a Blogger blog. They are relatively easy to set up, and many savvy marketers have been able to build networks of moderately profitable niche sites out of them. But I would not recommend using a free hosting platform such as this for your main business site.

Not only does having your own domain name present a more professional image to the public, but having the peace of mind of being able to control your own site and its content is something that is vital to the mental health of every blogger. In my experience, being an active webmaster is enough of a headache as it is — the last thing that we need to deal with are incidents like, “OMG Google blocked my blog because they think I’m Spam!”

3 Responses to “Google Accidentally Blocks Blogger Sites as Spam”

  1. comment number 1 by: Kris

    One of the first things I did when I knew I was serious about blogging was get my own domain name. I am hosting my blog with TypePad but as of yet I have had 0 problems like this. I feel sorry for all the bloggers who have spent so much time and energy on a post only to find their readers might not see it! That stinks.

  2. comment number 2 by: regina

    I was one of those locked out bloggers last week! And I actually have a dot com that I have been playing with for some time but being locked out did make me want to move my butt and get that dot com up and running!

  3. comment number 3 by: impNERD

    That is pretty funny. There were some people on the EC forums talking about this a couple days ago.

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