Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Blog was Deleted and Hijacked

I have established this new blog as a warning to the entire blogging community - or at least the enormous community that uses Blogger.com Be warned that what happened to me can happen to you, as it has nothing to do with the content of your blog but the capricious nature of the Blogger spambots.

I created a blog in March 2006 and had posted at least 40 entries. On June 21, 2006, my entire blog (actually three of them), all entries and all comments, of which there were many, were deleted. Gone, poof, disappeared. The URL for the blogs returned a "404 Not Found" page. I was mystified, as I certainly had not deleted any of my blogs. One of my blogs on health had been targeted by a spambot thinking it was a spam blog, but it had simply been suspended, and I was able, by contacting Blogger support, to get it back online - or so I thought. I didn't realize I had to republish the blog for it to be "Found" again, so I did that, the day before all of my blogs were deleted.

I discovered to my horror that my blogs had been deleted. I had no idea that anything like this could happen, as I never saw any warning about it on Blogger.com or the discussion forum. After it happened to me, I did see on the Blogger Help Group that at least one other person had the same thing happen back in February. This person's blog was quite innocuous - as opposed to mine, which consisted of very controversial articles on some of the most taboo subjects, such as religion and politics. There is no way this person's blog was deleted because of its content, nor was it in actuality a spam blog or "splog." This person's blog URL still returns a "404 Not Found" page.

But, after I posted my blog URL to the Blogger Help Group, my URL was hijacked by a link farm sleazeball. I had no idea anyone could do this, and no advice had been forthcoming at the moment when I was posting to BHG, so I didn't think to grab the URL myself. It was very late at night when all of this was transpiring, and, being a human, I needed sleep. However, to my disgust, this morning, 6/22, I discovered the hijacking. Now, the problem is not only that I must recreate my entire blog, using mostly cached pages on search engines - and losing a certain amount of it - but I must also be concerned that all the websites that linked to my blog are now linked to a link farm, which, according to SEO expert Brad Callen, will lower their Page Rankings and, possibly, their search engine rankings as well. Unless Blogger deletes this link-farm jerk and restores my blogs, I will now be compelled to spend hours not only restoring my blog myself - and placing it somewhere safe where capricious spambots can't just delete it on a whim - but also removing all links to my blog and advising anyone else I know who linked to my blog to remove them as well.

I am in a quandary as to whether or not to do all of this right away, because Blogger has been known to restore deleted blogs, and they may delete this jerk's link farm and return my URL to me, but the latter is probably wishful thinking.

In the meantime, I repeat, the Blogging community needs to be warned that this could happen to anyone. THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. Back up your work and, possibly, move your blog. If the same thing happens to you, be careful about exposing your URL using the Blogger Help Group. I am open to other suggestions, which is why I created this blog, which may be helpful to many others who could possibly end up in the same situation. I want to emphasize once again that this could happen to anyone. This situation did not require my password or any other encryption. The spambot simply deleted my blogs, and someone was able to grab the URL. My blog got a fair amount of traffic, so it was probably picked up pretty quickly using automated devices.

Please feel free to leave comments. Please also feel free to spread this blog all over the blogosphere, so that other people may be warned that it could happen to them. As can be imagined, I put a tremendous amount of work into my blog. It is likely that should such a thing happen to someone with money, Blogger could be looking at a big lawsuit.

P.S. I am surprised that no one from Blogger made a comment on my post on the Blogger Help Group, as there are some people who work from Blogger helping out there. Is this wanton blog-deletion a Blogger dirty little secret?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just install the blog software on your own web site instead of relying upon someone else.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Acharya S said...

Great. Now how do I do that? So many things to learn, so little memory.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Acharya S said...

Chuck the blogger expert has posted a blog entry regarding this situation.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most web hosting services use cpanel with Fantasico that will install blog software for you with the click of the button.

If you do not have Fantasico or cpanel you can upload the software to your domain and install it following the simple instructions to get it up and running.

Here are a few url's to preview blog software.

http://b2evolution.net
http://nucleuscms.org
http://wordpress.org

4:08 AM  
Blogger Goose said...

I was shocked to read all this, and really couldn't follow your technical discussion. I am guessing that enough people fit the "Flag?" button to cause Blogger to suspend it until they investigated. You probably already know this, but there is a feature where you can have copies of each post e-mailed to you. This is a great backup. As for Blogger, the reason I switched to them is that Google bought them, and Google has an excellent reputation. In regards to the person who mentioned your own blogger software, there are many programs that do this (I had once that was specific to my .Mac Apple account). I switch to Blogger because it is more professional looking and viewed by more people, plus you can blog from anywhere with a browser, instead of just your PC.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Wanderley X said...

Your work has influenced my life completely. I am brazilian, ex-pastor, professor of history at my state university. Blavatsky would lije to meet, cause you and her came to thius worls to clear people's mind. Thanks fopr existing!!!

11:09 AM  

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