Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blogger Locked Me Out

After a full week of just not having the time to post due to a work commitment, I came to find that my blog had been "locked" by robots on suspicion that I was a "spam blog" (aka "splog"). Regardless of how you feel about my writing or grammar ;) my content is indeed created by a human (and not robots), my links don't all point to the same site, and I'm really not pulling in adsense worth mentioning at all.

So I gotta wonder why my site got flagged. Because they don't tell you why it got flagged. Nor do they tell you how long the queue to get whitelisted is, or where you are in it. They just tell you that a human has to review your site and that it usually takes 24 hours. My site took more than 48hrs but some people have had to wait longer, and some have even lost their entire site in the process.

I'm just flummoxed. I applaud efforts to fight spam but this process is broken. Many real bloggers are having their blogs locked down and the only option is to submit to be reviewed and then wait. The review process clearly takes too long (due to an uneccessarily long queue of incorrently flagged blogs perhaps?) and the robots apparently aren't very smart. And they hate freedom.

I suppose the good news is that I no longer have to type a captcha every time I post. I thought Blogger had turned on some blogger-wide anti-splog mechanism and it turns out that is turned on in blogs that are initially suspected of splogging. And theoretically there is a way to get whitelisted at that point, but I suppose typing in gobs of pull-your-hair-out-annoying captchas correctly (and quite a few incorrectly...is that two v's or a w? a g or a q? aaaargh!!!) over the past couple of months was not enough to prove I'm human.

I couldn't even update my template to somehow alert the 3 people who might care what was going on. Anyway, I'm back ... and woefully behind so i better get to it...


  1. Sorry to hear that, it seems like Blogger is slipping a bit under all that spammage.

  2. Glad you're back! Blogland is not the same without you.

  3. Hi, Caitlin, I was wondering what had happened to you. I knew I could count on you to amaze, amuse and enlighten me. A captcha! That's a great word. I have never heard that.

  4. So glad you are back! Long time no read!

  5. Very interesting post! I just got back to blogging on my site, and initially struggled to figure out if I wanted to continue using blogger.com, or if I should switch to WordPress. I have WordPress installed on my site, but it seemed a lot harder to integrate my own template into it, so I stuck with blogger for the time being.

    Anyway, I've been reading your blog for a couple months, and just added you to my own blogroll today.

    So, is there a way to try to be proactive and try to get whitelisted by blogger BEFORE my blog gets incorrectly flagged as a "splog"? Just thought I'd ask... If there are some tips you have for preventing the problem, maybe you could post a follow-up.

    Thanks for the great blog!

  6. Aha, I had been wondering what happened, but am glad to see things getting back to normal.

  7. I hear your pain. It happened to me too. Welcome back to unrestricted blogging. =)

  8. eDave, part of what is so baffling is i have NO IDEA why I was flagged. So the only thing I can tell you is that if blogger starts making you type captchas with every post, do some research about how to get whitelisted at that point.

    I thought it was implemented across blogger so I didnt know to followup then.

  9. Wow. I thought I'd heard of everything, but "splogging"?! I'm still trying to figure this out. How can a blog be "spamming"?

  10. Les, check out the wikipedia entry i linked to...splogs are basically nonsense blogspot sites that exist to up page rank of a "target" site. they basically spoof google's ranking etc and/or exist to present ads (to make money off adsense) and they aren't truly "blogs" where folks are really writing stuff.

    it's a common "black hat SEO" technique

  11. Hi Caitlin - glad you are back! I wonder if having the blogger search bar active on your site could be a problem? Could someone have accidentially hit the FLAG button? Since I have never clicked on it I am not sure how easy it is to flag a site or not...

    Just a thought (and yes, I have that bar active on my site - but wonder if I should get rid of it...)


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