Well . . . it's been quite awhile. And it was not really my fault. Something weird happened with my site awhile back that resulted in it turning up in search results as "suspicious". I freaked out and combed through my whole blog searching for some hint of sketchy activity and found nothing. This non-discovery led me to some rash deleting of a bunch of buttons and stuff off my sidebar because I am totally illiterate at actual website problem solving and couldn't figure out where else the problem might be coming from.
I resubmitted my site to Google for review and held my breath. For I don't know . . . weeks. And *nothing* happened.
Like . . . NOTHING nothing.
Wait, no. What happened was that they scanned my site maybe 5 days after I requested that they do so and they found nothing wrong with it. (I'm so not with it on how I was supposed to know this because Google does *not* contact you about jack, that I didn't realize it had already been scanned for weeks. Doy.) Anyway, there was still a problem because when I would periodically Google my site I would get that same *suspicious* result.
It was enough to make a person crazy.
|Image by bark via Flickr|
Yes. You read that right. They found nothing wrong with it, but it was still flagged and therefore my readership went right down the toilet. Oy. Good thing I don't blog for the accolades or for money, because I would have been der screwdsma.
The whole experience was totally deflating . . . though Google would have you believe it is a totally simple process to get them to check your website and take you off their blacklisted site list, it's really not. Unless of course, you have had this happen before and you have some kind of experience with this kind of thing. OR in case you are a little more savvy about solution-izing (yes, that word is made up) web problems than I am. Which . . . is possible.
Anyway, I wanted to post this to a) let everyone know my site has been deemed worthy again and you don't need to be scared to come visit me over here anymore, and b) to let you know what site FINALLY helped get me back in the black with Google.
And yes, it was free. I ran across several sites that were willing to problem solve for me for a fee (which, let's face it . . . I would have done if I had the money to spend on such things right now - - this thing has been such a headache), but I chose to go for the fun DIY route. And by fun I mean . . . um . . . not fun. But free. :P
So yeah, if something creepy happens to your website and you're lost on what you're supposed to do, check out Stop Badware. It was like eleventy billion percent more helpful than any of Google's help sites (though, to Google's credit I *did* get a link to Stop Badware through them).
Anyway, it was through that site that I realized that the reconsideration request that I sent to Google was *the wrong* kind of reconsideration request to send them to get me off the sketchy list. Like I was supposed to know that?? Ugh. They have some tips on how to clean up and protect your website (which you can find under their FAQ page), and they also have a place on their site where you can request a review. You know, in case you think you already requested a review from Google themselves and then found out you totally did it wrong. And you can't find where you're supposed to do it right. Ahem.
The good news (at least for me, though I can't guarantee anything for anyone else) is that less than 24 hours after I requested a review of my site through *them*, I was de-blacklisted and we're all back and bumping over here.
I don't know. This may help no one, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway. Hopefully I'll be back with some actual sewing-related posts sooner rather than later.
Missed you all, and I hope I still have some readers left. :P