Friday, 22 April 2011

Blogger Bloggers Beware - Avoiding Random Deletion

I've just received a call from a friend who, like me, uses the Blogger application to share his thoughts and to keep in contact with the world around him.

At least he did use the Blogger application. Because a few days back, without any warning whatsoever, his blog was deleted by Google, whose product Blogger is, on the grounds that it was allegedly a "spam blog". Despite his appeal for a review (which Blogger claims is conducted by human beings but quite obviously isn't), his content remains deleted and he has been told by a sneering customer "services" oik he will not be getting it back.

I had visited the blog many times before it was removed and can confirm that it was quite manifestly not a spam blog, no more so than this one. Google's robots, it would appear, identify blogs as "spam" quite arbitrarily, and the appeal process as far as as I can tell does not actually exist.

I like the feel of Blogger, its user-friendliness and its extensive range of applications that are easy to follow by a technological zombie like myself. I could probably transfer my work to a Wordpress site, but all the effort that I have put in to publicising this particular website address and building page rank will then have been in vain. For the time being at least I feel that sticking with Blogger is marginally the better of two problematic options.

But this new enthusiasm that Blogger seems to have developed for randomly decimating its own customer base does worry me somewhat. With well over 300 posts on this blog and counting the thought that it could just be switched off for no good reason alarms me.

So for the benefit of other Blogger users, I would like to offer two pieces of advice which they should heed urgently:

1. Always back up your blog. Go to Settings, click Export and save your blog to an .xml file on your hard drive. That way, if your blog is deleted you will have a copy of your material that you can either import to another Blogger blog or transfer to a Wordpress application.

2. Do not use Google AdSense. Including AdSense in your site would seem to trigger the interest of the Google robots and, frankly, for the absolute pittance that you will earn by incorporating AdSense into your blog it really isn't worth the risk.

Follow these two pieces of advice and there really isn't any reason to have any sleepless nights over this.

And enjoy your blogging!


Michael said...

Thanks for the advice Phil. When I clicked on "Export Blog" there was a button saying "start download". Do I click this and does this leave my existing blog in place or do I have to set the whole thing up again each time I back up?

Phil Andrews said...


When you click "Start Download" this triggers the process by which you can save a copy of your material to your hard drive. It does not threaten or affect the material that you have published in any way.

Hope that helps.

Phil Andrews said...

Just in case anybody thinks I am exaggerating when I refer to Google's appalling attitude towards its customers, below is a response that was given on the laughably misnamed Google "Help" Forum last year to a customer who had had his/her blog identified as spam by the company's robots and who had appealed.

Remember, at the time this response was given the blog had not even been confirmed by a review team as a spam blog. Google admits that many of the blogs identified by the robots as spam are erroneously flagged up.

I think any further comment would be entirely superfluous:

"The soonest anything might even possibly be done will be Monday of next week, yet we have dozens of you wankers posting daily.

"If Blogger is to retain any control over the spam and pimping, they will most likely have to ignore this whining, and leave the matter unresolved for several additional days, as 'punishment'. Otherwise, every blog that gets graced by an interstitial warning will engender the same amount of bitching and pimping. BHF will become nothing more than a forum of 'xxxxxxx blog should not have an interstitial warning!'.

"If you folks care about GISS, you will all shut the fuck up, and wait until next week. Either Blogger may remove the interstitial, or they will delete the blog and give you something to really whine about. I am inclined to recommend the latter, right now."

Anonymous said...

Our favourite blog - now under threat ?
Fare of w*nkers, lest we forget !
News and views on all sorts of things
War & peace, cabbages & kings
So off the wall, truly unique
Crafty old Phil, still at his peak
Erudite comments, pictures too
Sometimes naughty, but never blue
Very pithy, full of pith
Fills the breach like Henry V
Dishonesty and politics
Councillors and lunatics
All afforded satisfaction
A Community In Action

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thanks for sharing .. same thing happens to me also