How do you talk with God? And, who is God anyway?
Is Google God? They pull a lot of weight and have become the gatekeeper of the Internet. Tonight, they removed me from their index. It is an amazingly weird story.
I’ve been writing about my traffic here on the blog recently. I mentioned some suspected reasons for the dropoff, especially traffic referred by Google.
To confirm some suspicions, I did a Google search on this site. It would instantly tell me which of my pages were most popular.
I was stunned.
The list was long and mainly consisted of pages I hadn’t entered! The pages were virtually 100% made of keywords and links. They were obviously computer generated without human intervention.
I clicked on one. The address bar in my browser read www.geofffox.com/MT/archives… I went to my web server and looked for the files that made up this page. They weren’t there.
My friend and ix-guru Bob said my webserver might have been hijacked. The bad files were now hidden from me. That’s as good a guess as any, but wrong.
Though the address bar said geofffox.com, if you manually typed the web address you’d get a 404 error – page not found! Something was very fishy.
The content really wasn’t on my site. Somehow, Google had been tricked and was sending people one place while saying it was another. I’m totally confused.
I went to the Google Webmaster Help forum and posted a note. Twenty minutes later, the bogus ad pages were gone from Google. So was nearly everything else in my site. A few hours later, the rest vanished.
As I write this, if you enter “site:geofffox.com” in Google, you get nothing! I am devastated.
I went to Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Pages on your site may not appear in Google search results pages due to violations of the Google webmaster guidelines. Please review our webmaster guidelines and modify your site so that it meets those guidelines. Once your site meets our guidelines, you can request reconsideration and we’ll evaluate your site.
Holy crap. Google has blacklisted me. As far as the Internet is concerned, I will cease to exist. No – I have ceased to exist!
I’ve already filled out a form, begging to be reconsidered, though I don’t know what I did wrong. Google won’t tell. They also won’t tell how long they’ll take to fix, or whether they’ll fix it at all.
Maybe Google isn’t God, but it sure acts like it. I’m just a little schlemiel with a simple website. What if my livelihood depended on this?