So, the Surf Report got kicked out of Google, if you can believe it.
On Tuesday there were a few comments from readers who said they could no longer find the site using the Google search engine, and I thought: What now? What in the hand-rolled hell is going on now?? So I checked it, and they were right. We no longer existed, according to our Mountain View overlords.
But why? What had I done? I know Google sometimes punishes sites for various infractions, but complete removal from the index is serious business. That’s not just a punishment, that’s… excommunication. Like Amish shunning, or something.
I logged into Webmaster Tools, a service for site owners, and there was a note there from Google. It said The West Virginia Surf Report had been identified as a spam site(!). They provided some confusing evidence of this, and said they were immediately removing TheWVSR from their index.
And that’s when the top of my head exploded.
What did they mean a spam site?! How could that be? I’ve been doing things exactly the same, more or less, for nine years. I’m not even sure Google existed when I started, and had never had a problem. I was pacing and muttering, and running my hands through my hair.
I sent the note to a guy who helps me with technical issues, and he investigated and told me the site had been hacked. A load of spammy code had been inserted, and he provided a screenshot of hundreds and hundreds of unknown URLs stacked up inside the source code. And another chunk of my head came off.
Long story a little less long… he worked at removing all the crapola, we updated plugins and changed username/ passwords, and I applied for “reconsideration” at Google. They said it would take at least three weeks for my case to be reviewed, but to please be patient.
About twenty percent of the Surf Report’s traffic comes from Google searches, and I certainly didn’t want to kiss that goodbye. Plus, I had concerns about perceived legitimacy. It bothered me that a search for “thewvsr” now took you to the West Virginia Split Rail company. I can’t have that.
But we’re back. Only two days later, and we’ve been returned to the Google index. Never a dull moment… Sweet sainted mother of Satch Davidson.
And since we’re on the subject of catastrophic website failures, I believe the RSS via email feature is now working again. I don’t know what happened, but I played around with the settings and it appears to now be functioning again. Sorry about that. Please let me know if you notice any further problems with it.
The younger Secret returned to school today, after hanging around on couches for two and a half days. He had a 103-degree temperature at one point, but is much better now. They’re dropping like flies at my job, too. It seems like the whole world is sick.
In fact, I felt like a bushel basket of turds all day yesterday myself, and only worked five hours. I went in at 3, and returned home at 8. I would’ve called-off completely, but… well, it’s a long, boring story.
I feel a lot better this morning, so hopefully I only got a small dose of it. And for the record, last night was the first time I’ve gone home early — unscheduled — in the two years I’ve worked there. And I’ve only called-off once, sometime in 2008, I think. I work when I’m scheduled, which seems to be a bit of a novelty nowadays. Know what I mean?
Have you ever watched a web show called Star-Ving? It features “Bud Bundy,” and some dude from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. The episodes are each less than ten minutes long, and they’re disgusting, profane, over-the-top, and hilarious. In other words, the whole thing is fantastic!
Check it out, when you get a chance. But you might want to be careful watching it at work… Heh.
Toney and I were thinking about getting the boys a Playstation 3 for Christmas, and maybe allowing them to hook it up to the B.A.T. (big ass television). And after reading this, any hint of hesitation has been erased. Oh yeah. I can’t wait! Until, you know, our kids get their Christmas presents. …Because I want them to have a nice Christmas. …Hello?
And speaking of Christmas… I’m going to include a link to Amazon at the bottom of every update between now and the holidays. Please use it while doing your holiday shopping, and I’ll get a tiny portion of whatever you spend.
It’s a completely painless way to support the Surf Report, and I’ll be exceedingly appreciative. Exceedingly.
And yes, most of the t-shirts have now been mailed. I can hear the shouting from here. Sorry about the delay, but I allowed it to get away from me. You’d think a guy who’s spent his adult life working in distribution would be more organized… Sheesh. Wotta fantastic douche.
I’ll leave you now with a Question that seems kinda Facebooky. But I’m going to go with it anyway. In the comments section please list five things (or some other amount, I don’t care) you’ve never done, which might surprise people. I’ll get the ball rolling.
Smoked a cigarette.
Broken a bone.
Crapped at work.
Watched any of The Godfather movies.
Eaten Lucky Charms.
Now it’s your turn. Have at it, using the fancy-ass WordPress commenting tool.
And I’ll be back on Monday, with more intellectually-stimulating, highbrow entertainment.
Have a great weekend, my friends.