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Google Sucks! (And Google Can Be Wrong)

I really loathe the fact that Google has decided to be Net Nanny for all of us. Go ahead and try this even if you dislike Google as much as I do. Go to the Google main page and type in, including the quotes, “blog.eracc.com” and click their [I’m Feeling Lucky] button. Did you see something similar to the following page?
Google Sucks 000
If you did not see a similar page and went straight to one of our Blog pages then you may ignore the rest of this post if you wish. However, even if you did not see something similar then take a minute to read this article at PC World“Is Google Falsely Flagging Harmless Sites?”. Then take another minute or two and read “What To Do When Google Tells People Your Website Is Dangerous?” at techdirt.com and come back to read the rest of this article, I’ll wait…

Glad you’re back. Now read this message I sent today (the day of this article).

From: ERACC Webmaster (ERA Computers & Consulting)
To: appeals@stopbadware.org
Subject: Review our web log
Date: 04/15/08 12:11 pm

Hello,

Google has automatically flagged our web log as "dangerous" and it has been
flagged since January of 2008 when we had a bot attack that inserted some
popup messages for online gambling in our WordPress web log. While I agree
that online gambling is evil I strongly disagree that those actually made
*our* site "dangerous". Following the URLs to the gambling sites might have
been "dangerous" for those with a gambling addiction.

Since Google apparently flags sites automatically and our web log was clean
and updated with a new WordPress within a few days I have been awaiting the
automated removal of that warning and it has not happened. Apparently I was
working with a false premise that automated warnings *should* be quickly
removed by automated follow-up checks. After all, Google is still indexing
our blog.

While researching this I found references to other sites also abused by Google
and found this e-mail address to use for arbitration. Review the site and
have Google take that warning off.

Site: http://blog.eracc.com/

I understand this takes up to 10 business days. I would of course prefer to
have the warning removed "yesterday" but I can continue to be patient. Thank
you for your time.

Sincerely,
ERACC Webmaster

I am actually skeptical that this will work but am willing to wait and see as, apparently, my only alternative is to sign up for Google’s Webmaster’s Tools and supposedly use something in that to get our site reviewed. I think I will sign up for a Google “service” the day Sol goes supernova or somewhere near the end of time … or under duress to have our web log cleared, can you say extortion? I knew you could.

I have said before I seriously dislike Google for personal and political reasons and refuse to use Google “services” for the most part. Some, not all, of my reasons follow. I felt dismayed but took a “wait and see” attitude when Google took over the USENET archive formerly at Deja.com. Then I decided to be angered when Google put a web face on the archive and started their own web “forums” which include USENET. Why get angry? Because this allowed pretty much any troller with a cause to have the ability to post near anonymously to USENET thus breaking traditional filters. Yes, one can filter out posts from “Google Groups” but unfortunately that is a broad shotgun filter that also gets many legitimate posts to USENET. I was further turned off when Google started using their search engine for “in your face” advertising revenue by putting “sponsored” results at the top of a search. I understand the desire to profit off of one’s labor and would have no problem with the advertising that shows up to the side in a Google search. But ranking paid advertising at the top of a search is too much in my face for my taste. In my mind all the above are unforgivable sins. I know there are others that have similar views to mine shown here. My more esoteric personal and political reasons for disliking Google I will keep to myself.

This little fiasco with Google disrespecting our web log is just a bit more sewage in the septic tank of Google that helps solidify my resolve to use Google searches only under protest (as of now I prefer AltaVista although I loathe their copying of Google’s “sponsored” results at the top of a search). As for signing up for a Google service … yeah, right.

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3 comments to Google Sucks! (And Google Can Be Wrong)

  • How droll. I got this reply from my e-mail:

    StopBadware.org does not accept website review requests via email. Please submit all requests for review using our Request for Review form, available at http://stopbadware.org/home/review. Please use this form for all review requests, including requests in response to a previous review.

    You can find answers to common questions about website reviews here:
    http://stopbadware.org/home/faq#partnerwarnings

    The StopBadware Team

    Apparently they either stopped accepting e-mail because they were FLOODED by all the mail from site administrators or they never accepted e-mail and I was misled. Oh well, time to use their web form (sigh).

  • Ok, filled out their form and got this message a while later:

    — —————————-
    StopBadware.org Request for Review Confirmation
    From: noreply@stopbadware.org
    To: webmaster@eracc.com
    Date: 04/15/08 02:44 pm

    Thank you for contacting StopBadware.org. We are currently re-reviewing a number of websites via our request for review process, and we have added your site to that testing queue.

    If at a later time you would like to send us additional information regarding the website you have just submitted for review, please DO NOT reply to this email. Instead, return to your site’s page in the Badware Website Clearinghouse and click on the “Request a Review / Add Additional Comments” button to fill out an additional comments form. Only comments that are submitted via the “Request a Review / Add Additional Comments” form will reach us.

    Answers to commonly asked questions from site owners who are being filtered by Google can be found at: http://stopbadware.org/home/faq#partnerfiltering. For tips on keeping your website clean and secure, please visit: http://stopbadware.org/home/security.

    The StopBadware Team
    ——————————

    Looks to me like a way for them to drive people to their own web site for advertising revenue. :P

  • Heh, two days later and we are no longer marked as “dangerous”.

    I find it very odd that Google is automatically rating sites as “dangerous”, continuing to index those sites (determined by reviewing our logs), then never removing the “dangerous” rating without intervention from a site’s administrator. If Google is going to continue to automatically rate sites as “dangerous” then Google should also automatically go back and remove that rating when it is no longer true. Requiring a site administrator to intervene with Google or a third party to get “dangerous” ratings removed is a questionable practice that places an undue burden on site administrators. Fix it, Google.