Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ambiguity In URL Availability #2

A couple months ago, we had various bloggers report that they are initially informed that a given URL is available, but the "Create a blog" wizard later shows that the same URL is not available. This month, we seem to have more of the same, plus a new, disturbing detail.
I am unable to see my blog on the web or sign in to it on Blogger Dashboard. I initially thought my blog had been given a false positive as a spam blog and blocked. A Blogger Help forum post said that often happens and I should send a "review request."

I sent a review request from my Blogger Dashboard. It took me to a page that says:
Blog is not locked. Your blog is not locked and does not need a review. If you are having problems accessing your blog or if you received an email saying that it was locked, please leave a message in the Help Group and we will investigate the issue.


Further conversation returns additional details.
On my Dashboard, next to the name of my blog "This Day in Famous Quotes" (which is at the URL www.ThisDayinQuotes.com) I see this:
This Day in Famous Quotes
Restore access to this blog. Learn more

The word "Restore" has a link. I clicked that and got the message shown, which asks me to send my email address and fill in a captcha. I did that and then got a message saying my blog is not blocked. But I still can't see my blog on the web or access it through my Dashboard. Here's the message I get when I click "Restore":
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

Find out more about how Blogger is fighting spam blogs.



A normal error, when browsing to a blog published to BlogSpot.




A cryptic, yet distinctive, error message when browsing to a blog published to a custom domain. This is also seen for the BlogSpot alias of the blog, published to a custom domain.



Here, you have no blog, but there's nothing stated to be wrong. And, we won't tell you what's wrong, we'll just ask that you report this in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

(Update 10/22 12:00): It appears that we have 2 relevant factors here.
  • A coding problem caused the ambiguity and some false positive results.
  • Not all blogs reporting the problem are legitimate. Blogger will probably handle this on a case by case basis, and unlock only legitimate blogs. I'm betting that we won't see a lot of apologies either.


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3 comments:

China Security Blog said...

Thanks for your response. Much appreciated. Google really neglects its customers.

tsunamic tuna said...

Thanks so much! Do you have any further advice on how to go about getting this fixed with google or blogger?

Alex Mirutziu said...

my blog it's been like this for few days now... can you please have a look and let me know what is there to be done.
www.alexmirutziu.blogspot.com
thanks