My Blog’s Back! Happy, Happy, Happy!

(img credit)

It’s guuuuuuud to be back.

Long story short. Google deleted my blog. Labelled it as spam. I’m like WHAT?

When I first got the notification in my inbox, I thought it was a joke. ‘Til I re-read it, then went to my blog …and my blog wasn’t there. 🙁

My blood pressure danced the salsa.

After doing some research, I learnt that it happens to quite a few blogs that aren’t spam at all. From what I’ve learnt, Google has an automated system in place to detect spam blogs. Unfortunately, things can go wrong sometimes and innocent blogs can get caught up in the spam wave.

It’s been five loooong days and I’ve missed my blog.

I braced myself for the chance that Google might decide “Yep, it’s spam alright” and not restore it. Part of me dreaded not getting my blog back, but another part was resigned to that fact and was ready to start afresh elsewhere if need be. In fact, I’m really not comfortable with the idea that my blog can get deleted just like that, whether by mistake or otherwise. It’s a vulnerable position to remain in, especially with three years worth of content.

So, I’m gonna seriously think about self hosting. I already own the domain: getpaidtofart.com, and I already pay for hosting. I could move it to WordPress. Self hosting means I’ll have more control. One of the reasons I’ve been reluctant to move my blog to WordPress is ‘cos of all the stories I’ve heard about people having their blogs hacked into. There’s also the learning curve; all the things I have to install in order to transfer the blog, set it up, secure it, update it. Blogger, in that sense, is so much more straightforward. I’m also wondering if all the comments on my blog can transfer over, and all the post images. It feels like major work.

I think I have to weigh up two things:

– moving my blog to WordPress (self hosted), to its own domain, and the chance that it might one day get hacked into

against

– the chance of my blog being pulled down again on Blogger for whatever reason and the vulnerability & inconvenience that that presents — and the possibility that if it’s pulled again, it might not get restored.

Hmm…

How I Got my Blog Restored: the Process…

I’m gonna outline the steps I took from the time I was notified my blog had been deleted ’til the time it was restored as it might help someone:

– at first, all my blogs were deleted, not just this one. I also lost access to my dashboard. I had to verify my Google account by filling in some personal details when I tried to log in. A verification code was then sent to my mobile phone which I used to verify my Google account. Once I did that, I had access to my dashboard. All my blogs were then automatically restored almost immediately, apart from my Get Paid to Fart blog.

– I didn’t know how to get the remaining blog restored, so I did a search on Google and came across the following blog post which I found extremely useful.

– I followed the steps outlined in the post (request restoration, make an appeal, create a thread in Blogger’s ‘Something is Broken’ forum)

– I also browsed the Blogger ‘Something is Broken’ forum and came across an official process outlined by one of Blogger’s top contributors (nitecruzr). I found it incredibly helpful as there was a crucial step I’d missed (which I then went and updated in my thread). You’ll see the process outlined by nitecruzr in: this thread.

– My blog was deleted over the weekend; I had to wait two working days to see if it would be restored. I gave it ‘til early Thursday. When it still wasn’t showing, I updated my thread on the Blogger forum stating I was still waiting for an outcome. It was then escalated by one of the top contributors and my blog was restored later on that day.

I’m real grateful to the contributors that helped the restoration process along (Katney & DarkUFO). I don’t think they’re Google employees. They just try and help people out, which I think is really good of them.

Tips for you if your blog’s been deleted (and you feel it’s really not what Google’s accusing it of being)…

– follow the steps exactly as outlined by nitecruzr

– once you create the one thread, do not post another. Just bookmark and update it when you need to.

– I know how shocking and frustrating it can be when a blog’s deleted, but do try and be civil when posting a thread on the Blogger forum. I felt I was being accused of something I hadn’t done, then I was angry that it happened at all (even if it was a mistake). I felt helpless. Years of work potentially down the drain. My way of coping was through the use of humour in my thread, focusing on providing the information that was required of me, and then just getting on with other day-to-day things in my life.

I’ve missed my blog. If anything, the lockdown made me realise how important it is to me.

Big Mama, over and out…

Ebele.

13 comments

  1. Michelle Adams

    Welcome back! I did visit the other day but of course no blog! I suspected they’d just deleted it…I’ve heard a few stories of that happening.:(

    Great that you were able to get it resolved!

    As far as the risks…Your hosting provider plays a big part in the security of your sites so if you’re using a reputable company the chances of getting hacked are lower.

    The other thing I’m shying away from are free plugins that are brand new. All In One SEO is so popular and been around for ages…no signs of it having security holes so I use it. There are a few image gallery plugins that are new and free…I’d rather find one I pay for to be on the safe side (not that that’s any guarantee either!). So don’t let the hackers scare you off WordPress. There are precautions you can take and it’s not all that time consuming. WordPress have done a great deal over time to improve security too.

    A good host will have a back up for you too but you should also back up your own site reasonably often so you don’t lose your work.

    Onwards and upwards. 🙂

  2. ebele

    Hi Michelle 🙂

    Yes, I’m RELIEVED Blogger restored it.

    I’m with Hostgator. Don’t know what their level of security’s like, but I like them and they’re a popular company.

    I’m swaying more towards moving the blog. I’ve been reading other blogs that migrated from Blogger to WordPress. The process is not going to be without its challenges, but by doing some reading, it now feels a bit less daunting.

    re: plug-ins – I’ll definitely be sticking with the more popular ones.

    I’ll find out if Hostgator backs stuff up, but, yes, if I move, I’ll also be backing up my own content.

    Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.

    Take care…

  3. TriNi

    OMG, thanks for this post! You probably won’t believe it but this is my biggest FEAR! Also want to look into the whole moving to self hosting thing but it does sound SO technical and I don’t know if I’ll be able to transfer everything over and/or if I’ll lose any rankings in the process. 🙁 If you figure it out.. be sure to let me know!

    And thanks for outlining the process you took to get your blog back. Another friend of mine also got his blog deleted recently and I’m going to link him to your post. Hopefully it helps.

    AND off course, welcome back. 🙂

  4. avatarlady

    Hi there. Nice you’re back. I didn’t know that Google actually deletes any blog without notice?

    And moving to WordPress will just make it difficult for you to connect easily with blogger pages since it’s not possible to install the google friend connect widget.

    Btw, I got my first contest up and running. It’ll end this weekend. Hope you can join. Take care and hope you stay with blogger. I’ve got questions for you regarding your moneymaking sites, but there’s always next time.

  5. Ajith Edassery

    Ebele,
    Good to know that you got it back and thanks for the link. I still have two-three blogspot blogs in the family and the link might be of help.

    Since Google is very slow to any support queries and sometimes take undesirable stand against us, it
    s better to go self-hosted, I guess.

  6. ebele

    Hi Trini,

    Believe it or not, a day or two before my blog actually got deleted, I’d been thinking about the chance that it might happen one day.

    If I decide to move, the experience might be as bad or worse than I feared… but then it might not. A certain element of what I fear might just be down to my imagination. I definitely don’t fancy a repeat performance of my blog being deleted, so it’s probably not a case of ‘if’ I’ll move it, but ‘when’.

  7. ebele

    Hi avatarlady,

    It’s more than likely I’ll be moving over to WordPress at some point. I don’t want what happened to happen again. I don’t want to leave myself open to that. The chance of getting deleted (again) outweighs the benefits of remaining.

    p.s.: Will check out the contest. Thanks for letting me know about it.

    Take care…

  8. ebele

    Hi Ajith 🙂

    Yeah, I’m glad I got it back. Some people haven’t been so lucky.

    Self hosting is looking likely. I wish I didn’t have to consider WordPress as I prefer the simplicity of Blogger’s platform though.

    ——-

    Hi Rose,

    Haha!, I do like the imagery of me trying to wrestle my blog from Google 🙂

    Have a great weekend, you.

    Take care…

  9. Udegbunam Chukwudi

    Na wa oh! I pray never to be in your shoes. Thank God, my major sites are self-hosted and all I have to worry about is hackers who by cHINEKE’s grace will not target my blog at all. When you’re migrating to wordpress, do please find a way to sync it will your old blogger urls so you don’t lose traffic.

  10. ebele

    Udegbunam. Hey! How body?

    Well, fortunately for you, you’re less likely to experience what I did because you self-host. Though you have the problem of possible hackers, at least you own your own web island so-to-speak.

    Sync with my old blogger urls? Wouldn’t have the foggiest clue how to do that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, I guess.

    Take care…

  11. Krystal

    this is happening to me now and my blog is gone 🙁 I did all the steps..i hope it helps! i think darkufo is helping me…i’m confused at who they are though?

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