Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hello, this is not a spam blog!

Last night, we got a “no reply” email from Google that no serious blogger ever wants to receive. Enclosed was a message from The Blogger Team telling us our blog has been identified as a potential spam blog and that unless this was corrected by our filling out a form, our blog would be deleted in 20 days. Unfamiliar with the term spam blog, the first thing we did was click on the link to a detailed definition. Following is an excerpt:

What Are Spam Blogs?
As with many powerful tools, blogging services can be both used and abused. The ease of creating and updating webpages with Blogger has made it particularly prone to a form of behavior known as link spamming. Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site.

Gulp…okay, we thought, so maybe we aren’t always relevant, and maybe we are sometimes repetitive or nonsensical; but. really, are we guilty of these things to the degree that we deserve to have blog our deleted? Then after reading further about spam blogging and the technical skills required to pull it off, we breathed a sigh of relief. This could our out - we wouldn’t know how to spam blog if our very lives depended on it.

Next, we clicked on the link to the form to request a review. It had a message that told us if we were on that page, we likely weren’t a spam blog. It included a sort of apology for the robots that misidentified us. We’re very hopeful the review will go in our favor… so long as we not going to be judged solely on being irrelevant, repetitive, and nonsensical, that is. But just in case this blog disappears in 20 days, you’ll know why.

Here’s the email:


Your blog has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at (link redacted).

Your blog will be deleted in 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and your readers will see a warning page during this time. After we receive your request, we'll review your blog and unlock it within two business days. Once we have reviewed and determined your blog is not spam, the blog will be unlocked and the message in your Blogger dashboard will no longer be displayed. If this blog doesn't belong to you, you don't have to do anything, and any other blogs you may have won't be affected.

We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog like yours is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this error. By using this kind of system, however, we can dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to bloggers like you instead of to spammers.

Thank you for your understanding and for your help with our spam-fighting

The Blogger Team

P.S. Just one more reminder: Unless you request a review, your blog will be deleted in 20 days.