Google disables own blog as spam

Google misidentifies its Custom Search blog; original content now restored.

Google may be getting a little overly zealous in its antispam efforts. The company says it accidentally disabled one of its own corporate blogs after mistaking it for spam.

Google Blogoscoped first reported the problem with Google's Custom Search blog. Apparently, the blog had an odd message full of misspellings and incorrect grammar that said:

"Google Custom Search, is the wonderful product from Google which many webmasters have been looking and dream for. It allows webmasters to create their own custom search engines to search only the sites he/she wants. ? I?ll cover up more on this powerful tool very soon in my next blog." It was signed "Srikanth."

The blog is now back to normal, with no new posts since July 17. Here is the explanation from a Google spokesman as to what happened:

"Blogger's spam classifier misidentified the Custom Search Blog as spam. If a spammer gets caught by our automated classifier, the blog owner will receive notification of this identification. At the owner's request, the Blogger team will review the blog to verify that the blog in question isn't spam. In this case, the Custom Search Blog bloggers overlooked their notification, and after a period of time passed, the blog was disabled. The content wasn't deleted, but it was removed from the URL.

After the blog was disabled, the URL went back into rotation. A subsequent person came in, claimed the URL, and posted the new content about Google Custom Search, which was not an official post. So, it was a case of 'URL squatting' and not a security issue or any kind of hack.

Even after blogs are disabled as spam, the owner can write in requesting a review for her or his blog to be restored. If the review proves that the owner's content was not in fact spam, the blog will be restored with all content. So, when we saw what happened on Tuesday--and were well aware that our content wasn't spam--we restored the official Google Custom Search Blog. The individual who had claimed the URL and published the blog post in reference still has his content; it's just hosted at a new URL."