Monday, February 25, 2008

google defames saints ... bolts of lightning fall

I'm kidding, I'm kidding!!!!!!!

Update number 2: Feb 26, 2008, 6:30am est

Dang, that was quick. Some of the sites, such as St Kilda, and the Geelong Cats sites, are now correctly marked as clean. They're not all correct though ... the Brisbane Lions site is still incorrectly marked as dangerous, for example, but that was still quick for the others, and we hope that all will shortly be corrected. Shout-outs to google for reacting quickly!

Update number 1:

Some of our team in the Australian office noticed that it wasn't just the Saints, but also the Victorian based clubs of North Melbourne Kangaroos, Carlton Blues, Geelong Cats, Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons and Richmond Tigers, plus Port Adelaide Power (South Australia), Sydney Swans (New South Wales) and Brisbane Lions (Queensland) all being blocked by Google the same way. Shout-outs to the guys down-unda!


Hi folks,

What I'm really talking about is that if you search for "saints football club", the number 3 organic search result is the famous (to Australians) St Kilda Football club. The "defamation" bit is that google has one of its "This site may harm your computer" messages against it.

(If you look at the screen snapshot, you'll notice that LinkScanner assesses the site to be clean... the correct result)

This means that it is not possible for anyone to click thru a google search and get to the St Kilda website... you have to deliberately cut and paste the url back into your browser bar.

The reason that they're doing it is that, probably, at some point the website was hacked, and was infecting people, but ....GOOGLE-GUYS!!! IT'S CLEAN NOW!!! TAKE THE BLOCK OFF, PLEASE!!! (I feel like saying "Mr Google! Tear down this wall!", but I wouldn't be so bold.)

What this really underscores is the concept that a centralized database is useless at detecting web issues... the problem is simply too transient.

This happens quite a bit, and I must admit that I'm surprised that no one has accused google of damaging their brand. I'm sure regular readers of my blog will remember the case of They used to be the number one organic result when people searched for k1. They were hacked for about 10 days, and then cleaned, but in the mean time, they had earned the "This site maye harm your computer label", and over the next 12 months, before the label was removed, their rating slipped, and slipped, until finally it was nowhere on the first three pages.

I can't imagine St Kilda taking it lying down if their ratings start to slip, and I can't imagine google meaning that to happen. It just shows how difficult it is to keep up.





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