You know, keeping a blog, especially blog as customized and data intensive as this blog, takes a lot of time.

I’ve got at least 8 hours into updating the WordPress software and I’m not done yet!

I got the blog to function, more or less, but I’m running into a dead end on debugging a problem with the Exec-PHP plugin. For some reason, the Exec-PHP plugin is adding a line-break to the end of all the lines of “included” PHP code.

That is really messing up the Zip Code Real Estate Notebooks. (See the list of zip code notebooks in the right-hand column.)

It’s after midnight. I’ve been working on the upgrade since the mid-afternoon.

I’m going to bed. Maybe the solution will appear in a dream.


Oh yes. Why am I upgrading my WordPress software?

I’ve put it off as long as possible because of the time involved and the potential for catastrophe.

Well, some jerk or jerks have been spamming the heck out of this blog! Jerks!

Somehow they were able to add text to posts! I have no idea how.

Obviously that’s a huge security breach. I figured upgrading to the latest version of the WordPress software should solve the problem.

My Google Rankings Tanked

I had noticed that Google had dropped Arizona Real Estate Notebook from it’s index. Google rankings can be pretty capricious so I wasn’t alarmed. I expected them to bounce back shortly.

After a few weeks, I stumbled upon a post of mine that had many dozens of lines of spam within the post itself. The code was not visible on the blog but it was there in the source code and Google’s spiders, of course, could see the spam.

I deleted the spam.

Several days later I stumbled upon some more spam in another post and deleted it.

Then I found a way to find the spam.

In the search function for this blog, I searched for “[less than]u style” which was the first code in all the lines of spam. [I have to type “less than” because when I actually typed the character “less than” in this post, it wouldn’t appear in the blog itself.] I had a few posts and pages that had the code legitimately but the search also caught the spammed posts.

I didn’t want to take the time to upgrade the WordPress software but in the last few days I had to delete the spam from a post almost every day. I would clean up the blog and the next day the spam would be back in one post or another.

I’m sure the spamming is all being done by a computer. I can’t imagine the spam is being added by hand.

Oh yeah, when I was keeping the blog clean of spam, this blog of mine reappeared in the Google index. It’s running around #10 for “Arizona real estate,” for example.

Has your blog disappeared from Google?

If your blog has disappeared from the search engines and you are running a very old version of WordPress (I had 2.0.2 or similar) you should search for “[less than]u style” and see if you can find some spam.