Hello, I’m Mr Invisible.  Mr Invisible after a bit of a weird week, no less.

On Monday I was going to show a friend of mine at work what my blog looked like.  So I opened up Google, typed in ‘1537’ and got … precisely nothing*, normally I show up about fourth or fifth.  So I then typed in ‘1537 Blog’, with exactly the same result and then ‘1537 jatstorey blog’ which threw up some links to me from other websites, blogs and forums.  Odd.  When I got home I tried searching Google images as I rank quite highly there, there’s not many of us beavering away night after night making Judas Priest Lego, but still nothing at all.  To verify things I called up some Canadian reinforcements and it was all true, 1537 and Google were no longer friends.  I’m not a big stats watcher but it did then occur to me why things might have been a bit slow for the last week or so – I had effectively become invisible.

Oppressed Joe 01

A bit of experimentation led me to find that Bing and Yahoo still liked me, which was a relief.  Then I had to work out why I seemed to have fallen out with Big G.  To do this it seemed like I needed to verify jatstorey.com with them, so I needed to set up a Google account that I didn’t really want.  Then I tried, and completely failed, to alter my DNS server thingys so it could verify my ass.  I just couldn’t do it.  I mean I’m pretty good on PCs but I just couldn’t get the beastly little things to do the necessary.  It was also 1:30am on a work night  by that point and so, crying tears of pure man rage I went to bed, doing my best not to wake up the fearsome troll slumbering therein.

By dint of some hard work and study I sorted the verification problem out two days later**, all by myself.  Then my troubles began …

Oppressed Joe 02

Google had taken what is termed a ‘Manual Action’^ against me, because they had 1537 down as a spam producer, featuring all manner of dodgy links off site.  Now I don’t recognise myself, or my award-winning blog^^ in that context at all.  WordPress checked it out for me and I have nothing but praise for how good and how quick they were by the way, and even Google’s own transparency test showed I was clean.  I also spent an entire evening clicking around every single link on my site to see if anything had been substituted and used Google Fetch to see if my blog had been ‘cloaked’ (a stealth technique developed by the Klingons and used primarily for concealing their battleships), or ‘Shadowed’ (similar but built by Romulans), with no results.  Then I submitted a ‘Reconsideration Request’ to Google – this can take weeks apparently.

Oppressed Joe 03

Some conclusions:

A)  This is all some horrid algorithmically devised mistake and I’m the victim of a terrible injustice.

B)   I have an enemy out there (the CD Producer’s Guild?) who has/have deliberately used his super villain powers to fuck my site up (Mike is a fan of the super villain theory)

C)  Google just can’t handle the fact that someone so Welsh can be so Goddamn funky and fresh and/or they are jealous of my family and I because we pay more tax than they do^*

D)  The NSA shut me down because THEY JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH about my views on the Cramps and Jean Michel Jarre!

But whichever is true it has left me feeling like a twig in the wind and really rather despondent and demoralised. With all due respect to other search engines, when was the last time you said to someone ‘Why don’t you just Bing that?’, or ‘I’m sure that’s what it said when I Yahoo!ed it’, I am effectively invisible on the wider net now.  How will rock stars stumble across my brilliant, pithy reviews of their best efforts from 25 years ago now?  How will I attract new handmaidens to join my love cult?  It hasn’t really fired me up to do very much on my blog this last week.

But I am very happy you’re all here.  If I wasn’t afraid to blow my ultra macho hard-man-of-Lego-record-reviewing image I’d say it’s what makes me carry on, but I am, so get lost!

Have some music from a true original, another who will be sadly missed:

640 Down (still).

*well, a good few hits on Tudor England, Bigod’s Rebellion against Henry VIII being my all-time fave event from that year.

**well that and outsourcing the problem completely to a friend who works in IT – thanks Mark!

^not to be confused with something beloved of teenagers when their parents are out.

^^voted ‘Best Blog Featuring Lego & Swearing Operated By A Welshman’ 3 years running.

^*just kidding fellas, just kidding.

64 thoughts on “Weird Week

  1. Dude, this is a lot of hurt. Glad to hear your WP experience was pleasant, at least. Them G men are not ppl you want to go against. Why they targeted you? Who knows? WP targeted me because I had a random link going to Big Fish Games, and I wasn’t showing up in the reader. Not showing up in Google is death! I hope this gets resolved very soon!

  2. Google are behind (funding) the Flat Earth conspiracy nuts… they obviously think you’re mocking them with your love of discs. Don’t let it push you over the edge. In all the other dimensions I exist in, you’re number one in every search engine. ( I suggest using Bong! It’s transdimensional and is less buggy than Groggle.)

  3. I’m gathering up my posse and we’re heading to Google Headquarters and getting this all figured out. Once my son gets out of the bathroom and the dog has done his business we’re on the road.

    Come hell or high water, we’re getting some answers. Hang in there.

  4. This is all rather peculiar. That bloody Google lot can’t be trusted!

    Positive note: I dig the pictures. And the fact that the tension was clearly getting to you given the weight you must have been putting on the pen!

    … actually, is that a positive?

    I hope you had a biscuit and some tea. That’s what I woulda gone done.

    1. Great idea HMO – do you reckon we could get that other bloke from Heart to play a set? or even that guy from that other band I saw once? or should we just dial Bono?

      1. Christ no! They were ‘turned’ by the baddies years ago, they’ve always been a tool of the capitalist establishment elite.

      2. I found Bono.
        He was at a podium telling everyone there to sell all of their worldly posessions and use all of their rent money and give to some ponzi scheme charity.

        He then lit his Cuban cigar with a $1 million dollar bill, ate a tub of Beluga Caviar, got in his Ferrari and raced out of there before I could spewk to him.

    1. Thanks Mike. I’m sure it will be sorted out soon sensibly without any need for us all to unite and march to their headquarters to protest in a very polite fashion.

      1. Given my oddball vegetarian tendencies, it’s doubly strange!

        If this carries on you’ll only be able to see me on the Dark Net.

      1. Oh I wear toques, but only because I’m already bald AND for the last twenty years I’ve shaved my head. So the toque is my hair replacement, in winter. But I wear t-shirts all winter, and never ever complain about having to go out to shovel the snow. I go for walks in the worst snowstorms, and I love it!

  5. Macs have Duck Duck Go as default for when you type your search term into that top URL field thing. You came out #1 on that just now.

    The more I think about this the scarier it becomes. Who knew the clampdown would start with 1537?

  6. What a distressing cautionary tale. Trouble is, what is it cautioning against? I have two further possibilities to offer as to why the Big G has cast you into the outer darkness.
    (1) They don’t like that 80s metal stuff and just can’t stand it anymore.
    (2) It’s not Gobble, it’s Lego. Remember that recent kerfuffle over the Chinese artist Wei-Wei? Lego wouldn’t sell him bricks because he was making political art. And as we know, he got all his ideas from here…

    1. You’re clearly totally right with #1 – I know I should have stuck with my original plan for a blog based around polka music and omelettes.

      1. I bet Trump couldn’t find Wales if he was on the Severn Bridge! So it must be his fault. Speaking about the weather, when my mother came to visit me in Wales, she commented how hearty the Welsh must be because she would usually come in November or January when it was the coldest.

  7. The US Government vowed to stop at nothing to find the culprit that broke into the White House and replaced all of the antique lead civil war soldiers with lego characters.
    Apparently the culprit escaped with the Canadian Prime Minister’s group. He was last seen wearing a lumber jacket and toque, carrying a hockey stick in one hand, and a live beaver in the other, and constantly saying aboot and eh.

  8. Perhaps Lego have taken umbrage at your coopting of their characters for nefarious purposes, they are after all the building blocks on which the alphabet soup of government agencies are constructed. Or the Google pantheon of gods is jealous of your druidic observations and causing a disturbance in the aether. I blame Trump,it’s his fault.

  9. Perhaps a certain person in a basement should be denied access to his computer for good behavior. It seems his followers have infiltrated the Google ranks. I think the only thing you can do is…….

    Who are you? What is that needle f…………………..

      1. I smuggled my phone along. I’m feeling groggy but I am a compound and I see a huge banner that reads ‘Welcome to the Google/Lego Inc. Joint Venture Mind Control Camp.’

        I’m not trying to alarm you but they are burning vinyl records to melt into Lego pieces and I saw several t shirts with 1537 with an x crossed through.

        I hqve to go as I’m getting quite thirsty and they are offering me some refreshing Kool Aid

  10. I’m leaning towards C. We don’t notice the Welsh often over hear in the states. You guys need a civil war or a politician promising to build a wall with England or something to get us to notice you.

      1. I didn’t even know they were Welsh. I can sometimes spot the Scottish, but you guys just blend. You need kilts or leprechauns.

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