I’m back online after being suspended by WordPress for about 48 hours!
I’ve had no information from WordPress on why this post triggered the alerts, or how to avoid it happening again, but I assume it was down to the number of Amazon affiliates links in the post (which were in turn due to the small number of tools and the large number of books & toys for my children that I bought at that car boot sale).
I presume the system thought I was in breach of the following clause:
the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);
I’m pretty fed up that they can be so quick to disable a blog without providing an equally speedy way of re-enabling it, or at least getting a timely response.
Although I could guess what the problem was, once my blog was disabled I was unable to edit or delete the offending post and all the “contact us as soon as possible” links resulted in no response for 2 days (I believe their only commitment is 2 working days, so it could have been worse!)
I would also have hoped that their systems would add some element of reputation to the decision and provide a warning before blocking.
The Car Booty blog was blocked the second I published the post, but the systems could equally have prevented posting and displayed an error message warning it would be blocked.
I can understand why an automated system would block a brand new blog with a lot of affiliate links, but when I tried to import the post into this blog in order to edit out the links and publish the tool related parts here, this blog was immediately disabled, despite the import function not actually publishing the post.
Anyway, my original motivation for starting this blog was to see what all the fuss about blogging is, but one and a half years later my motivations are now:
- to keep a diary of my various hobbies that I can share with friends and family.
- to give back to the internet communities which have helped me choose tools & machinery and learn techniques.
- if I make some “pin money” from Amazon affiliates I’m not going to complain, but as my total since Jan 2012 is about £15 (most of which was unrelated to blogging) I don’t think I’ll be retiring any time soon 🙂
I suppose if I wasn’t on WordPress, signing up to Screwfix affiliates (or given the amount of posts mentioning them, Axminster affiliates, if only they had such a scheme! 🙂 ) might be an option, but making money is not the aim of the game and I can see that one day there’d likely be a choice between honesty and “selling out” …
I now have to consider my options and whether I want to:
- continue hosting this blog on WordPress.com (all the while wondering if my next post will upset one of their silly automated systems :()
- move to Blogger, where affiliate schemes are actively encouraged, but there is a 1GB limit on images (vs 3GB at WordPress)
- host an installation of WordPress somewhere else, where I can do what I like with banners, affiliate schemes etc to try and recoup the hosting costs
- stop blogging altogether
I’ll throw this open as a poll: