The blog

The blog—informal opinions and chat about the parish

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Where did the Website Go?

The ways of Google are very mysterious, and they are famous for not explaining themselves to anyone at all.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, I put a really nice picture of the church building into the website, resulting in the whole site vanishing entirely from Google. I have just spent the entire evening simplifying the home page as much as possible, hoping that I can somehow knock out whatever error has generated Google's ire. Still nothing.

The link to the right works, and I will continue simplifying (no more pictures, alas), hoping to finally take out the offending code. There's no problem related to virus (so your computer is safe); it's just that Google refuses to index a site with the smallest error, and there's really no way to get information from them about what went wrong. Then if/when Google finally does index us (it usually takes six weeks or so), I will gradually add things back in.

Late-breaking News

Technical stuff here. After a long evening of research and teeth-grinding, I finally figured out that two causes contributed to the problem. The first was my fault, when I put that picture on the wrong side of an LI tag (mea culpa). The second was that we got hacked, and the hacker left behind several little files that were designed to track visitors to the site. (I can hear my Calvinist friends commenting about the general sinfulness of mankind at this point.)

Anyhow, both of those problems have been sorted, so I'm hoping Google can index us again, and sooner than 6 weeks! In an aside, web standards keep evolving, and things that used to work stop working, so they must die out. (This is starting to sound Darwinian!) Our website only has four pages, but I have a lot of those extinct structures. More research!

I am full of hope, though, that we will have a working website that is indexed by Google.