Monday, January 02, 2006

Bug Eats Website, Film @ 11

File this little post under the category "So Embarrassing He Should Keep His Mouth Shut" or maybe more correctly titled "IncrediBILL makes IncrediBLUNDER".

A very minor bug in my scraper stopper just about sent me to the poor house as it was inadvertently blocking Google, Yahoo and MSN because of a very minor programming flaw.

I had cut/paste some code and it said:

if( isGoogle() )
exit();

Instead of:

if( isGoogle() )
return();

Meaning that my entire database of pages were being returned BLANK instead of having any content when search engines crawled and sure enough all three search engines have already gobbled up all these blank pages.

This would've gone unnoticed for a long time except I went looking for a page reference to compare with something and it was blank, so I checked all page references from the site and all the static pages still had text and all the database pages were blank.

OOOOPS!

Looked at the code, fixed it real quick and we'll see if everything is back to normal in a week after they've all been crawled again.

In the meantime, I bought a box of Depend as a prophylactic measure to save my chair in the event the worst happens.

4 comments:

Chief BadSense said...

Minor bug, eh?

Guess we'll soon find out. :-)

Anonymous said...

ouch!

With any luck, the SE's were off somewhere else or taking a break.

Sebastian said...

Bugfix should work as long as your function retun() doesn't contain an exit statement ;)

Crap, a few years ago I had a #1 spot for "sorry, db not avail" caused by a quite similar minor bug.

thebear said...

What kind of bug was it Bill, ah I see the duplicator kind. Sorry to hear that, you will probably need plenty of depends.

Google's duplicator whacker is extremely good. It probably has you all sized up as at least a spammer and probably a scraper.

Best you start pleading your case over on Matts blog or you could start a whine^Wthread on Webmaster World.

I hope you caught it in time.