Now that’s teamwork. Google is indexing LitKicks again, after John Honeck and a few other experts pitched in with helpful advice. It turns out the reason I couldn’t see the spam links is that they were programmed to appear only in response to page requests from Google or other major search engines. The secret was to look at a cached LitKicks page from another search engine, which clearly showed the spam. Thanks also to Google for quickly restoring the site once the problem was solved.

As to how the spam device got there in the first place, it turns out to have been embedded in the WordPress theme I’d used to create the latest version of the site. The theme is called “Royaline”, and anybody else who uses this theme will probably eventually run into the same problem I had. I posted about this on a WordPress forum.

It’s a discouraging fact that prescription drug spammers would so carelessly violate the trust of the open source community. But it’s equally encouraging that I asked for help with this problem and so quickly got what I needed. Good work, people.

5 Responses

  1. I’m glad it’s fixed. I hate
    I’m glad it’s fixed. I hate that underhanded crap. The good news is, it was discovered.

    Question: if I want to know if this is ever happening to me, can I simply Google myself and click on all my different links there? If I did that, I would see the spam, right? Or not right?

  2. Levi: If it’s any
    Levi: If it’s any consolation, I got hit with the same thing too and had to likewise contend with Google.

  3. Great news that you are on
    Great news that you are on Google again. It’s the way it is – you have to be on Google to exist, but how you get ratings etc is a mystery to me. Perhaps Google is some sort of benigh deity. I Google, therefore I am.

    On a literary note, there was a fascinating book written about hackers a while back, in the pre-web era, called “The Cuckoo’s Egg” by Clifford Stoll. He’s a unix sysadmin that discovers a small account discrepancy, which leads to the discovery of a German hacker in league with the KGB. It is truly an amazing read.

    I was thinking that if Google didn’t put LitKicks back on we could start a massive email campaign.

  4. Glad your site is back up on
    Glad your site is back up on full throttle. I complained about Google’s “index” omission on KnoxViews on a “Madison & free speech” thread. As you know, freedom to be seen is “free speech” on the net. Good thing this isn’t China’s Google. I heard about it on the TV. Glad you got help from the experts and got word up the chain of command in Google. Hopefully Google now has a more convenient hotline for these spam and hacker problems. Your links don’t need to get gummed up with crap like that.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!