Danger WordPress! Lauren has entered the admin dashboard!
Over the past four years, I’ve made many blogging blunders, from blowing a deal with a content syndication service by writing a post about Polish Spam, to breaking the footer on my blog. But of all the blogging blunders I’ve made throughout the years, I think I’ve outdone myself this time.
Last week in a moment of late night impulsivity, long after the ADD meds had lost their efficacy, I decided my permalinks needed a makeover. And that was before the dogs had tackled me on the driveway and I hit my head. More about that later.
Since I was in a nostalgic mood that night, reminiscing about the perm I had in the 80s when I worked as a secretary in the A&R Department at Columbia Records, I thought, “This is the perfect time to primp up my permalinks.”
They seemed out of sorts lately with the day and year and whatnot ruining their looks. That’s when I tapped into my inner blogging stylist and really screwed things up.
Hell, I didn’t know what a permalink was until Google Webmaster Tools sent me an email alert that my blog had 395 crawl errors, at which point I realized that changing your permalinks is a bad idea if you don’t know what you’re doing. And clearly, I didn’t. It was time to informicate myself. That sounds dirty.
I clicked on the Chrome icon, transported into cyberspace and docked at the Google home page. No one was there to greet me or to offer snacks. I had to find my way around the page, rent a search engine and then zigzag my through the information highway without GPS or a gas station attendant I could ask for directions.
In my search for a permalink fix, I learned about 301 redirects and .htaccess files in cPanels and all sorts of stuff I have no interest in.
A technotard writer like me doesn’t want to know about letters and symbols strung together into strange hieroglyphic patterns known as code, which is way above my pay grade. In my world, patterns or sentences, as we like to call them, have a verb, noun and adjective with a period at the end.
I don’t care about codes and .htaccess files. I don’t want to get bogged down with blogging details. I didn’t know that changing the permalink structure would piss off Google and unleash the kraken. Clearly, something you don’t want to do.
All the permalink primping and preening began soon after I noticed my PageRank had dropped from a three to a question mark. I panicked, as drama queens will do, and ironically, in a desperate attempt to find an answer, did a Hail Mary Google on “permalink screw ups” on which there were 1,930,000 results.
I bookmarked several sites, read them until my eyes glazed over and headed over to Facebook where I thought my friends could help. And help they did … if only I could understand what they told me. So I gave up on permalinks for a while and obsessed on other things.
That was two days ago, the day after the dogs knocked me down while I was opening the fence. Luckily, my head cushioned the fall. I’m okay. I may have checked out for a second or two but that’s normal for me.
For two days, I worried about the bump on my head and the dog I fell on, a moment in time I cannot recall, and subsequently forgot about my permalink predicament until yesterday when Google screamed, “You’ve got 395 crawl errors. Damn it! Do something about it, or I’m kicking you out of the Internet.”
What’s a technotard to do? Find a Facebook friend to help. Luckily, I found a techie friend who had nothing better to do on a late Friday night than help the html intolerant. He looked under the hood of my blog and after a minute or two of iming back and forth, we concluded I should change my settings back to the boring permalinks with day and year and whatnot.
And about my PageRank drop from a three to a question mark. It wasn’t a drop at all. It seems that PageRank is retiring and moving to Florida. I won’t know for several weeks if Google will be retiring me.
What was your worst blogging blunder?