[Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons photo by Carlos Luna]

SolarChargedDriving back on Google’s good side

Incredibly, I somehow figured how to clear out hacker code from one of our web pages and Google is no longer blacklisting us 🙂

editors-blog-entry3It’s not easy being a small guy on the web lately thanks to what seems to be an ever increasing number of web site attacks, hacking incidents, etc. As many of you perhaps noticed, SolarChargedDriving.Com was just victimized by such an attack, and promptly given the universal web site “kiss of death”, meaning the proverbial, but luckily for now at least, temporary Google “black list” status.

Fortunately, we’re now back on the Google “white list” – but more on that below.

In fact, lately, it’s not even easy being the big guy on the web thanks to the relentless efforts by hackers – I think a better word for this type of hacker is hack – to plant malware, malicious code, Trojan horses, etc. around the web in an totally un-ethical effort to make money and/or just plain wreak havoc on the Internet.

Hackers hurt small guy
In contrast to the Big Guy on the web, the small guy – that would be us, SolarChargedDriving.Com – doesn’t have the money or personnel to constantly throw at web site administration and security.

When the little guy gets flagged on Google, we’ve got to go out and figure out how to fix things ourselves. Which I did – sort of. I got some help from a friend as well from Open Source Excellence a UK firm that develops the anti-hacker software that I run on SolarChargedDriving.Com to help protect the site from attack.

There may have been – and I emphasize may– one page out of the nearly 1,000 pages that now comprise our two-year-old site that might have been compromised and, it’s important to note, this page wasn’t serving malware itself. It might have been hacked to possibly redirect visitors to a web site Google has flagged as delivering malware.

In any case, somehow, I figured it out and, for now – cross my fingers 😉 – we’re back on the Google “white list.”

So, by all means, please come regularly and often to SolarChargedDriving.Com – we’re safe!

Sigh of relief
While I’m breathing a sigh of relief that we’re back up and running in terms of Google search — Google has such a complete grip on Internet searching that traffic to your site, especially if it is a small, relatively unknown site such as ours, will drop 70, 80, even 90 percent if Google’s flagged your site — I have changed a few things at SolarChargedDriving.Com as a result of this incident.

I’ve always wanted SolarChargedDriving.Com to be interactive and I had grand dreams of creating a space where solar-charged drivers could come together to build an online, interactive community. Thus, we had been running several social media components to allow users to register, create a profile, post pictures, video, etc.

Due to this latest incident, which might have been carried out by a registered site user, I’ve decided to do away with all of these social media type features on SolarChargedDriving.Com.

Limited interactivity
We’ll still offer interactivity – but only in the form of comments at the end of articles and blog entries.

We’re also going to continue to work with anyone who wants to submit content directly to us for us to upload and publish to SolarChargedDriving.Com. In fact, we’ve published quite a few guest columns and entries in the past two years, especially in the past six months.

We hope that you’ll continue to support SolarChargedDriving.Com and spread the word about it as well as about solar-charged driving in general and, better yet, that you, yourself, end up deciding to plug into EV + PV.

The more solar-charged drivers – on the web, and in real life — the merrier 🙂

Christof Demont-Heinrich
Founder & Editor, SolarChargedDriving.Com