I am regular reader of the excellent official Google Blog, which provides “Googler insights into product and technology news and our culture”. It was a surprising incident that the Google Blog hosted on Blogger went 404, got registered by someone else and now is back online with the official owners!
And this what is the official statement of what happened –
“The Google Blog was unavailable for a short time tonight. We quickly learned from our initial investigation that there was no systemwide vulnerability for Blogger…. We’ve determined the cause of tonight’s outage. The blog was mistakenly deleted by us (d’oh!) which allowed the blog address to be temporarily claimed by another user.”
Search engine Watch has a detailed step by step account of what happened.
What you should learn from this? Being on Blogger for a long time, I realized it is very easy to delete a blog with a few mistaken clicks. This is especially true if you run multiple blogs, use multiple windows and tabs for posting, editing and deleting your blogs. We are all humans, and it is very easy to confuse one blog with the other and delete the wrong blog by mistake. And if tech professionals like those at Google can do mistakes, so can we. And once a blog is deleted, all the posts and template is gone. And the blogspot subdomain is available for anyone to register. Google blog was lucky that a nice blogger was kind enough to register and return their original name back (after all it was a PR9 and top 10 technorati bog – anyone would be tempted), or else what would you do!
When moving from Blogger to WordPress, I learnt that when you republish to your own domain name using Blogger via FTP, again your old blogspot domain becomes available for anyone to register. When you change your blogspot name, instantly the domain becomes availble to anyone. At the same time, the older blogspot blog may continue to display as usual, till someone takes over the subdomain, decides to republish and create a new blog there. Always back up your blogger blog, who knows when you will need it.