I Am a Danger to My Blog


Scream Cropped

Scream Cropped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Danger! Danger! Lauren just entered the admin dashboard!

Over the past four years, I’ve made many blogging blunders, from blowing a deal with a content syndication service for 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.


permalinks (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

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?

27 Comments I Am a Danger to My Blog

  1. Perry Block

    You’re in danger to your blog? I don’t belong on the Internet, I should be back in the 13th Century copying manuscripts with guys named Brother Clarence! I don’t have the slightest f*cking idea what you just said! For all I know, your post was about how to enrich uranium!

    I’ll read it a fifth time.

  2. Ron

    Lauren, I freaking LOVE your writing style!

    ” I thought, “This is the perfect time to primp up my permalinks.”

    Bwhahahhahahahaha! OMG…that was so cleverly BRILLIANT!

    And thank you for sharing this post because for as long as I’ve been blogging, I had no idea you could actually change your permalinks?! But after reading this post, I don’t think I’m gonna try it – HA!

    My worst blog blunder was when I transferred my domain name from Blogger to Go Daddy hosting. OMG…the day after I did it, my blog became invisible – it was literally no where to be found. Come to find out, I didn’t transfer my DNS numbers (URL code address) from Blogger to Go Daddy, so I had NO address, just an URL that went no where. Luckily, some guy at Go Daddy talked me through the whole thing and got me up and running in a couple of minutes – whew!

    Oh and listen, I lost my Page Rank too when I first changed my domain name, but don’t worry because it comes back in a couple of days. So I pretty sure it will do the same thing in your situation as well.

    1. Lauren

      Thank you, Roy. I’m freaking glad you love my writing style. : )

      Oh God. That would have freaked me out if my blog disappeared after transferring the domain. You’re lucky that you had a good tech person to guide you through the process.

      I’m not going to mess with anything again unless I know what I’m doing and that’s highly unlikely. I’m dangerous at night when I’m off my ADD meds. I change settings without thinking about the consequences.

      I heard that Google is retiring PageRank. I don’t know if that’s the reason I have a question mark or not. I’m sick of trying to figure it out.

      1. Lauren

        hah! I grabbed this from the web. Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts. I guess “permanent” is the operative here. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have changed the darn thing.

  3. Phil

    LOL! That’s why I won’t even go to that page and touch anything! The more I don’t mess with my links and things the better. Ignorance is bliss.

    1. Lauren

      I don’t know why my spam filter keeps targeting you, Phil. My apologies.

      You are a smart man not to mess with links and stuff. Ignorance is bliss! I should print that out and paste it to my computer.

  4. Rum Punch Drunk

    This post was so funny and I’m just glad to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’m frightened to touch anything on the settings page unless I really have to, and I can just about understand what some of the words mean. Permalinks was over my head until I read your reply to a comment here. At first I thought blogging was all about writing a post and pressing publish, but there is so much other stuff to it that people don’t know about unless you’re a blogger of course.

    When something goes wrong, it’s a scary moment thinking that all the hard work you’ve done could go to ‘pot’ in seconds. I’m always asking fellow bloggers for help because I just can’t get my brain around all of this. I’ve done so many mistakes I don’t even know where to start.

    You sure did give me a damn good laugh mate. 🙂

    1. Lauren

      I’m glad this made you laugh.

      The tech stuff hurts my head. The scary part is that I know just enough to be dangerous. I don’t know if I would have upgraded to WordPress if I had known what I know now.

    2. Lauren

      On last thing. Just found this in my spam folder. Apparently, not everyone thinks I am a danger to my blog.

      You are truly a excellent webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a magnificent process on this topic!

      1. Rum Punch Drunk

        Ha, ha ha ha, now that’s what I call clever spam at the right time. So are you ‘doing any distinctive tricks?’. That’s so funny mate.
        Well, we’ve got to get a little praise from somewhere or we’ll go mad….

        And, if you didn’t upgrade to WordPress, you would have never known how clever you are at all these tech problems. So it was a blessing in disguise 🙂

  5. MeMe King

    Sadly, this is all way over my head. I have never read a manual in my life and have always felt I knew just the right buttons to push to get the job done and that was good enough. I am in awe that you had the guts to take the journey; however, I would have left when no one offered snacks. Sorry about your noggin.

    1. Lauren

      I think not knowing is a good thing. As Phil said, “Ignorance is bliss.” Now I have to fix this mess I’ve made. I have to go through all my posts and find the correct links to about 60 or 70 of them. Spending time on blogging stuff instead of writing. Sometimes I wonder if I unconsciously sabotage myself to keep from writing.

      I didn’t think before I hit the button. I wish I could attribute it to having the guts to take the journey. But in reality, I was being impulsive. Maybe if I had snacks, my hands would have been preoccupied and I would have avoided a blog def-con-3 situation. Thanks, though, for turning a negative into a positive. : )

  6. Cheryl P.

    I try to never touch anything that is currently working. This is primarily due to the fact that I am techy challenged.
    My worse mistake was deleting pictures out of my Picasa folder only to discover that deletes them off of my blog posts….leaving just big black squares with an exclamation point in the middle. It took me 3 days to find and reinstall pics to my blog.

  7. Alx

    It says that the thing that works well should not be changed but in order to know new things we need to learn,from mistakes we learn how to get over the problems that may arise in the future and surely next time will not be a problem with using WP admin.

    1. Lauren

      That is so true. Very well stated.

      I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. I’ve also cursed a lot while trying to figure out how to solve a tech puzzle.

      About not changing things that work well, I like to say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” : )

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Joanna

    Hi there Lauren!

    I feel you. I have several wordpress websites cause this is the most user friendly cms platform to build and maintain a blog. Though there is always something up and we need to get our hands dirty with messing up with the code, ask a friend to help us or learn to do it ourselves. I also noticed that today after so many months, Google Page Rank released an update.

    It’s been like forever.

    Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    1. Lauren

      Thanks for stopping by. I guess it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. : )

      Personally, I hate getting my hands dirty with this blog stuff. It’s really too much information for me. All I ever wanted to do was to write, not dig deep into the dark world of code and SEO.


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