On October 3rd, my blog had a visitor that showed on my traffic monitoring software as being from “Performance Systems International.” The fact that it appeared to be a “bot” of some kind was cause for celebration; maybe Yahoo or MSN had finally seen the light and recognized my existence?? Wrong.
Since that visit a little over a week ago:
1. I have had ONE visitor.
2. Google has stopped crawling my site. Prior to the visit from “PSI”, the site was being crawled every other day.
3. My “Disadvantages of Buying a House” post’s search rank in my benchmark search has gone from 116 to more than 1000. I stopped looking after the first 1000. (My benchmark is just a search that I run every week.) There is a reasonable chance the search rank is now infinite because,
4. The number of pages listed in a Google site search of my site has gone from 28 to 4. A cursory review suggests that all pages without links from other sites disappeared. The “Disadvantages” post is not one of the 4.
5. The page rank of my home page has gone from 4 to 0. The page rank of the “Disadvantages” post has gone from 3 to 0.
Theoretically, this could all have nothing to do with the visit from “PSI”. However, if you Google “Performance Systems International” you will find complaints from others who seem to have had very similar experiences to mine.
The Performance Systems International web site’s “contact us” page begins…
Please Note: We are not an Internet Service Provider (ISP). We are not affiliated with the ISP Cogent Communications, formerly known as "Performance Systems International". If you are trying to track down the usage of an IP Address beginning with "38." (38.xxxx.xxx.xxx), then you need to contact Cogent Communications. For information on how to report abuse to Cogent Communications, please see http://www.cogentco.com/us/cs_faq.php or to view their WHOIS entry click here.Apparently, Performance Systems International has received many complaints, and the problem is not with them at all. Rather, the culprit appears to be someone who uses Cogent Communications as his ISP.
I have complained to Blogger and to Cogent, and have posted comments in several discussion groups. If anyone has any information on how to combat these attacks or how to recover from them, please leave a comment.
(Note: I realize that because of the web abuse it’s optimistic to think that anyone will ever see this post. However, just in case….)