Friday, June 3, 2011

Is this a Reader, Feedburner, or Blogger Error? Webmaster Central really wants to be a photo blog

The search engines just announced to standardize the way the webmasters can enrich their content with structured metadata.  I was looking foward to read all about it on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.  So, naturally, I logged into Google Reader to look for a post.

The first thing that seemed weird was that all of a sudden the blog had 20+ new items. 

That never happens.  GWC is a blog that normally posts a 1-2 times per week, not much more than that.  After clicking on the feed, I was presented with a large photo of some woman.  I thought is this a joke?  Anyway, I kept navigating through the posts and they were all large, well taken photos. 

Here is an example: (Notice that I am in the GWC Blog and the url is poinging to the atom feed for GWC.)

Clicking on the feed details, you can see that something is amiss:

As you can see, something went terribly wrong here. It turns out that the feed seems come from a photgrapher named Joe Hewes.  Looking at his blog, you can see that he uses Blogger as his platform.

My guess is that this was not a hack but a bug/error in Blogger.  The actual GWC blog website has only its original (non photog) content.  If it were a hack, GWC would likely have had its content changed as well.

Well, hopefully Joe likes getting a bit more exposure of his work to the tech community.  As for Google, I hope this is not a sign of more problems with quality to come.