This morning we took the dramatic step of disabling our payment website, www.WillCountyTaxBill.com, for the remainder of the year.

Google Thinks We Were Hacked

Sometime in Mid-November, search engine Google started reporting that our site may have been hacked. Once we became aware of the situation, we contacted our hosting company, GoDaddy, who performed several tests and assured us that the site was working without issue.

We then performed searches on Yahoo, Bing, and the privacy-oriented site DuckDuckGo.

None of those searches indicated that our site had been compromised.

It is our conclusion that Google made a mistake.

Unfortunately, their mistake is a problem for us.

Google Has No Phone Number

If Google tells you a site has been hacked, you believe them.

But how do you correct a mistake?

We filed a request with Google that explained our situation. We asked Google to point us to the problem that their system sees. If we know where to start, we can fix the issue (or at least work on it). Here is what Google sent us.

Google has received a request to reconsider http://www.willcountytaxbill.com/ for compliance with the Google Webmaster Guidelines. It can take several weeks for your site to be reviewed. After Google reviews your site, you will receive a message indicating the outcome of your reconsideration request.

Google is in no hurry to help, and they don’t have a help desk for mere mortals.

We were able to obtain a phone number to Google’s development team, but even they did not have a number to call for search problems.

Our Only Option is to Start Over

As of today, no one has been able to find a problem with www.WillCountyTaxBill.com.

When customers visit the site, it performs as designed and processes payments without error or compromise.

The only people who see an issue is Google, and they won’t tell us what’s wrong.

We see no other choice but to delete the site, the database, and all associated programming; and start over.

Our goal is to have the site back on line by New Years.

In the mean time, you can research property tax information on this site.

We believe it is best to explain the problem in as open a manner as possible.

We apologize for the confusion.

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