Monthly Archives: June 2011

‘Stuck’ Article Jobs Now Properly Completed

We had a bug reported today that was causing article jobs to become ‘stuck’ and never quite finish. The culprit was an incorrect ID for the Article Content Provider directory. We’ve now fixed the data and all jobs for which the submission had indeed ran (it was just showing as scheduled) have been completed (though the submission date has been set to today) and for those where the submission has not yet been made, it will now go through and be reported as normal.

Most PR0 Bookmark Sites Being Removed Today

Following on from the last post, we’re going to be removing a bunch of the internal Bookmark sites that dropped to PR0 today. We have been adding some new bookmark sites and these are still on trial – new sites take a while due to the way account creation works so these will be dribbled in slowly over time.

We were going to wait until we had more new sites in place before removing these PR0 ones because we really don’t like to suddenly drop the supported sites in large numbers but an added issue has cropped up – the server that hosts them can’t seem to be able to handle the load that IMAutomator puts on them! We could of course change to a better host but there’s little point when they are going to removed anyway.

Because that server can’t handle the load, the submissions timeout and in IMAutomator we have a mechanism in place to re-try submissions that fail due to timeouts and server errors several times over the course of a 24 hour period. This is to account for occasional glitches and slowness but when 30 sites are failing almost 100% of the time, the extra workload created in a short space of time is huge and causes our own server to feel the strain!

Therefore, we’re cutting our losses with those sites and just getting rid of them. We’ll keep the ones that retained some PR and we’ll continue to add new Bookmark sites over the coming weeks. So for Pro members, if you see a sudden drop in the number of sites being submitted to, you know why!

Site Update – Some Coming, Some Going

A few months ago we started an experiment to build our own bookmarking sites on previously aged, high PR domains to see how they performed. We built just over 30 of them and the pattern seems to have been the same for most – they kept their PR for a little while and then it dropped to zero which isn’t terribly useful.

PR0 links are not generally considered useful unless in really vast quantities and we’d rather have a smaller number of good sites with PR then a large number of PR0 sites so for the moment we’re considering the experiment unsuccessful and we plan to remove the sites from the system in due course but we will try and incorporate some new sites as we do so to keep the links flowing.

We have also seen the Article sites steadily drop – these seem quite short lived in some cases but thankfully there seem to be lots of article sites around that work on templates which are easily incorporated into IMAutomator so we are likely to do one big push like we did a few months ago to add another 20 or 30 sites to the system in one batch.

Directory sites are another area that we are looking at, and we have quite a few on our lists now that are ready to be incorporated but we’ll work on the other types first.

Lastly RSS sites – we haven’t found any new ones in a while that don’t require a CAPTCHA solving for submission. As these can only be solved with a paid system such as Decaptcher, we need to add support for this before we add more of those sites and the cost for that will need to be passed onto the member.

Success Rates Now Restored

The success rates increased yesterday back to where we’d expect but it was not actually the proxies at fault this time! In our database tuning last week we actually moved around all the member job data (which is HUGE) but we kept the old data around for a week to ensure that everything had gone smoothly. This resulted in our backup having to do twice as much work and it put an undue strain on the server which caused submissions to time out and cause server errors. The redundant data has now been removed and the server is now performing much better with the new data format and submission success rates are back to normal!

Server Errors Higher Than Usual At The Moment

Over the last few days the number of server errors has been higher than usual. This is caused by the proxy servers that we use to make submissions. We sometimes find that the performance varies – until a few days ago we were getting around 95% success rates on most sites and then it dropped a bit.

We are continuing to monitor it and if it does not resolve itself in the next day or two we will be seeking out new proxy suppliers. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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