I'm not going to claim that this entire event is over, but it looks as though Googlebot 239 hasn't visited me since yesterday.
Could Google have finally found and fixed the problem? I'm not sure. They're still asking me about other sites on the server and, apparently, still trying to track down the problem.
I can't say that I'm at all happy about this. I'm so far over my monthly bandwidth limit that I'm surprised I've not heard about it from my provider. Then again, I'm sure they'll let me know when it's time to pay the bill.
Google's apparent lack of ability on this issue is most disconcerting and troublesome. To admit to making recent changes to the bots and to have this significant of a problem would indicate someone didn't do their homework.
To add insult to that injurious activity, the idea that it took me three days of increasingly hostile communication with them just to get someone to respond — and only after I started calling executives' offices — is indicative of a significant fault in their understanding of customer service and the first tenet of their own business model (you know, the one about focusing on the user).
I've always been an advocate of Google. They've always had the best search engine with the most accurate results, they've always seemed like a very cool company, and they've consistently endeared themselves to the public and the press with relative ease.
This experience has certainly shown me that looks are quite deceptive, that façades are just that, a deceptive appearance to give one impression while underneath something entirely different is taking place.
Did I just stumble on the crack in Google's façade or did I happen upon a singular incident? I hope it's the latter.