Sunday, August 18, 2013

When google sneezes, the web catches a cold

A bit of the google colossus went off-line for about five minutes or so on August 16th. It was a few minutes before midnight.

How can that happen?

What is google up to that a small hiccup in their server farms would result in a 40% drop in internet traffic?

There are several amusing possibilities that come to mind. Here are two to think about.

1) google has so many spiders and web crawlers grabbing data and making links that it alone is the single biggest user of web data on all of the interwebs. 

2) the tools used to measure web-traffic are so dependent on google that a google outage wiped out a great bulk of the the web traffic tracking software that is used on the internet. The drop in traffic was more of an illusion than a reality.

I am betting on the second guess. Though, it should be noted that the two guesses are not mutually exclusive.