Sunday, October 3, 2010

Can you live without Google? [WPN Videos]

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Have you ever thought about life without Google? It would be pretty crazy, right? Incidentally, this scenario did actually happen to a region in the United Kingdom. Although it was only temporary, the impact was significant.

The cause of the outage is unknown, but people speculate that it was a network problem and not a problem with Google. It covered areas in both England and Scotland.
During the blackout, people could not access services such as Google Search, YouTube, DoubleClick, AdSense, Google Analytics, and Gmail. One Twitter user, @therealtwin2, tweeted this regarding the outage, "Woah. Google just went down and my whole being felt empty. I didn't know how to use the internet without it. Scary."

According to Edward Cowell, who wrote about the incident on Econsultancy, Google Search, ironically, did not have the greatest impact. Not only were Google's own properties affected, but numerous other websites were also affected.

"The real business risk which became immediately apparent was the huge amount of Google hosted code embedded in websites across the web for ad-serving, tracking and other services," he said.
Cowell also offered advice to webmasters and developers in the event that another outage would occur. He tells webmasters to try using the asynchronous code if they use Google Analytics because this code allows it to "fail gracefully" in service failure circumstances.

For developers, he suggests that they thoroughly test their websites to find out how they react when externally hosted scripts are blocked. Testing is also important if scripts will be embedded into other sites.
Although the outage only lasted for a short time, it is clear that it had a large impact since so many people have grown to depend on Google and its services. How would you survive without Google? Is it possible?
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