Oops!

How refreshingly meta. The fourth-most popular search on Google yesterday was “Google Drive”.

That’s right: The Internet swarmed to Google in an effort to confirm that Google Drive was down.

It’s actually not as silly an idea as it sounds at first blush–Google’s various services are largely independent of each other. Google even hosts its own service status page. According to the status page, yesterday’s outage lasted five and a half hours: more than half of the business day for those on the West Coast. Pretty significant for heavy users of Google Drive and Google Docs.

So checking Google for information on their own outages isn’t crazy, but I still find it amusing that it was so popular a reaction to the outage that it made Number Four on the daily list of searches.

I have a sneaking suspicion that a significant number of those 200,000+ searches were from people trying to find ways to get their work done without their documents, spreadsheets, and word processors.

I also suspect that a fair amount of regular work isn’t getting done today as teams rush to update their disaster recover plans.

Remember, folks: no cloud services are 100% reliable. Always have a Plan B. Keep a local copy of all business-critical, cloud-based documents–and local tools to open them!


Keeping life in perspective, though, it’s instructive to note that football is still much more important to Americans than some weirdo technical thing. “NFL” racked up over a million searches yesterday, five times as many as “Google Drive”. Add in “Green Bay Packers,” “Cleveland Browns,” “Peyton Manning,” “Baltimore Ravens,” “Arizona Cardinals,” “New Orleans Saints,” “Minnesota Vikings,” and “Nfl.com” and we’re left with two conclusions: Google could be much more aggressive about consolidating search results and nobody was getting any work done yesterday.


I am pleased to see Jonas Salk at Number Two on the search list. It’s a nice change from the usual round of sex, celebrities, and sports that usually dominate the rankings. On the other hand, it’s a little depressing to realize that more than half a million searchers apparently had no idea who Salk was.

Well, if one of those 500,000+ people was inspired to make sure his vaccinations are up to date, it’s a victory. With anti-vaccination hysteria on the rise, we need all the help we can get.

Hey, if someone comes up with a vaccine for Ebola, will Robert Kennedy, Jenny McCarthy, Representative Bill Posey, and Donald Trump take their shots?

4 thoughts on “Oops!

  1. I tell you, I just can’t imagine anyone using Google Drive for any business application. I am constantly frustrated at home by its propensity for continually losing its connection to the server. (And, no, I don’t have this problem with other web sites.) I’ve also discovered that, ironically, none of Google’s applications, including Gmail, work very well in Chrome; I have to use Firefox.

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    • In fairness to Google, I’ve had very few problems with Google Drive and the associated Docs programs. My biggest complaint is that–at least when I was looking at it seriously–their support for open formats was somewhere between minimal and non-existent.

      Since I write primarily in LibreOffice, .odt format is a must-have. So I use GDrive for off-site backup storage, but not for document creation or as the sole location of anything critical.

      Interesting comment about Chrome. Anyone else have similar–or contrasting–experience?

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