Adam T. Sutton

Google Too Big to Fail?

February 5th, 2009

Google is a growing giant. Some stats from comScore’s 2008 Digital Year in Review (a free report if you surrender some info):

– Nearly 85 million searches were conducted on Google sites in 2008

– Google sites captured 63.5% of the searches among the top five engines in December 2008

– Google captured about 90% of the overall growth in search volume last year.

Google is definitely huge, but is it “too big to fail?”

According to some recent news of strange search results, probably not. For a little less than an hour on Saturday, and apparently across the world, every result in Google was flagged with “This site may harm your computer.” The official Google Blog attributes the snafu to human error.

The problem was small and fixed quickly. There is a larger implication here, though. Google is a single, massive company. Many marketers depend on Google to make money. What would happen if Google broke down for a few days? Or what if your sites were mistakenly banned for a week?

If your pulse rate just shot up, you might want to consider diversifying your marketing efforts. Google is a large and growing part of the foundations of US ecommerce. If it went down, even for a day, it could cost companies billions. You could mitigate some of the risk of having the floor pulled out from under your marketing by making sure it’s supported by more than one company.

I’m not saying Google is unreliable. It provides solid and consistent service that has helped many thousands of marketers. But if the recent banking crisis has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is too big to fail.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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