Earlier today Google suffered an outage for several minutes. During this time ‘500 error’ pages were served to worldwide users due to internal server issues. Google services that were affected did not include Gmail, Google calendar or the Google mobile site.
Why is this important for retailers?
Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world, with over a billion unique monthly visitors. But the search engine giant isn’t infallible, and today’s issue demonstrates the danger of becoming overly dependent on one provider.
The outage will have prevented users from reaching retailers’ sites via paid search ads, product listing ads and natural search listings. In addition, Google’s functionality which allows users to search by typing a brand name directly into the address bar did not work during the downtime, further limiting shoppers’ access to retail sites.
What is Summit’s view?
What this shows is that anyone can be subject to failure, and it pays to do thorough and consistent testing to investigate what happens when different elements of a system fail, and what backup plans can be put in place. It is essential to respond seamlessly to problems and learn to fail elegantly.
What actions should retailers take?
Aside from looking into your own systems and ensuring that a small glitch won’t bring your digital world crashing around you, it is important to hedge your bets when it comes to your ad spend. Diversify the way you distribute your budget and consider investing more in BingAds.
“Google has become so ubiquitous, it is shocking to not have it, but it reminds us of how over dependent we can get on single suppliers” – James Dewes
If you have any questions or would like to find out how Summit can help you make more money online please contact Dave Trolle on (01482) 876876.