There have been wide spread reports today - starting with CNET and more coverage gathered on Techmeme - that Google search, Gmail, Google Analtics, Feedburner, and pretty much all Google services are experienceing some bit outages.  I have seen these issues myself, and as a marketer found them extremely frustrating.

Here is the Impact of Google's Outage on Marketing:

  1. It can crash your website.  If you are running Google Analytics on your website, I have seen it cause your site to not load at all, or certainly load very slowly, reducing the user experience and reducing the number of leads and sales your website can generate. (Solution: Remove Google Analytics code from your website, at least until the issue is over.)
  2. Loss of SEO traffic. If Google search is not working, then you cannot get any search traffic from Google.  This means that people who are in the mood to look for your products and services will not find you.
  3. Reduced email results.  If Gmail is down, then you will likely get a lower click through rate on any email marketing you are doing, because most lists these days have a decent number of Gmail subscribers on them.
  4. Loss of data.  If you rely on the free and unsupported Google Analytics product, then even if people can access your website, your traffic and leads data during the outage will be lost forever.

Google is a huge company and should be doing better.  They really let the marketing community down today in a big way.  Companies that provide online software (sometimes called software as a service or Saas) should provide a public reporting mechanism to show when they are having performance problems.  Companies like Salesforce.com or HubSpot do this.  Google should do the same and be more honest with the marketing community.

Originally published May 14, 2009 12:54:00 PM, updated March 21 2013

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Technical SEO