Around 9.30 pm ET on the 8th of August, Google experienced a large Google Search outage. This lasted throughout the whole night but there have been efforts to restore the connection for most users, which many have reported as successful. Unfortunately, this outage appears to have had lasting effects on the search platform and the quality of searches that users are experiencing.
It looks as though the most noticeable issue, the Google Search outage, was not the only issue that the platform experienced. There appear to have been a number of issues concerning the quality of searches including a complete lack of access to Google Search and outages, older pages completely disappearing from Google Searches and newer pages not being indexed by Google search. As well as this, there appears to be a huge fluctuation in the rankings of pages on the search engine, as well as results which look outdated and stale.
What actually happened to Google?
On Monday morning, one of the data centres for Google appears to have caught fire. The centre is located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and appears to have done some damage to the site that could be resulting in the problems we are seeing. The fire also caused injury to a number of workers in the data centre, according to the Council Bluffs Police Department.
A spokesperson for Google released a statement:
“We are aware of an electrical incident that took place today at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people onsite who are now being treated. The health and safety of all workers is our absolute top priority, and we are working closely with partners and local authorities to thoroughly investigate the situation and provide assistance as needed.”
Google is aware of the issues that have been going on and appear to be doing what they can to fix it. Representatives from Google have advised people to keep an eye on their URLs and search results, but have also been assuring users that things will be coming back to normal soon. Google’s John Mueller took to Twitter to weigh in on the issue:
“I’m not aware of anything specific, but it does sound like (from the news reports) it was a bigger outage. If it’s related, I’d assume that it’ll settle down soon’ish. Also, I see very few complaints, so I’m guessing if anything, it’s either fixed/almost-fixed or very small.
“I’d keep an eye on it today, and please let me know if it doesn’t look like the main URLs are settling down again. (We don’t index everything, so I’d focus on the important URLs for things like this.)”
How does this affect you?
One of the reported effects of this Google Search outage is that there have been great fluctuations in the rankings of pages shown on Google. This may affect how your website is presented in Google searches and may last a while. Although this will return to normal when the issue is fully resolved from the source, as it stands nobody knows exactly how long this will take. That means you may have to be more attentive when it comes to where your website sits in terms of search rankings, and that SEO, while still important, may not have as big an effect as it ordinarily would. This may mean it is time to turn to other forms of marketing that don’t rely as wholly on search engines and their databases, such as affiliate marketing.
How can affiliate marketing help?
Partnering with affiliates who are content creators or more predominantly based on social media platforms can be a fantastic way of spreading awareness of your brand without having to rely on the currently turbulent world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Affiliate partners on social media platforms have already grown a loyal audience who will search for their content and actively work to be updated. This can serve as an extremely effective way for you to showcase your brand and advertise to a wide and receptive audience, especially if you are losing search engine traffic that you would ordinarily gain from Google. Additionally, affiliate partners bring your brand a loyal audience who are not only loyal to them but are also trusting of any recommendations presented to them. That means that your advertisements through affiliate partners are often more successful than paid advertising due to the engaging audience it is targeted at. Conversions gained through affiliates are often more likely to become repeat customers and will be more likely to connect to your brand.
Ultimately, the Google Search outage shouldn’t have long-term effects on your marketing efforts, but in the meantime, there may be a variety of small issues such as missing links, disappearing pages and a fluctuation in the SEO rankings of pages. To make sure you are still getting the results you want, do what you can to keep an eye on your page and its analytics and potentially turn to some more reliable forms of advertising to pick up the slack.