A Day Without GoogleGoogle today has become so important to us that imagining our life without Google is quite difficult. It is known to all that only one-third of the world has access to the Internet, but it is also true that this one-third consists of over 2.30 billion people, which in no sense is a small population. Google has touched the daily life of every Internet user and is today synonymous with INTERNET itself. So I have written a fictional yet interesting story to illustrate the importance of Google in every Internet user’s life and to highlight how would a day in our life be without Google.

The “A Day Without Google” Story

It was a Sunday morning and instead of sleeping till 9 o’clock, I got up at 6. No I was not planning to go for a walk, instead I had a lot of work on the Internet. I brushed my teeth, took a bath and sat at my computer table with a cup of coffee and switched on the computer. I clicked on the “Google Chrome” browser icon on my desktop, as it happens to be my favorite browser. To my surprise it did not open up and instead showed an error message which I never came across in my life. I was surprised and restarted the system, but in vain. So I had to use Internet Explorer which I rarely use these days as I did not have Mozilla Firefox installed. I clicked the icon and opened the browser only to find myself on msn.com. But I had set Google.com as my homepage. Leave it. I typed Google.com only to find another error message saying “The address is not valid”. Hey hey..what the heck is this? I rechecked whether I typed a wrong character in between, but it clearly read “Google.com”. Now I typed yahoo.com, it opened up within a second. I again typed Google.com but the problem remained. Suddenly something struck my mind, I thought that the naked domain might not be working, so I typed www.google.com, but what? The same outcome. I shouted in despair “Oh my God, what has happened to Google, is it down? I have never seen such thing. How can this be possible?” I was sweating but my coffee turned cold. The night before, I had applied as a freelance writer to 8 sites and today I had to check whether they selected me or not. So I could not afford to lose time experimenting, and opened bing.com and typed Gmail login in the search bar. From the search results page, I clicked on the link, but, what was that? Again the message “The address is not valid”. Ooh GMail is down too. But how..how can this..(I was stammering). Luckily I had my domain specific email service at my domain siteonn.com and I had provided this address to three of the sites. I checked it and found that I was accepted by two of the article writing sites, the third just didn’t bother to accept me. This gave me a sigh of relief and I sat back to send them samples of my writing. So I opened Google Docs (or I tried to open) but do you think it will open, Google owns it too buddy. Shouting at Google (or more precisely myself) for not keeping a copy of the samples on my hard drive, I turned on to read some news on Google News. But why? Why Google News, do I not know even that is down. I know it is down but habit, Habit is the second Nature. we can personalize Google News, but for any other news service, do you think we can personalize them at all. Yahoo too has a great news service, why don’t I try it. Anyways I opened Yahoo News and can you guess what I saw. “Google is undergoing recovery from a bug which hit its systems hard last night and it is not sure how many hours elapse before we see the iconic logo again“. A few minutes without Google is worse than a day without a drop of water, then how will an uncertain amount of time without Google be. I have a blog on Blogger, Google down means Blogger down and my blog will receive no views, means my readers will divert to other sites and I will not earn a single cent. No Picasa Web Album, no YouTube, no Google Plus. I felt disheartened and knew that if I stay at home, I will lose my mind completely, so I decided to spend the day out. I took out my cell phone to call my friends, but it was not working. My phone was not working. Why? I do not know. Hey wait I know. My cell phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note which runs on Android version 2.3. So what? The thing is that Google owns Android. Oh my God. Not again. Okay I tried to call four of my friends with my old Motorola phone and could only talk to two of them (may be network problem, oh no Android problem). We planned to meet at a restaurant at 6 o’ clock in the evening 8 miles away. At 5:30 in the evening I took out my car. Hey it runs, luckily it doesn’t run on Google, LOL. I drove a mile but found a traffic jam on the way. I will be late. So I thought of finding an alternative way. Don’t worry I brought my sister’s Nokia N95 phone this time and it doesn’t run on android either. Happy? But wait. Google Street View won’t open. Hmm I know but at this moment, I do not have the time to browse the Internet to find what the best alternative to Google Street View is, indeed I know nothing can match up to the level of any Google product. I actually never needed such stuff for I never thought such a day would come when I had to live without Google. I have heard, there is an apple app considered good enough to compete with Google, but I did not have an iPhone to access it. Thinking all such things and driving my car slowly and steadily, I did not know when it covered 6 miles. Though it was 5:50, I knew I would reach the place by 6:10 at the most. I reached the restaurant, my friends know how Internet freak a guy I am, so they cheered me up. We chatted and partied. At 9 I was back home and unlike everyday I did not turn on my computer as it was a dumb box for me now, rather I switched on the television and watched a series of Tom & Jerry cartoons. I had my dinner, and just before going to bed switched on the computer to check what the condition of Google was on Yahoo. Mistakenly I clicked on the Google Chrome shortcut on my desktop and to my surprise the Google homepage opened up. I could not believe it, I was feeling ecstatic. “Google is up and running”, said the front page. Happily I sat at my computer table for the whole night and completed all my pending tasks. I was much happier than I had ever been before.

I later learnt that Google has lost about 100 million dollars in a single day and many advertisers opted out from using Google AdWords Campaigns which resulted in less revenue for Google as well as its registered publishers. Also I have learnt that out of the approximately 200,000 sites which use reCaptcha, about 50,000 were spammed as Google was down and reCaptcha was not working.

Final Words

Though fictional, this story tells us how important Google is in our lives and a few minutes of downtime can result in severe damages across the Internet. Moreover, we are so attached to this search giant that we would not be able to enjoy being online without Google, though there are numerous other options available. It has made our tasks easier by providing every online tool people could only imagine some time back. And most importantly, the majority of Google tools are free.

(UPDATE: Lately, I have also started using Google AdWords)

External Reading

My Day Without Google (Article)

An (Internet) Day Without Google (News)