With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the world depends on the internet now more than ever. Video chats and internet searches have become essential for anyone working remotely due to shutdowns.
Close to 7 billion searches on average are handled by Google in a day, meaning roughly 1.7 billion people depend on Google daily. Because of the recent dependency, Google users were left perplexed when search results were suddenly not turning up on Monday.
As stated in the 2000 hit “Oops I Did It Again”, by Brittney Spears, Google experienced another glitch. The search giant, unfortunately, experienced an error that disrupted search results and page rankings, causing users around the world to report bizarre results. For example, some searches brought up a concentration of links to major e-commerce companies like Amazon and others triggered wildly inaccurate responses to requests for recipes.
Google said in a tweet that they detected the issue in their indexing systems and the issue has since been mitigated. We have noticed that since the glitch, our clients have regained their position on Google. However, full details on the glitch have not been released.
The Google search glitch was also experienced in Europe as well as Asia and all English-speaking countries. Google’s search glitch appeared to affect all languages, countries, and niches.
It affected everything from local services to recipes. E-commerce sites, however, reported more fluctuation in ranking compared to other industry sites.
Has this happened before?
Although Google is the powerhouse of internet searches, they do experience glitches now and again. In February the search engine had a software bug that resulted in users’ personal videos being emailed to strangers!
The flaw affected users of Google Photos that requested to export their data in late November 2019. For the entire four days, the export tool wrongly added videos to unrelated users’ archives. Because of the software bug, private videos were sent to strangers and archive downloads were not completed.
“We are notifying people about a bug that may have affected users who used Google Takeout to export their Google Photos content between November 21 and November 25,” a Google spokesperson said.
“These users may have received either an incomplete archive or videos – not photos – that were not theirs. We fixed the underlying issue and have conducted an in-depth analysis to help prevent this from ever happening again. We are very sorry this happened.”
The company emphasized that the bug only affected users of Google Takeout, a download-your-data tool, and not users of Google Photos more broadly. It did not give specific numbers on how many users were affected but said it was less than 0.01%.
In March, users reported that Google's currency exchange was completely wrong, causing issues. Google showed that 1 US dollar was equivalent to 63.95 Dominican Pesos. This glitch caused panic in the Dominican economy since the highest conversion within the last 5 years is currently 58.58 Dominican Pesos to 1 US dollar.
(Correct Dominican Peso to US dollar conversion)
The March glitch also seemed to have taken the searches at face value. For example, if you searched “why is 5g dangerous?” results generated:
The correct result would argue that 5G is not dangerous. Google does this in other medical-related search queries like those related to vaccines.
Google apparently interpreted the search query as 5G being harmful and showing snippets from sites that answer that specific question.
If you do a search for medical-related phrases such as “why are flu shots dangerous,” or “how to cure coronavirus naturally” Google gets it right. It’s difficult to say exactly why Google failed with the 5G search query. But it seemed like a part of Google’s algorithm was missing.
Their glitches have not only been only, but also in their email servers. In June, Gmail discovered that Microsoft Windows 10 built-in Mail clients were noticing that their sent emails were not in the sent items, outbox folder, trash, spam, or any folder.
What does this mean?
Even a giant internet presence can have glitches and software bugs. When one occurs, it is important to check what the platform is saying about the issue. Companies like Google will often turn to social media to get the word out.
Check Twitter when you are experiencing abnormal occurrences. This will let you know if the issue is a platform-wide glitch or if it is simply user error. Google is always willing to help and can be contacted here: https://support.google.com/?hl=en
If you back up all of your information and photos online, it is wise to invest in an external backup device. If you are finding drastically different results than normal it is important to check other web browsers for validation.
Why do glitches happen?
Every glitch and software bug happen for a different reason. Making it hard to predict or prepare for. Some are caused by regular Google updates while others are simply just errors in the system. If you have a digital marketing agency, odds are you won’t even notice most Google glitches and updates.
System errors will happen again and again. If you need personalized assistance improving your website’s search engine ranking or maintaining your high ranking, we can help! Get in contact with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs.