Google’s Black Day: Truths – Myths – Pros – Cons

Written by Pavan Kumar on February 1, 2009


Finally all confusions, bugs and fuss are over after Google’s Black Day.

Google at their Official blog has clarified that the bug of malware warning was due to an insertion of "/" in their bad sites list. This bad sites list will be prepared by and there was a human mistake in the recent list. Here is what Google’s say from Marissa Mayer.

We periodically receive updates to that list and received one such update to release on the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here’s the human error), the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs.

 We maintain a list of such sites through both manual and automated methods. We work with a non-profit called to come up with criteria for maintaining this list, and to provide simple processes for webmasters to remove their site from the list.

We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here’s the human error), the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs.

Then started the real blame game on internet which every active user enjoyed 😉 . Stopbadware said, its not their mistake and Google’s bad site list is generated by Google itself. Here is their statement.

This is not accurate. Google generates its own list of badware URLs, and no data that we generate is supposed to affect the warnings in Google’s search listings. We are attempting to work with Google to clarify their statement.

Note: Observe the striked out text from Google’s blog, it was made before the blog update from Stopbadware and finally Google’s blog made some corrections to the post.

I also reported of no sitelinks effect on Google organic search listings for authority sites. That was due to marking of bad site. It is normal in Google that malware affected site will not show up with sitelinks on Google search listing. This was confirmed by Matt Cutts.

Effect of Google being down:

I don’t want to say the entire internet got affected, its very well known fact. But here is some amazing math, Google’s last quarter revenue was $5.7 billion. Now divide it by 90 (days) then, divide by 24 (hours). This gives the Google’s revenue per hour as $2.639 million. So, do you think Google lost that much amount? Not exactly is the case. I have already confirmed that ONLY ORGANIC / NATURAL LISTING GOT AFFECTED – NOT SPONSORED. So, Google’s that revenue has been partly recovered by those sponsored listings.

The real sufferers are those who get decent traffic from Google. Even traffic for my blog was also stopped at that time. Also, those people with sponsored listings. The click rate on sponsored results on Google search pages have naturally gone high and all traffic they got is those traffic which feared to click on natural listings. Most of it is not useful. They paid for waste non converting traffic.

Who got benefited?

Its me! Frankly, I got some decent traffic from Yahoo onto my old posts related with Google. Especially the post which discussed rogue software antivirus 2009. By this time, certainly Yahoo and other search engines might have got good traffic and benefited. I had never seen such a Yahoo traffic to my blog in the past. Google trends recorded a volcanic traffic for the term "Google this site may harm your computer".

Finally, wishes to all you who have seen a historic event. Thanks to twitter and hashtags for updating everyone in real time.

Guys bookmark this post and save the page onto your hard disk or also set up a future mail of this post and you can share with your children that you have seen such rare event of Google’s Black Day. 😉

Well, if you find some really spam / harmful site, please report phishing to google.


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2 Readers responded to this post

Great post. Have collected nice info about Google’s black day.


Google’s Black Day is the term coined by me, I am not sure how far the term is viable.

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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