free html hit counter Google Is Not Limitless - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Is Not Limitless

By - May 23, 2005

GooglelimtsYeah, this is old news, but I’ve been thinking about Google’s web accelerator. As you recall, Google introduced this in early May, but a week later stopped downloads, claiming that it had reached capacity for the time being. Not everyone was buying that as the reason. The web accelerator was derided by many webmasters for various implementation drawbacks, and when Google halted the beta distribution, many smelled the same kind of disingenuous spin that they heard with the Google News/China incident. Many believed that Google pulled the program because of the webmaster’s complaints, and manufactured the “capacity” issue as a coverup.

I’m not so sure. A very credible source insists that, for now anyway, Google simply can’t handle the load. “(Google) ran out of bandwidth,” the source told me. “It’s as simple as that.”

While Google certainly does have an extraordinary infrastructure, it is not limitless, and I think this move proves it.

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4 thoughts on “Google Is Not Limitless

  1. aaron wall says:

    I use Gmail, and it has been unavailable more frequently the last week or so than it has been in many moons.

  2. mahlon says:

    Here are some more data points. (1) In their first-quarter 10-Q filing, Google raised their capital expenditure budget from an already extraordinary $500 million to $600 million for 2005. (2) And we heard Eric Schmidt say during the shareholders’ meeting that Google didn’t anticipate the compute resources needed for maps, and had to add a lot of emergency capacity to handle the escalating demand.

    Cringely may be right that only Google could do something like the web accelerator, but it’s so ambitious that even Google may be having trouble scaling it.

  3. Doug Mehus says:

    That’s possible. However, I think Google is using it as a convenient excuse to back out of the service amid all of the privacy (and security) issues that arose in a myriad of controversy, without having to say: “we goofed.”

    Personally, I don’t have anything against the service, but I can certainly see how other people do.

    In short, it’s an easy “out” with no bad publicity back-story.


  4. joe says:

    I agreee fully with Doug. Thats just spin, I really don’t think capacity is the issue for web acc.

    However your gmail being down quite a bit is more interesting.