Imagine if Google Shut Down

What would happen if Google shut down suddenly and sharply. No back ups, no restores. Google just disappears in an instant without any warning. It certainly is a slightly unsettling idea and some students trying to complete an assignment the night before it is due will particularly be caught out, but what other consequences would result from Google suddenly vanishing?

Panic

For most people Google shutting down would not cause panic, but there are quite a few people around who are completely dependent upon the search engine for their income. Google’s Adsense/Adwords advertising system is used by many publishers and advertisers alike. These people would be most immediately affected, with quite a few of them even losing their livelihoods. For this reason there would definitely be panic amongst webmasters, such as online content writers and e-commerce store owners.

To add further to this there are many people that use Gmail and Google Documents that might well lose very valuable data. The data loss would be one of the truly most disturbing things to occur if Google were to suddenly and sharply disappear.

Surges of Traffic to Alternatives

Believe it or not there are alternatives to Google’s search engine. Bing is the immediate one that comes to mind but others exist such as Alta Vista. There are also other ways of sharing information, such as E-books and directly via E-mail, message boards, discussion groups, social media like Facebook and particularly Wikipedia. As a result, all of these places would likely be hit with extra traffic. Amazon will be hit for E-books, ISPs in general will be hit by a sudden surge in E-mails though it will not cause much to really happen. Message boards will definitely exceed their limits and close. Facebook would probably be largely unphased, if not enthusiastic, though it does depend on just how much it can truly handle at once. It is uncertain just how much Microsoft’s servers can handle, but unless Bing is equipped to handle what Google does then it would be forced to at least throttle its connection and prevent some people using the engine. Wikipedia would likely be hit the hardest, and it is uncertain whether it would truly recover or not.

Long Term

In the long term the most interesting changes would occur. Alternative search engines would rise, perhaps even a search engine that is free and without advertising akin to the Wikipedia of search engines. Other advertising networks such as Chitika, but also BuySellAds, would experience sharp and sudden growth.

However, there would be some truly disasterous real life consequewnces. The price of Google’s shares would essentially be dead, so a lot of people would very quickly be bankrupt.

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