A Day Without Google, OK Make That Two!

Yesterday I experienced what a full day without Google looks like.

10.00 am – I do my first Google query and receive a timeout error:
Google Timeout

10.05 – I try a few other queries but receive the same timeout error.

10.15 – I’m getting anxious but remember there are other search engines than Google and turn to Yahoo! It feels like unfamiliar territory and I move around cautiously.

10.30 – Googling seems to be a habit I am not consciously aware of and I attempt a query now and then, forgetting it is going to time out.

10.40 – Instead of using Yahoo for every single query I restrain from querying, how odd is that.

11.00 – I try to query for RFID in Google News Images as a part of research on how wet the RFID imagery is according to Google. Google News times out.

11.10 – My Gmail obviously also times out in Thunderbird.
Gmail Timeout

11.15 – I need to reach Google to continue our research on RFID but I am too busy to read the Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide to find out how to reach Google through a proxy server. Instead I use a friendly human proxy server named Laura who does all the queries for me (thank you!!).

11.30 – Googling seems to be a habit I am not consciously aware of and I attempt a query now and then, forgetting it is going to time out.

The rest of the day I do some futile Google attempts because I keep on forgetting it’s not working and I use Yahoo now and then. Yahoo feels strange, I am amazed how much I rely on Google and how thoroughly Google has shaped my online experience.

DAY 2

09.00 – I wake up and remember I was Googleless yesterday and do a cautious query for “test.” It works but I don’t have anything useful I have to look up right now.

10.00 – I query Google and I am faced with the all too familiar timeout. Michael points me to the Tor Client Proxy which is profiled as an anonymity online tool but allows you to bypass censorship or dns blocked sites as well. I install Tor and the Firefox Tor plugin as well which allows me to quickly switch the client on and off. WELCOME GOOGLE!

14.00 – I am still not too sure what is going on, Google seems to be blocking my Internet Service Provider Chello. However, I can’t reach some other sites as well including 9rules.com and readwriteweb.com. All these sites can be reached by enabling Tor in Firefox. What is going on at Chello? I wish their helpdesk wouldn’t be so ridiculously expensive so I could call them to find out and e-mailing is futile of course.

The irony of it all is that the search function of Chello’s service page is powered by Google and that searching through the Chello portal actually works! A new form of forcing client commitment?

Google Chello
Google Chello

7 thoughts on “A Day Without Google, OK Make That Two!

  1. There is always Altavista and such .. Google really is not all that .. You’d be surprised what you can find with Altavista faster .. Do not forget that Google is a popularity search engine .. Rare or hard to find information can be unpopular but very valuable to you ..

  2. Altavista reminds me of my days on the pre-Google web, it was all I used! I should give it another chance.

    Yahoo is very good at finding inlinks, in comparison to Google. They all serve somewhat different purposes while they are all attempting the same.

  3. Did you try other domains that use Google for search. There’s Pinkle, for instance (a pink Google) and a whole lot of other themed versions (even a Goth one).

    Recently, I tried out Ask again, and found the results often much more relevant. Funny thing: I too kept forgetting, and realized hours later I’d been googling as before. Weird.

  4. No I did not try other domains that use Google except for my service provider portal that uses Google as a default for search. That worked though. Next time this happens I will try some more Google-based engines, thanks for the tip.

    I thought that was the most amazing experience about the 1 1/2 day without Google, that I resorted back to Google without even realizing it. I always use the search bar in Firefox in the upper-right corner. I switched it to Yahoo after half a day but without remembering I had switched it back to Google at one point. Weird.

  5. A world without Google is kind of a nightmare nowadays. Imagine Google suddenly disappeared from the earth. That would be earth shattering! We would survive, of course, but the initial stage would be hard. We rely so much on services nowadays.

    I never found out what was actually going on. I would love to have called my Internet Service Provider but they have a horrible helpdesk so I wasn’t prepared to spend an enormous amount of money while in queue for their telephone support helpdesk. Online support seems to be no option, they rather have you NOT communicate with them at all. They make it as hard, expensive and unpleasing as possible.

    I am definitely switching ISPs when I move ;)

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