June 25, 2009 was a pretty extra ordinary day that shocked everyone worldwide. Search engine’s Google, Yahoo and Bing assured people of their accuracy and scalability in providing current news. Wikipedia grappled with the unexpected surge of interest in the day’s breaking news.
Google witnessed a surge of searches about Jackson ranging from “michael jackson died” to “michael jackson hoax”. Google must’ve thought it was under attack seeing the rush of such severe traffic. The spikes in searches provoked Google news to show an interstitial error page for about 25 minutes
Google reported that they saw the largest ever mobile search spike ever. The hotness of the news was termed “Volcanic” by Google Trends.
Yahoo also had a record breaker with 16.5 million hits topping the previous record of 15.1 million set last election day.
Social networks and community websites such as Wikipedia took precautionary measures in the event that the news turned out to be a hoax. The page was protected from editing to prevent the article from going back and forth until the story was verified.
Twitter was a hotbed of Jackson related searching and conversation. Co-founder Biz Stone reported that there were nearly 5,000 Jackson related tweets per minute on Thursday afteroon. “We saw an instant doubling of tweets per second the moment the story broke. This particular news about the passing of such a global icon is the biggest jump in tweets per second since the U.S. presidential election.”
Interestingly, the new kid on the block, Bing had a rather disappointing show put up. The results showed Michael Jackson photos while news links were at the bottom of the search results page.
Any marketing gigs in the midst of all this? Damn right yeah! And its none other than the very same new kid, Bing!
A joint effort from Bing and NBC surrounding the service launch got them putting up advertisements on top of taxis of a goodbye message. Done by Show Media, specializing in this form of advertising, the text-with a picture from Jackson’s “Thriller” album reads: “We will miss you Michael”.
The idea behind it would have been to get the fans to Bing him up! Well they certainly weren’t ready for the surge of searches!