Google interpreted Michael Jackson's search traffic as an attack

Google News was inaccessible on Thursday afternoon, following Michael Jackson's death news began to circulate, with an error message: "We're sorry, but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now." Google confirmed the surge of Michael Jackson-related searches on Google News Thursday was first interpreted […]

Google News was inaccessible on Thursday afternoon, following Michael Jackson's death news began to circulate, with an error message: "We're sorry, but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now." Google confirmed the surge of Michael Jackson-related searches on Google News Thursday was first interpreted as an attack on its service. Of course, those queries were quite legitimate, as millions around the world searched for accurate information regarding Jackson following reports that he had suffered cardiac arrest. The spike in queries began at about 2:45 p.m. PDT Thursday, and Google thought the traffic was an attack for about 25 minutes before realizing what was going on.