Google Thought Michael Jackson Search Surge Was Malware Attack

Twitter may have broke the story, but the increase in search traffic at Google Thursday was first seen as a malware attack Google admitted.

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The Google News site had to shut down briefly leaving a message that read: "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."

Yahoo saw a record number of unique visitors for a day with 16.4 million visitors. It was also their single most visited story in their history.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.