Like many people these days, I depend on Google a lot. It’s practically my only search engine, and I’ve pretty much stopped downloading email at home in favor of a Gmail account. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to wonder if Google has become too large to continuing to be be perfectly functioning solution to many problems that we’ve all gotten used to. And I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.
My search engine problems started a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I were both working on our laptops when he started to whoop. He had opened his browser and Google, his home page, had come up in Japanese. Instead of www.google.com the address bar showed www.google.co.jp. Our first thought was that something was wrong with Firefox, but Internet Explorer behaved the same way. Our next thought was that his laptop had a virus. I tried to access the site with my laptop, and I got the same thing, leading us to jump to the conclusion that we had a virus in our wireless router. I’ve never even heard of such, but it seemed to make sense. Just to be on the safe side, we ran virus sweeps of both computers and reset the router to its factory settings and reconfigured it.
What a waste of a perfectly good Saturday! When that didn’t solve the problem I started searching for any information I could find on website redirection. Finally, I found what I was looking for on Google’s own help page. It seems that they try to distribute web searches to the most appropriate site by reading your IP address and redirecting you from google.com to the Google site for your country if you’re not in the US. They’ve been experiencing some problems since updating their location files. There was even a link to let them know if you’re being incorrectly redirected.
That was almost two weeks ago. Although they responded the next day to my message, at my house Google is still in Japanese. I did find the answer to the problem through Google, but I’d rather I hadn’t had the problem in the first place.
The other Google problem of late has to do with access to Gmail. Although I haven’t had any problems with that, apparently other people have. There was an article in the New York Times last week, detailing the problems many people have had with being locked out of their Gmail accounts. If you are actively using a Gmail account in your small practice, and many lawyers I know are, this article is worth a few minutes.