What I'll Do When Google Dies

Ian Lurie

Like any nerd worth a damn, I like to plan for the zombie apocalypse. I know whose house I’ll go to (he has guns and edged weapons). I know what vehicles I’ll take (bicycles, duh). I know my weapon of choice (a shovel – perfect for the spearing brain smash).

But I have a new favorite activity: Planning for the Google apocalypse.

Someday, somehow, someone’s going to crash Google. Maybe for a few minutes. Maybe for a day.

When it happens, I will, in this order:

  1. If driving, stop my car and immediately flee any motor vehicle thoroughfare. Everyone using Google Maps to navigate will become an instant hazard.
  2. Run from every autonomous car.
  3. If outside, get the hell away from other cars. Every Android phone user will simultaneously look down at their phones, trying to figure out why they aren’t getting e-mail while they’re driving. They’ll crash because they can’t drive while distracted. I refuse to become sidewalk pizza.
  4. If outside, duck. Assuming any Google drones are flying, it’s gonna rain bits and pieces of fancy-schmancy flying Internet nodes. You think I’m joking. But Google bought Titan Aerospace back in 2014. There’s a reason.
  5. E-mail all my contacts to let them know I just lost my entire address book. Then realize my e-mail isn’t working, either.
  6. Print all my photos. Anything stored on Google’s Cloud will be in jeopardy. I figure the big G will be back, but why take chances?
  7. Mourn my documents. I can’t store every Google Doc and Sheet on my computer. It would explode. So I’ll make the assumption, briefly, that I’ve lost it all forever and weep bitter tears.
  8. Buy lots of Google stock. GOOG shares will drop below $500!!!!! I’ll seize the deal, buying 10 shares with my spare cash.
  9. Smile, because my e-mail will stop for a few minutes. My calendar will cease pestering me. My Reminders will stop Reminding me. For however long it lasts, the Great Googlepoop will bring a measure of peace to my life.
  10. Pass the time watching YouTube videos. Wait. Never mind.
  11. Buy the stock market. Never mind GOOG. Every consumer goods stock will plunge. They sink, what, $70 billion (not exaggerating) into AdWords per year? If the Clustergoogle happens during holiday shopping season, they’re all screwed. SCREWED. A single day could wipe out billions of dollars in sales. But, in world-ending disaster comes opportunity. I’ll take one of everything, please.
  12. Get really cold (or hot). My NEST thermostat will probably detach itself from the wall and run screaming out of my house. Depending on the time of year, I’ll either broil or freeze. Luckily, I’ve got survival blankets in the garage.
  13. Use Google Chrome. This might be the only chance to use Google’s web browser without having them track my every move. I’ll browse every porn site on the web, just because. Party!!!!
  14. Take screenshots. I can’t even imagine the advertising chaos that will transpire as Google’s ad network comes back online. We’ll have ads for steak showing up on vegan blogs, DC comics on Marvel sites. It’ll be utter chaos.
  15. Thank the gods I’m no longer using Google App Engine. Actually, I am. Excuse me for a minute…
  16. Launch a Bing SEO page on the Portent site.
  17. In a fit of panicked rage, stomp on my Android watch.
  18. Send Yelp a congratulations card.
  19. Mock all of my friends who own Chromebooks.

After Google launches their airstrikes against Anonymous worldwide, everything will return to normal (except the stock market, and all the wrecked cars and crashed drones). We’ll all breathe a sigh of relief. But for those few hours, it’ll be epic.

My real point

Google is a utility, not a service. We are all hooked, and it’s in every aspect of our lives.

Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. But as a history geek, I can’t think of another enterprise that so completely dominated our daily lives.

I, for one, welcome our Googley overlords.

Oh, and don’t be all smug, iPhone users. Your day will come.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Oh this is EXACTLY why people shouldn’t use Google docs or Google mail or a bunch of other Google products. Doesn’t anyone remember the saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket? I can – cause I Googled it.

  2. I was reading on the fall of the Roman empire a couple days ago and thinking this same thing. Spoilers: when commerce dies, the empire dies.
    Thanks for the nightmare fuel.

  3. Water, food, ammo? Not for this apocalypse. Set of encyclopedias, Gazetteer, Compass, ok… ammo too.
    PS I hope you were referring to the Teanaway as your refuge, if you were you forgot to mention the sniper tower.

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