Google downs AU uni Web server

Having your Web site listed in the top few returns of a Google search has long been recognised as one of the best ways to attract visitors to your site. What happens when your site is effectively listed at the top of every Google search?

Having your Web site listed in the top few returns of a Google search has long been recognised as one of the best ways to attract visitors to your site. What happens when your site is effectively listed at the top of every Google search?

The astronomy department of Swinburne University found that out on Tuesday when Google ran a special logo celebrating the birthday of mathematician Gaston Julia. When users clicked on the logo they were taken to an image search page for the terms "Julia" and "fractal".

However, two of the most popular images were hosted on a server at Swinburne University which subsequently failed when the server was "swamped by requests". The server was only made functional again by moving the Web pages to a different location.

The Web page put up to explain their disappearance asked the following questions:

"Should Google ask permission before potentially sending huge traffic loads to a single page/server? Should they regulate traffic to individual sites/pages by changing the order of the search results?"

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