As news broke of Michael Jackson’s heart attack and subsequent death yesterday, thousands of sites buckled under the load of millions of people coming online to search for the latest news.
The world’s number one search engine, Google.com, was so inundated with searches for the star’s name that it started serving error messages on some searches. Google news took automated preventative measures under the weight of the traffic and started forcing visitors to enter a captcha to view news.
Twitter.com traffic doubled almost instantly, the amount of tweets per second doubled, and peaked at a point higher than during the U.S. presidential election. Sites in Australia saw increases in traffic up to 2000% and celebrity mega-blog, TMZ.com which broke the Michael Jackson death news went offline after being crushed by the load of people trying to access the site. The Daily Mail, one of the biggest tabloid sites in the U.K., doubled their traffic after reporting the news.
And the Inquisitr, the site you’re reading now, being one of the first to report on Michael Jackson’s death after the news broke, experienced traffic spikes that caused intermittent outages and database errors.
It wasn’t just the traffic spikes and outages that were prevalent: Within hours of his death, Michael Jackson’s 1982 album, Thriller, became the number one item on iTunes and Amazon.com saw several of his works hit the top most purchased items on it’s site.
Will there ever be another performer more popular online?