Sites Crash, Fail to

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-05-06 Print this article Print

Load"> For other users, Web Accelerator has caused a number of unwanted changes to their Web browsing. Mike Rumble, a Web programmer at U.K.-based Lawton Communications Group Ltd., said he downloaded Web Accelerator on Thursday and soon noticed that about one out of every 20 Web sites were failing to load. Instead, he was redirected to an error page from Web Accelerator, prompting him to try again or to search on Google.
Rumble faced more trouble when he visited his Web-based e-mail account from Apple Computer Inc.s .Mac service. He was continuously logged out of the account, something he blamed on Web Accelerators preloading of pages.
"After signing in it became impossible to get any use out of the service, as every click would lead back to a sign-in page," Rumble said in an e-mail interview. "It appears that the Web Accelerators prefetching mechanism was signing me out of the service as soon as I had signed in, by clicking on the sign-out link and killing my session." Rumble, who regularly tries out new software for his office, said he decided to disable Web Accelerator because he feared that it could also wreak havoc on his companys Web-based content management system. "Google Web Accelerator appears to be a poorly executed, potentially destructive product," he said. Similar sentiments to Rumbles have been shared in blog postings and online forums across the Web, though other users have said that they are finding that Web Accelerator is saving them time in their Web browsing. To Mayer, part of the backlash against Web Accelerator likely is a result of Google sitting in the middle between users browsers and Web sites. By caching Web pages on Googles servers, Web Accelerator is following caching methods already in use by ISPs and by many corporate firewalls, Mayer said. But Google is making that activity more visible to users, who often are not aware that their employers or ISP may be serving them earlier versions of a Web page. "It does break the paradigm of how people are used to browsing," Mayer said. "It does change the experience slightly in little ways, and its worth the tradeoff." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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