Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info

FEATURES

Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info

FEATURES

Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info
Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info
Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info
Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

Google’s clever choice of words during the Gmail incident (why 0.02% matters)

GoogleSite issues come in all shapes and forms, and no one seems immune. Google’s Gmail problems the last couple of days, where a number of Gmail users temporarily lost all of their emails, was proof that Murphy’s Law is alive and well on the Internet.

However, this post is not really about that specific incident, but rather about an interesting detail in the way Google communicated the problem.

Oops, but only 0.02% are affected

In their official account of the incident, Google was very careful to point out (twice) that only 0.02% of all Gmail users were affected. No mention of how many users that corresponded to.

[…] Imagine the sinking feeling of logging in to your Gmail account and finding it empty. That’s what happened to 0.02% of Gmail users yesterday, and we’re very sorry. […]

In fact, during the entire conversation about the incident, Google consistently used percentages, never once mentioning in absolute numbers how many Gmail users were affected (at least we didn’t see any).

So the focus in Google’s communication was to point out that tiny little fragment of a percent. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

A matter of scale

To realize why this was a clever move, you first need to know how big Gmail is: Gmail supposedly has around 200 million users. It’s a huge email service.

A thin slice from a huge pie will still be significant, and even a mere 0.02% turns out to be a large chunk. In this case, it corresponds to 40,000 users.

40,000 affected users sounds a lot worse than 0.02%, doesn’t it? The latter gives a much more positive spin. “We’re having trouble, but only a tiny share of our users are affected.”

Which is of course why Google didn’t mention any absolute numbers. This was a company in damage control mode.

It’s actually a pretty smart (but not very transparent) approach for any big service, because even tiny shares of a huge user base will number in the thousands. Even “small” incidents will look bad if actual user numbers are discussed.

SolarWinds Observability now offers synthetic transaction monitoring

Powerful transaction monitoring now complements the availability and real user [...]

Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate – Which One You Should Improve and Why

Tracking your website’s exit and bounce rates will give you insight into how [...]

Introduction to Observability

These days, systems and applications evolve at a rapid pace. This makes analyzi [...]

Webpages Are Getting Larger Every Year, and Here’s Why it Matters

Last updated: February 29, 2024 Average size of a webpage matters because it [...]

A Beginner’s Guide to Using CDNs

Last updated: February 28, 2024 Websites have become larger and more complex [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL

MONITOR YOUR WEB APPLICATION PERFORMANCE

Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL
Start monitoring for free