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Leading search engine, Google feared it was under attack when news first broke over the death of pop icon Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson Google TrendsInstead of receiving a list of results when searching for the 750 million record selling star, they were returned with an error page warning users “your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application“, which requires typing in the CAPCHA code provided to pass by and get to the results page.  This occurred between 10.40pm and 11.15pm GMT.

The Google trends graph to the right shows the spike in searches, in which their “hotness” meter has described as “volcanic”.

Google was not the only site to have issues regarding the frequency of Michael Jackson searches.  Microblogging service, Twitter crashed due to the number of users tweeting around the same time.

This full news article can be found over at the bbc.