Google Losing Homepage Preferences

    April 26, 2007

Google has apparently lost the personalized homepage preferences of hundreds of users, if not more. Ari commented on this at 8:53 this morning, and over 150 people have posted as having the problem on Google Groups since 6:45 am. Users are coming into their accounts and seeing them rolled back several months, losing the last few months of customizations, and any attempt to edit their pages and fix it gets rolled backwards.

Speculating would be a waste of time, but it is possible Google had to roll back to a old backup due to some sort of failure, or that it is related to the rollout of the new search results design. Regardless of what happened, it is a serious problem, and many users are worried that their careful personalizations are shot to hell.

Google Guide Jaime showed up at Groups to offer the first words from Google, about six hours later, two hours ago:

Yikes! So sorry about this everyone… but thanks so much for coming here to report it. We’re now in frantic-chase-down-this-bug mode here at the Googleplex, and I hope to have more info for you soon.

For now, we’re not entirely sure of this, but it’s possible that changing your homepage theme might cause the problem. SO, if you still have your homepage intact, please avoid changing your theme until
further notice.

The big question I know you’ll all want answered is whether you’ll get your homepage back once we sort things out… and the really honest answer is that I hope so, but I just don’t know yet.

Thanks for all your patience and helpful details. I will update this thread as soon as I can.
– Jaime

p.s. no need to report this via the contact form that Fun n Frolic Ltd linked to — we are definitely aware of the problem, and I’ll post to this thread if there’s more info I have or need from all of you.

You hear that? Do not change your homepage theme until the problem has been resolved. In fact, it might be a good idea to not even visit your homepage until you hear its over, as I’ve heard a lot of people say theirs broke while they were using it.

Google Guide Cameron said a 90 minutes ago, after many users said they didn’t change their theme:

Hi guys,

Thanks for letting us know that this problem isn’t related to your theme – it’s really helpful to get this info. Another piece of information that could help us sort this out is your approximate location; if you feel like sharing, that would be great!

– Cameron

I’ll update as soon as there is more info.

UPDATE 2:48 pm – No news, but user beuwolf said at Google Groups:

I will be moving to netvibes as well if they can’t restore my home page.

There is a limit to what people can tolerate in terms of reliability.

So as much as I love Google (and I really do like every web product they produce), this is just inexcusable.

That’s what Google has to worry about with stuff like this. No matter how good your software is, if it crashes, loses data, is unavailable, or just has weird bugs, people will desert you and all your hard work will be for nothing. Google: Don’t make this the day Netvibes or turns the corner.