Top news sites flounder following Michael Jackson's death

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Online news sites fared relatively poorly when it came to handling a flash flood of traffic. This was evidenced when news on the unfortunate death of singer Michael Jackson broke across the Internet. Keynote Systems, a company that tracks site performance, says that the availability of some 30 plus sites that it monitors plunged from 100 percent to 86 percent. In addition, the average access time of the home pages of the top media sites also more than doubled from 4.2 seconds to 8.9 seconds, reports CNET News.

In addition, some Google users have also complained that the search giant's Google News area was inaccessible for a time. This was confirmed by a Google representative, who acknowledged that users performing "queries related to Michael Jackson" might experience difficulties for slightly less than half an hour starting from 2:40 p.m. PDT.

Shedding some light on the unique challenges of flash Internet traffic, CNN.com defended sluggish performance at its site, saying that it saw 20 million page views and a fivefold increase in just over an hour. CNET News saw twice the normal amount of hourly traffic after word of Jackson's death spread, while traffic at sister site CBSNews.com saw numbers surge to five times their normal levels.

For more on this story:
- check out this article at CNET News

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