Diagnosing Traffic Drops During a Crisis: Was It You, Google, or the Whole World?

We want to fix things and believe we’re in control. When your house is filling with water, you grab a bucket. If there’s a hole in your roof, the bucket might help. If your sink is overflowing, the bucket is distracting you from the real problem. If the river is overflowing, that distraction could be deadly.

When traffic is falling, it’s easy to panic and focus on what you can control. Traffic isn’t just a nice-to-have — it puts food on the table and the roof over your head that keeps the water out. In the rush to solve the problem, though, we often don’t take the time to validate the problem we’re solving. Fixing the wrong problem is at best a waste of time and money, but at worst could deepen the crisis.

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