Five-minute Google outage reportedly caused 40% drop in global traffic

By on August 19, 2013, 2:30 PM
google, internet, gmail, cloud, search, outage, blackout, drive, downtime, calendar

A brief outage in Google's services last week nearly halved the web traffic recorded by analytics outfit GoSquared. The downtime reportedly lasted only a few minutes on Friday afternoon, but it was significant to affect most of the company's major products including Gmail, Calendar, Drive and YouTube. While the hiccup probably annoyed some folks, plenty used the opportunity to joke around:

GoSquared's graph (below) shows that Google fixed the problem relatively fast, but it still caused a 40% drop in the analytics firm's global pageviews. "That's huge," GoSquared's Simon Tabor wrote, also noting that the company also saw a spike in pageviews as services returned to normal activity and users began reaching their destination -- undoubtedly after testing the resilience of their F5 key.

The outage lasted five minutes or less depending on the service and source you look at, but Google said that 50-70% of requests coming into the search giant between 15:51 and 15:52 PT received errors. Services were largely restored within that one-minute window and they were entirely fixed in the following four minutes according to Google. GoSquared logged the downtime from 15:52 to 15:57 PT.

In somewhat related news, the pace at which Google handled its outage has left some users questioning the reliability of Microsoft's rival cloud offerings. Outlook, SkyDrive, Calendar and People experienced issues including sporadic outages that started last Wednesday. The problem began after a caching service for Exchange ActiveSync failed and things snowballed from there, according to Microsoft.

"We realize that we have a responsibility to the customers who use our services to communicate and share with the people they care most about, and we apologize for letting those customers down this week. Our first priority is to the health of the services, and we will learn from this incident and work to improve the experience of all our customers," Microsoft said. To help prevent future service interruptions, the company has allocated more network bandwidth to the affected infrastructure and it has improved the way error handling works for devices using Exchange ActiveSync.




User Comments: 6

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10 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

noting that the company also saw a spike in pageviews as services returned to normal activity and users began reaching their destination -- undoubtedly after testing the resilience of their F5 key.

Apparently F5 followed by a 404 Page Not Found error is still preferable to Bing.

Guest said:

Because it is. The day Bing actually starts giving results that actually have something remotely to do with what I was searching for and Bing Maps stops having obvious problems like my local Walmart being marked nearly 2 miles away from its correct position, I might consider actually using its services. Well, at least they're still much better than the outdated tech from 15 years ago that is Microsoft Outlook, so we can at least say that not all Microsoft dev teams are created equal.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Scumbag Steve: Uses Bing for free, complains about it constantly

Bad luck Bryan: Uses internet for the first time, Google is down.

Morpheus: What is I told you...There are other search engines besides Google and Bing

F me right?: Sometimes I use Bing when I cant find google results, and find what I was looking for...F me right?

Fry: Not sure if the internet crashed, or just google.

Lumburg: Yea if google could just come back up now, That would be greaaaaat.

First World Problems: Google is down on my ipad, I have to search the net with Bing

Good guy Greg sees that Google is down. Just uses Bing and doesn't cry about it.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

noting that the company also saw a spike in pageviews as services returned to normal activity and users began reaching their destination -- undoubtedly after testing the resilience of their F5 key.

Apparently F5 followed by a 404 Page Not Found error is still preferable to Bing.

Yeap! Seems like a big chunk of the internet agrees.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Back in 1995 I use Yahoo for all my searches, but when Google came out I started using that more and never gone back to Yahoo. Never heard about this Google outage until now.

Railman said:

5 minutes downtime over a full day is pretty insignificant.

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