UK & World News
Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40%
Worldwide internet traffic plunged by around 40% as Google services suffered a complete black-out, according to web analytics experts.
The tech company said all of its services from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes last night.
The reason for the outage is not yet known, and Google refused to provide any further information when contacted by Sky News Online.
According to web analytics firm GoSquared, global internet traffic fell by around 40% during the black-out, reflecting Google's massive grip on the web.
"That's huge," said GoSquared developer Simon Tabor. "As internet users, our reliance on Google.com being up is huge.
"It's also of note that pageviews spiked shortly afterwards, as users managed to get to their destination."
A message on the Google Apps Dashboard showed all of its services were hit.
"We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behaviour," it said.
A later message said: "Between 15:51 and 15:52 PDT, 50% to 70% of requests to Google received errors; service was mostly restored one minute later, and entirely restored after four minutes."
When contacted by Sky News, a spokesman for Google directed us to the dashboard message.
"We have no comment beyond this," he added.
Digital expert Phil Dearson, head of strategy for Tribal Worldwide, said the black-out had cost Google an estimated $500,000 (£330,000) just in the few minutes it was down.
"This is completely unprecedented, I've never heard of anything like this before," he told Sky News Online.
"One or two of Google's services have gone down in the past, like Gmail and Google Apps, but they both happened separately.
"It's a massive surprise for all of Google's services to go down at the same time.
"It's probably a physical infrastructure problem given the size of the outage, but it's hard to know at this stage."
Neil McAllister, a writer for website The Register, said: "Exactly how an operation like Google's can even go dark like that, all at once, is anybody's guess.
"Whatever details eventually do come to light, however, expect a lot of amazed - and nervous - talk around the water coolers in data centres everywhere next week."