Google disruption sets Web users atwitter
A minor panic spread across the Internet on Thursday after Google suffered what appeared to be a temporary service outage.
Reports cropped up throughout the Web that Google’s search engine, as well as popular services like Gmail and Google Analytics were running slowly or not at all in various parts of the world on Thursday morning.
And the incident caused ripples that slowed down other Web sites.
Users of the Twitter microblogging service fired off a flood of anxious Tweets inquiring, and venting, about the situation.
“My life has come to a complete halt,” wrote one hapless Twitter user, while another suggested Google be nationalized given that it is such an essential service.
The Twitter search feature, which lists the topics generating the most discussion, listed #GoogleFail as one of the top “trending topics.” And three of the most popular search terms on Google itself on Thursday were “Google Down,” “Google Slow,” and “Google Outage,” according to Google Trends.
By midday, Google released a statement that said the issue affecting “some Google services” had been resolved.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience, and we’ll share more details soon,” the statement said.
The incident is Google’s second high-profile service disruption this year, following a February outage that shut down access to Gmail for a few hours one day. Google said that problem was caused by one of its European data centers becoming overloaded due to a bug in some computer code installed during routine maintenance.
UPDATE: In a post on its official blog, Google said that the problem was due to a “traffic jam” that was created when Google re-directed Web traffic through Asia, following a an error in one of its systems. Google said the problem affected about 14 percent of its users.
“We’ve been working hard to make our services ultrafast and ‘always on,’ so it’s especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens,” Google senior vice president of operations Urs Hoelzle said in the post.