Global web traffic plunges 40% during 5 minute Google outage

20/08/2013

On Friday, August 16, Google experienced five minutes of downtime, causing global web traffic to plunge 40% according to a report.

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The internet giant said all of its services from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes.

The five minute outage is said to have cost the search giant more than $545,000.

The brief outage affected all of the company's services, including Gmail, Docs and Blogger, according to Google's App Status dashboard.

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."

Amazon outage

Following the news, another web giant Amazon also suffered an outage. The main retail page of the retailer went offline at approximately 3 p.m. ET on Monday. The cause of the outage remains unclear, but Amazon Web Services (AWS), including EC2, remained up and working on the most part unaffected, according to its status page.

Regional sites, such as Amazon.co.uk, appeared unaffected by the U.S. website's outage. ZDNet confirmed Amazon-owned Audible.com is down, but Goodreads.com is not. Services such as Netflix, which run on AWS, were working throughout the retail site's outage, while others, such as the Amazon Cloud Player, were not.

Amazon receives approximately 77 million people visiting from the U.S. per day, and is one of the top ten websites in the world in terms of traffic. It's not clear how much revenue Amazon may lose as a result of the outage. One report estimates it to be in the region of more than $1,100 in net sales per second.

View the Google App dashboard here

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