• 08.19.13

A Brief Google Outage Made Total Internet Traffic Drop By 40%

The outage lasted minutes but could have cost the firm half a million dollars in revenue.

A Brief Google Outage Made Total Internet Traffic Drop By 40%

So, Google suffered a power outage on Friday evening. Old news, you may say. But that small act, where all of its services–that’s YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, Google Drive–were unreachable for a few minutes, cut Internet traffic by 40%. That is an amazing figure.


The LEDs went out in Googleland, so to speak, at around 4:37 p.m. PST, and the blackout lasted for anywhere between one and five minutes, according to Google’s Apps Dashboard–you can see a screenshot of its red-light status below.

According to analytics firm GoSquared, the five minutes of downtime caused a drop in traffic of 40%, before spiking “as users managed to get to their destination.”

According to a Sky News report, the blip could have cost the Mountain View firm as much as $500,000. Describing the outage as “completely unprecedented,” Phil Dearson, head of strategy for Tribal Worldwide, said that it was a “massive surprise for all of Google’s services to go down at the same time.”

Google, meanwhile, has not yet commented on what caused the fritz. Someone pulled the wrong plug, I guess.

[Image: Flickr user david.nikonvscanon]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.