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Google Goes Down, 40% of Traffic Disappears
Google Goes Down, 40% of Traffic Disappears

By Seth Fitzgerald
August 19, 2013 2:47PM

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The service's short outage should not be an issue in terms of revenue for the month. The idea that Google could go down is unsettling to people, but it doesn't create a problem for the company unless it starts to happen more frequently, according to Sterling Market Intelligence analyst Greg Sterling.
 


It is not often that Google goes out. In fact, most people seem to think that it is impossible. However, Google is just like any other web-based service and there's always the potential that it can experience a blackout if something goes wrong. On Friday, that is exactly what happened.

Google experienced a four-minute blackout Friday afternoon most likely as a result of human error, with spokespeople for the company refuting any claims of a hack. When Google went down, so did Gmail, Google Drive, and all the other services that rely on Google's servers.

Internet Traffic Plummets

Although it is interesting that Google was actually able to go offline, the more intriguing aspect of the outage is how it affected the Internet as a whole. According to Web analytics firm GoSquared, 40 percent of Internet traffic disappeared when Google went down for those four minutes.

One of GoSquared's developers, Simon Tabor, talked about the outage in a blog post. "That's huge. As Internet users, our reliance on Google.com being up is huge. It's also of note that page views spiked shortly afterwards, as users managed to get to their destination."

Although much of the decrease in traffic was simply from people trying to access a Google search or application at the time of the blackout, it shows just how much people rely on Google around the world. For nearly half of all Internet traffic to be significantly affected because something happened to Google reveals the slightly concerning fact that everyone needs access to the search giant.

At the same time as Google went down, tweets regarding the matter exploded and many users simply joked about the outage. With so many people assuming that Google will always be accessible, it was almost funny that it could go down especially for a couple of minutes.

Not a Big Deal

Sure, Google is very important and brings in millions every day but, according to analysts, the service's short outage should not be an issue in terms of revenue for the month. Sterling Market Intelligence analyst Greg Sterling told the Financial Times, "This individual outage doesn't really matter. The idea that Google could go down is unsettling to people, but it doesn't create a problem for the company unless it starts to happen more frequently."

With this being one of the very few outages that Google has experienced in the past year, it is not going to hurt the company's reputation. Some quick calculations completed by VentureBeat did show that the outage likely cost Google around $545,000, with around $100,000 in revenue being generated each minute that Google is online and operating correctly.

To the average person, losing half a million may seem like a big deal but to a multi-billion dollar company, it is not an issue. We have yet to figure out what caused the problem, a server outage was responsible for issues in 2009, but Google has yet to tell reporters what caused Friday's blackout.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

steve o:

Posted: 2013-08-23 @ 10:07pm PT
Google is still down here in Toronto ...no access to gmail..YouTube...Google+...wtf? At least tell us that its GOOGLE'S issue so we don't spend hours trying to fix something we never caused.

Meh:

Posted: 2013-08-19 @ 6:42pm PT
@ jim
I am sure that "ad logic" -- whatever this is supposed to mean -- is bottle-necking the world networks, not full hd youtube videos streaming.

jim:

Posted: 2013-08-19 @ 5:31pm PT
Sounds more like Google was responsible for 40% of internet traffic. Ad logic and crawlers, indexers..



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