Google blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic

By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 17, 2013 08:13 AM EDT

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Google blacked out for two minutes with all its suite of services and 40 percent of the world's web traffic went down with it.

While it's no surprise that Google has a massive presence on the web, the outage now shows just how much it can affect the entirety of Internet traffic.

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The near-unprecedented Google blackout started out at roughly 4:37 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) and lasted between one and five minutes, affecting all of Google's services, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, Google Drive and others. By 4:37 p.m. all of those services were reportedly back online, so it may not seem like a big deal.

When Google is concerned, however, even one minute of outage is a very big deal. Everyone experiences technical difficulties once in a while, but when Google is out it's a whole new scale.

According to web analytics firm GoSquared, Google's outage took down a whopping 40 percent of the world's Internet traffic during those brief moments of no service. It's in such instances that you realize just how wide Google's reach is and how ubiquitous its services have become. Google apparently has its own force field and an outage at this level reaches great magnitudes.

Without Google Search, many were left puzzled, seeking alternatives such as Bing and realizing how dependent they have become on Google's services. If just a few minutes managed to take down as much as 40 percent of the world's Internet traffic, imagine what a whole day could do.

It remains uncertain for now what caused the outage or how a massive operation such as Google's can go offline just like that. Google has yet to provide an official statement or an explanation for the outage, but it will likely share more details shortly.

All of Google's services went back up just a few minutes after the outage and everything works perfectly fine now, like nothing ever happened. Billions of people across the world have returned to their Gmail, Drive or Search tasks, YouTube videos, calendars, maps, Google+ or whatever other Google services they use, bringing the world's Internet traffic back to normal. In such instances, however, you can't help but wonder: What would the world be now without Google?



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