On Friday, all Google services including from Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes and with it 40% of internet traffic.
The event began at approximately 4:37pm Pacific Time and lasted between one and five minutes, according to the Google Apps Dashboard. All of the Google Apps services reported being back online by 4:48pm.
The reason for the outage is not yet known, and Google refused to provide any further information.
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.
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.”
Digital expert Phil Dearson, head of strategy for Tribal Worldwide, said the black-out had cost Google an estimated $500,000 (£330,000) just in the few minutes it was down.
Whatever details eventually do come to light, however, expect a lot of amazed – and nervous – talk around the water coolers in data centers everywhere next week.