A five-minute Google service outage late last week nearly halved global web traffic, according to internet analytics firm GoSquared.
The outage occurred on 16 August, affecting numerous Google services including Search, Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Talk. GoSquared reported that, despite only lasting a few minutes, the outage caused a 40 percent decline in global web traffic.
"Google.com was down for a few minutes between 23:52 and 23:57 BST on 16 August 2013. This had a huge effect on the number of page views coming into GoSquared's real-time tracking – around a 40 percent drop," read the 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."
The reason for the outage remains unknown and Google declined V3's request for comment. Google has publicly acknowledged the outage occurred and issued a public apology on its status page.
"Between 15:51 and 15:52 PDT, 50 percent to 70 percent of requests to Google received errors; service was mostly restored one minute later, and entirely restored after 4 minutes," read the statement. "We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."
Despite the short time frame of the outage, many web users have taken the event as troubling, showcasing just how reliant people are on Google services. Silent Circle chief executive officer Mike Janke recently cited reliance on insecure services like Gmail as a key reason the US National Security Agency (NSA) was able to run its PRISM campaign.
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