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Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40% 352

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-google dept.
cold fjord writes "Is 40% anything to worry about? Sky News reports, 'Worldwide internet traffic plunged by around 40% as Google services suffered a complete black-out, according to web analytics experts. The tech company said all of its services from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes last night. The reason for the outage is not yet known, and Google refused to provide any further information when contacted by Sky News Online. 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."'
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Google Outage: Internet Traffic Plunges 40%

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  • by Novus (182265) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:09AM (#44605547) Homepage

    See Google Apps Status Dashboard [google.com] for more details (hover over red outage dots for times).

    • by arglebargle_xiv (2212710) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:24AM (#44605613)
      Did their certificates expire?
  • Google.com? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:10AM (#44605555)

    I use google.fr, you insensitive clod!

  • by sjwt (161428) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:11AM (#44605557)

    Pro Tip: Rather than Googling 'Facebook' you could use a bookmark, or try www.facebook.com

    • Facebook (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:27AM (#44605619)

      Pro Tip: Rather than Googling 'Facebook' you could use a bookmark, or try www.facebook.com

      Facebook is definitely Googles main threat (when will they release their own search engine). Its why Google are throwing everything behind Google+. I have been astonished how Microsoft/Apple have been prepared to squander their respective advantages by not having a social network, preferring to support Facebook against Google.

      • Re:Facebook (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:34AM (#44605649)

        I have been astonished how Microsoft/Apple have been prepared to squander their respective advantages by not having a social network, preferring to support Facebook against Google.

        Probably because they're not fools.

        You know who talks about G+? G+ users. That's about it. The value of a social network is based on the number of people involved, and Google failed hardcore at attracting users. Having blown their load, G+ is about as much of a threat to Facebook as MySpace is.

        • Google+ is growing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:48AM (#44605705)

          Probably because they're not fools.

          Except Googe+ is growing, and even though it is in no way eclipsing Facebook. Yahoo was dominant in search; Apple was dominant in smartphones; Hotmail was dominant in internet mail. How is the fact that there is strong player in the market relevant, both Apple and Microsoft could benefit from having their own social network, and Facebook is a threat to both.

          • A murrain on both their houses. Maybe I'm an antisocial old fart, but I (for one) could not care less if Google and Facebook waste their shareholders' dollars trying to capture the same market.
            • by mcvos (645701) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:26AM (#44605999)

              As a Google+ user, I definitely don't want Google and Facebook to capture the same market. People are definitely part of the reason why I prefer G+ over Facebook.

              • by Mashiki (184564)

                As a Google+ user, I definitely don't want Google and Facebook to capture the same market. People are definitely part of the reason why I prefer G+ over Facebook.

                You may wish to "explain" this, for my old, cranky, mid-30's, anti-social pov, which sees both full of narcissistic trash.

                • by mcvos (645701) on Monday August 19, 2013 @08:15AM (#44606225)

                  Facebook seems to revolve a lot around resharing vague funny images. G+ is more about real discussion. Resharing images does happen on occasion, but not to the point where it becomes tedious. In the early days of G+, there was such an image listing the most talked about person on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They were some pop star, some other pop star, and Albert Einstein, respectively.

                  Call it elitist if you like, but I vastly prefer the topics of discussion on G+ over those on Facebook.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by Anonymous Coward

                    This is not the result of the social network you use. It is the result of you choosing to only let in your circle people with whom you want a certain kind of conversation.

                  • by DCFusor (1763438)
                    Have to agree mcvos. What most people don't realize is that the smart folks on G+ rarely appear in public - they mostly hangout in private, rarely post to "the stream", and mainly use the free video conference service. For example, as a retired consultant, I often mentor people there - and I don't bother with the usual drunken reprobates in most public hangouts. Most of us don't even read our "feeds" at all. That's not how "you hold it right". Once you have a few quality people as contacts, and do a li
          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            Dear god, can you imagine a Microsoft social network... Presumably all new sign-ups would be auto-friended to Clipit.

            Apple's would just be some kind of hybrid prison/sandpit.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            How do you measure growing? Sure, I have an account. Because I did it to get gmail to stop nagging me. I [i]never[/i] use it, and have no plans to.

            If anything I'm wasting resources for G+!

        • by Dishevel (1105119)
          I am really ok with Google + very slowly and keeping most of the Facebook regulars intimidated and in their own corner of the internet.

          They are posting nothing I want to read.

          Keep Google + small and smart please.

    • by gagol (583737)
      At least 40% of people I know type their url in google... send a non referenced address to your friends and see!
    • The young ones, too. My 12 year old step son uses the browser search bar for everything - even "youtube". It's maddening!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is why Google is #1 and Facebook respectively is #2

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Pro Tip: Rather than Googling 'Facebook' you could use a bookmark, or try www.facebook.com

      I like how this is modded +5 Informative. Thanks for the handy tip! I shall bookmark this page in perpetuity so that I never forget.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:12AM (#44605565)

    I wonder for how many people the internet becomes completely inaccessible without Google? (I also still occasionally meet people who do not know what a 'browser' is, and who think that IE is their only option).

    Google is a good search engine, but there are alternatives. If Google stopped working, I wouldn't suffer very much, I think. (When Gmail crashes, I think that for gmail users this is another issue... but I use alternative email).

  • Cause (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:13AM (#44605567) Journal

    How much of the plunge was due to lack of search / app availability vs third party pages not loading properly do to analytics and other google dependencies?

    • Re:Cause (Score:4, Informative)

      by tommeke100 (755660) on Monday August 19, 2013 @06:05AM (#44605761)
      I'd say 99% AdSense not responding, analytics not responding, social media buttons not responding....there goes your website ;-)
    • I was wondering the same thing. A large percentage of sites point at at least one of google-analytics.com, googleadservices.com, *.googleapis.com (and likely others). An addon like RequestPolicy [mozilla.org] for Firefox lets you limit connections to 3rd party websites (and can be educational as well).
    • I have NoScript set to not allow Google Analytics and other client-side stuff for ad tracking (block Doubleclick and such too), and not allowing them doesn't appreciably slow things down.

      I guess that allowing them and having the browser timing out on requests is a bit of a different story though - or having any back end dependency on them.

      I'm the type that loves my MP3s but still likes that I have my CD collection in a binder as a backup. I love Netflix and Amazon Instant video, but I still have my DVD coll

    • by jittles (1613415)

      How much of the plunge was due to lack of search / app availability vs third party pages not loading properly do to analytics and other google dependencies?

      This is slashdot, so naturally I did not RTFA but I was wondering if the drop was actually due to YouTube. If they are measuring traffic in the amount of data flowing through the network, then YouTube is the obvious choice. If they are talking about page hits then I would guess that its due to the search engine being down.

  • 40%? No. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:15AM (#44605573)

    This is how the "40%" looked in real life:
    http://www.crackajack.de/2013/08/18/google-goes-down-for-2-minutes-fucks-up-100-of-all-journalists/

    (Mind the circle in the yellow graphics: It shows the real decline in internet traffic at the German Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), the largest internet exchange point worldwide.)

    Further reading: What is DE-CIX? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DE-CIX

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tuo42 (3004801) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:15AM (#44605575)
    I lost count of how many people and customers I know who no longer use the address bar to enter an URL, but Google. Open Browser, Google as start page, enter for example "slashdot.org", click the first hit.

    Many of them even access their own company website like this. Or their social networks etc. While I never understood why they do it (or use a browser which actually works this way like Chrome or Safari, where the URL bar also is the search field), this if course means a single point of failure. If they are not able to access google, they don't how to access the website they "search".

    And while I am of course not talking about technical adept people, most of them are no morons who are simply not able to comprehend the difference...it's just the way they access the internet...through google (so they think).
    • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tukz (664339) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:21AM (#44605599) Journal

      It's a bit like the early 90's.
      I had almost everyone's telephone number memorized, then cellphones got popular and slowly I forgot everyone's telephone number as they were now coded into my cellphone.

      I suspect something similar is at play here.
      People* don't really remember full urls any more, they just search for the closest and Google sorts the rest.

      * When I say people, I mean the general public.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I had almost everyone's telephone number memorized, then cellphones got popular and slowly I forgot everyone's telephone number as they were now coded into my cellphone.

        Your analogy compares better with bookmarks though.
        What people are doing now is calling like 411 every time they want to call their friends.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        It was the norm from the start in countries that use non-Latin characters. For example in Japan all the adverts just say "search for..." rather than giving the URL, and internet companies have more freedom to name themselves because they don't feel the need to have a memorable domain name.

        In China they tried phone-number-like domains such as 82742.com for a while, but it didn't work very well.

      • by Nutria (679911)

        URLs of the things that are important to me are mostly really long and complicated. The folders in the FF Bookmark Toolbar make life easy, though.

    • by Meneth (872868) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:26AM (#44605991)
      Remember when some blogger replaced Facebook as the first search result for "facebook"? He got tons of comments asking why they couldn't log in anymore.
    • by Tom (822)

      Aside from the inherent stupidity - have these people heard of bookmarks?

      The, I don't know for sure, probably 3rd feature or so the very first browser got?

      If they really are that dumb, making friends has never been easier - just show them how bookmarks work. They'll think you are a computing god. :-/

  • NSA? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Reason for the outage:

    NSA has been tinkering with google servers, to milk as much info as possible before more google customer draining happens.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Actually that is far more likely to be true than funny. This seems very much like a core psy vs spy configuration change, whether it was to take something out or put something in remains to be seen. In light of recent exposure taking something out seems more likely.

      At the end of the day, this should be a major wake up call for Google and having a more regionally distributed system, which of course is what the internet was originally designed to be so that no single point of failure can take down the enti

  • by nbritton (823086) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:19AM (#44605591)

    It was just the NSA patching in their new data center...

  • The internet is now part of Google.

    • We (as in, we users of the Internet) should not be so reliant on a single entity's web services, just as we (as computer users) are not reliant on a single entity's OS. Guess what, you can participate in a decentralised web search engine right away, with project YaCy [yacy.net], by running a node on your computer(s). There are very few nodes at the moment given the potential, and the search will only get better as more people join.

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:39AM (#44605673)
    Chinese hackers just have to hack Google, and 40% of the internet can be down on demand. The original visionaries at DARPA must be rolling in their grave...
    • The original visionaries at DARPA must be rolling in their grave...

      Not likely, the network is functioning beyond expectations. Hypertext is merely one of many protocols operating on this global network, and in twenty years it may not even be used. IP however, and probably TCP/UDP, will still be used a hundred years from now. Hopefully we'll have migrated to IPv6 by then...

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:44AM (#44606071) Homepage

      It wasn't 40% of "the internet", it was 40% of internet traffic and the bulk of it would have been YouTube streaming videos. Netflix is also quite a large proportion. No need to panic though, they are just bandwidth heavy protocols, not 40% of every service and website on the internet.

  • I think the drop was significantly because of Youtube. It was at night, when most people are just relaxing and everybody today watches YT in HD, which is quite a lot of data per second.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If it was night everywhere at the same time then that could be a reason for it, yes.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday August 19, 2013 @05:44AM (#44605683)

    Imagine if the NSA servers went down, nothing would be getting through.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday August 19, 2013 @06:01AM (#44605741)

    The short duration exaggerates the issue. If Google were to go away for a day or a week, most everyone would switch to some other service like Bing, etc. But when it goes down for just a few minutes people don't even have time to figure out that google is the problem itself rather than a hiccup in their internet connection. Most people will just hit reload a couple of times, curse, check their phone for text messages and by then everything has recovered and they quickly forget that there even was a problem.

    • ^^THIS^^

      The first few minutes of a RARE outage for me, even a single site, I often assume it might be a hiccup with my connection.

      In which case I either let my PC sit for a couple of minutes (or reboot) while I grab a glass of water.

      If everything is working by the time I get back, then cool. If not then I start to investigate and act accordingly. My PC? My connection? The DNS I'm using? This site's service provider? etc.

      However it's quite rare that I have an ISP issue or one of the sites I traffic oft

  • Fake numbers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by longk (2637033) on Monday August 19, 2013 @06:02AM (#44605753)

    40% did NOT drop. 40% measured by this one stats agency dropped. They don't measure Bittorrent, Usenet, Netflix or other bandwidth eaters. The real number is likely to be much much lower.

    • by jkflying (2190798)

      Yup... see here [google.com].

    • by Tom (822)

      Especially since web traffic is a comparatively small part of overall Internet traffic these days. Yes, I used to work for an ISP and I had numbers broken down by port and protocol in front of me. It's been two years, but I don't think anything dramatic has changed.

      So, if it's 40% of web traffic, that translates to somewhere around 5-10% of total traffic. Still massive for one company.

  • Something I haven't seen explained in the couple articles I've read on this is why all google services going out would account for 40% of all internet traffic. Am I supposed to believe that at any given moment, 40% of all internet traffic is consumed by gmail, youtube, and web searches? And out of that, how much of the traffic was accounted for by youtube? That is the ONLY seemingly viable element that could really contribute that much, because of the sheer amount of data each transaction with youtube cons

  • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:40AM (#44606051)

    The past participle of google is googled.
    What is the p.p. of bing? bung?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      With sing it's sang, so maybe it's bang. "I couldn't google anything on my girlfriend, but I bang her every so often."
  • ... I will post it again. This relates to the page views GoSquared measures, NOT to the entire internet.

    GoSquared self-describes as "trusted by 30,000 businesses", which is not a small number, but also doesn't really compare to the number of businesses with websites out there. http://www.whois.sc/internet-statistics/ [whois.sc] says there are about 150 mio domains (in the most popular gTLDs). Assuming domains is a decent measure for websites (which it isn't, but let's go with that for now), at best GoSquared measures

  • viable alternatives for nearly every google service exist today, so a 5 minute full-scale service outage is only relevant if you're a manager at google. since the internet is self-healing and completely capable of routing around most damage, google is moreso a clearing house for consumer trust than anything else. 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or more and google would lose customers, which to them is far more important as a publically traded corproration than any web service they offer. googles cont
  • I can explain it... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016)

    Windows Server 2012 upgrades on all their servers...

    What? Windows is so good I am certain that Google runs windows.... The MS guys here cant be lying to me.

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