Worldwide Internet traffic reportedly plunged by about 40 percent Friday night, when many of the tech titan’s services, including its trademark search engine, went dark for between 1 and 5 minutes, according to USENET newsgroup reports.
The outage, which reportedly affected not only Google Search, but also Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive, occurred between 7:52 p.m. and 7:57 p.m. ET on Friday.
The company would not comment on the lapse’s cause, other than to direct media outlets to a brief message posted to Google Apps Dashboard that essentially acknowledged the situation. Usenet newsgroups had little to shed light on the cause at the time.
Fortunately, everything seemed to come back online minutes later. But exactly how an operation like Google’s can even go dark like that, all at once, is anybody’s guess.
It is unclear how much revenue was lost by the short-lived but intense outage, though some experts are putting it in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This isn’t the first time Google has gone dark. The services went down in May 2009 and was later blamed on a massive server failure.
Throughout this time, ThunderNews USENET service experienced no outtages. In fact, a small surge of posts occurred during that time.