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Google fails, people panic

May 14, 2009 |  3:37 pm

Panic
Google fails, the world panics. Credit: star5112 via Flickr.

Imagine your 20 favorite people. Now imagine that three of them had their hands chopped off. Aaaargh!

That's kind of what happened to, well, the world this morning when Google went down or performed excruciatingly slowly for 14% of users. People panicked. They tried to figure out what was going on. They complained. Even in German!

If you still can't imagine three of your 20 friends missing their hands, maybe this chart will illuminate the situation. Traffic from the top 10 North American Internet service providers to Google networks fell off a cliff, showing that if people can't Google, they're not as interested in the Web.

Thankfully, Google restored its services after just an hour or so, blaming Asia for the outage.

Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That's basically what happened to some of our users today for about an hour, starting at 7:48 am Pacific time.

The blog post by Urs Hoelzle apologized for the outage, reassuring addicted Google users that "all planes are back on schedule now."

-- Alana Semuels

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