Google's 5-minute outage means $545,000 revenue loss, 40% drop in global website traffic

What happens when the world's largest search engine experiences a five-minute outage? Apparently, a lot. That's exactly what happened on Friday when Google went down from about 3:52 p.m. to 3:57 p.m Pacific time. Some other services went offline as well, but the one that had everyone in a tizzy was search -- and rightfully so. The vast majority of Internet users rely on Google to get them where they want to go on the web every single day. However, the users were far from the only ones suffering during those dark five minutes.

In Q2 2013, Google reported revenues of $14.1 billion. Doing a bit of division, we can estimate that Google makes about $108,000 in revenue for every one minute it's actually functioning. Five minutes of being offline cost the company about $545,000 in revenue, assuming that Google gets most of its revenue from the services that went down. For Google, it's not a huge amount of money, but that's roughly what the average American household brings in over the course of a decade.

Additionally, the downtime appears to have caused a global drop in website traffic of 40 percent before spiking back up again once Google was back online, according to GoSquared's analysis. This most likely didn't please website owners who rely on Google to get a decent amount of hits.

It's insane just how much we take Google for granted every day, but we sure do miss it when it's gone. Well, most of us.

Source: VentureBeat

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90 Comments

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actually this might be a great way to punish google. I wonder if some local internet providers could block google ad IPs until they play nicely with windows phone.

Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Google begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 3:52 p.m. Pacific time, August 16th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug...

I think it would be good for Google and such to go offline for a while.

People "Googling it" are becoming more and more lazy and not just going to the website, such as bbc.co.uk or microsoft.com - hell people I know still type Google into Google.... people also don't yet realise you can just type straight into the address bar.

Haha, from a scene in Parks and Recreation where Jim goes to google.com and enters "Please go to yahoo.com" as that's how he finds websites.
And it reminds me of people around me, who use google.com to go to any website (or for the older people here in NL, startpagina.nl)

"In Q2 2013, Google reported revenues of $14.1 billion" ...is that just from "Search" or "total"? If it's the latter, Neowin's $545,000 calculation is seriously flawed!!

GreatMarkO said,
"In Q2 2013, Google reported revenues of $14.1 billion" ...is that just from "Search" or "total"? If it's the latter, Neowin's $545,000 calculation is seriously flawed!!
Since Google doesn't have any revenues from Search, and only from ads, I guess it's the last one, but everything was down, so I don't see why it's flawed.

14,100,000,000 ($14.1 Billion)
1,440 Minutes a day
525,600 Minutes a year

14,100,000,000 / 525,600 *5 = $134,132

$545,000 is way over exaggerated

I can't really get some of comments on here. Do you really feel that strongly for what search engine you use that you need to brag about it and attack other's choices?

Its a search engine, use the one you like and get over it.

I did try bing once but as a web developer having something coding questions I always en dup hating Bing since it never gives me the results I want when I google a coding problem I always find a correct answer.

Bing might looks great or work fast but far from perfect and so does google but it does atleast better then bing, ok google has had way more time to develop and improve their service then bing so I'll wait and see how Bing progresses from here on ^^

I always heard Bing is not perfect like Google, but I also heard that googler tries searching Bing the Google way.
I am using Lumia and I have no problem searching with Bing. Maybe Bing is for casual searcher.

I can agree on that, I have a lot elder people I know who find thinsg way faster with bing but younger people of my own generation are finding it way harder to find they correct things they're looking for, as example you end up more on social sites with google and with bing you end up more on official or commercial sites in my experience ^^

CygnusOrion said,
LOL - all of Google services down and not a peep by the media! But Outlook.com is down for 7 hours and it's a HUGE scandal!

Maybe because 5 min is a little less than 7 hours?

Shadowzz said,
But all their services down vs 1 website unreachable? My outlook.com based mail on my phone wasn't interrupted.

My Outlook 2013 Desktop client stopped delivering and sending mail. My Phone and Tablet stopped delivering me mail from my Outlook Account.

McKay said,

My Outlook 2013 Desktop client stopped delivering and sending mail. My Phone and Tablet stopped delivering me mail from my Outlook Account.


Hmm, haven't noticed such myself though.

Dot Matrix said,
If Google analytics and other assorted crappy services could go offline forever, that'd be greeeat.

I feel the same thing about comments like this.

I use google analytics in one website because I'm too lazy, too poor and don't have time to code my own tracking tool... and I can't compete with the NSA certificated professionals of google. I must admit, I feel dirty using google analytics. BILL, FORGIVE ME!

warwagon said,
Says the Microsoft Lover.

Says the guy who demands not to be tracked or opted into junk by default. I guess that's too much to ask for these days.

Dot Matrix said,

Says the guy who demands not to be tracked or opted into junk by default. I guess that's too much to ask for these days.


But I guess you're aware of that Microsoft tracks your results on Bing? Microsoft has their own adsense service you know, Bing Ads.

warwagon said,
Says the Microsoft Lover.

I remind you this forum is microsoft and apple enthusiasts forum. Unless you're a troll you have no business here.

S3P€hR said,

I remind you this forum is microsoft and apple enthusiasts forum. Unless you're a troll you have no business here.

For Apple enthusiasts? I must've missed that.

fobban said,

But I guess you're aware of that Microsoft tracks your results on Bing? Microsoft has their own adsense service you know, Bing Ads.

Have you read the Bing ToS?
All the data they collect about you is anonymized, unlike Google's.

Shadowzz said,

Have you read the Bing ToS?
All the data they collect about you is anonymized, unlike Google's.

Perhaps you should read it. Section 5.1:
Your privacy is important to us. We use certain information that we collect from you to operate and provide the services.

How do you think they target their ads? Some magic unicorn?

fobban said,

Perhaps you should read it. Section 5.1:

How do you think they target their ads? Some magic unicorn?


Cause that states they use it for ads?
Maybe you should continue reading
However, we designed our systems to select ads based only on data that does not personally and directly identify you. For example, we store page views, clicks and search terms used for ad targeting separately from contact information you may have provided or other data that directly identifies you (such as your name, e-mail address, etc.). Further, we have built in technological and process safeguards designed to prevent the unauthorized correlation of this data.

How does that make your statement that all collected data is anonymized true? Nothing in there states that they can't link the info together if they want.

It's getting interesting when we read from another page:

Microsoft collects and uses your personal information to operate and improve its sites and services. These uses include providing you with more effective customer service; making the sites or services easier to use by eliminating the need for you to repeatedly enter the same information; performing research and analysis aimed at improving our products, services and technologies; and displaying content and advertising that are customized to your interests and preferences.

So to be honest, when it comes to ads I'm not sure Google and Microsoft is that much different. Both allow you to opt out from interest-based ads if you want (although I'm not sure that means they still don't collect the data).

Lol, cause they won't due to their battle with Google over internet dominance.
Their ToS states such, for advertisement purposes it is not directly linked to you.
With Google's ToS, all information they have on you, is linked to you.

two different situations. MS identifies you by IP, cookie and browser for advertisement purposes if you'd bother to read the rest of the ToS instead of selective reading.

Dude. It is still linked! They might not use it for targeting ads, but the data is still linked. It's right there in the quote you posted.

Further, we have built in technological and process safeguards designed to prevent the unauthorized correlation of this data.

Please have your next of kin notify me when it happens so I can send out your Darwin Awards. I hope nobody outside of Neowin sees these comments.

fobban said,
Dude. It is still linked! They might not use it for targeting ads, but the data is still linked. It's right there in the quote you posted.


That says nothing about the data being linked together. It says they have safeguards in place from unauthorized access to both data sets together.

Greetings from China - you know, the world's biggest Internet market - bigger than Europe and USA combined. Here we're proud to say we're a GOOGLE-FREE ZONE. Google Search is now well below 2% and still dropping. If you're not in China you're not global.

You people are soooooooooooooo far behind. Why do you still put up with these evil, evil, evil people? Stop letting them push you around. Dump Google now! We did it - and nobody misses them.

Major_Plonquer said,
Greetings from China - you know, the world's biggest Internet market - bigger than Europe and USA combined. Here we're proud to say we're a GOOGLE-FREE ZONE. Google Search is now well below 2% and still dropping. If you're not in China you're not global.

You people are soooooooooooooo far behind. Why do you still put up with these evil, evil, evil people? Stop letting them push you around. Dump Google now! We did it - and nobody misses them.


Yes the freedom of speech is somehow nowhere found here in china. but there ARE people remember google, miss google, support google and use google (.com.hk). expect the day when the network censorship is down, the day i believe will finally come, the day when all of the sns in china go bankrupt. I find the accessibility acceptable, especially when using not chinese. 5he problem is the people. am i off topic?

So what your internet market is bigger. Our (western internet) has much more money flowing through it.
And its not like Google is the only 'evil' one providing services, there's countless more. And at least Google started with a good mind-set. Advertisement came after.

Why do we put up with these "evil companies"? Yeah I'm sure Bing and Baidu are Saints.

Oh no! Google thinks I'm a man in my 30's who's interesting in Video Games and Computers! They're 3/4 right. I'm sure the adverts I might have been shown had I not been using adblock would have killed me. Oh wait, no they wouldn't. If I'm going to see adverts, I'd prefer them to be about stuff I care about, not Viagra and Fitness Drugs.

Major_Plonquer said,
Greetings from China - you know, the world's biggest Internet market - bigger than Europe and USA combined. Here we're proud to say we're a GOOGLE-FREE ZONE. Google Search is now well below 2% and still dropping. If you're not in China you're not global.

You people are soooooooooooooo far behind. Why do you still put up with these evil, evil, evil people? Stop letting them push you around. Dump Google now! We did it - and nobody misses them.

Can you be a sport and Bing (<- LOL) "tiananmen square 1989" or "guy standing in front of tank". Go away.

wingliston said,
Only if it went offline forever.

Same can be said about Bing Bong. But given their search market it will be less significant and will be barely noticed by anyone.

wingliston said,
I rather Bing.

I'd rather use what gives me the best results. And right now, Google does just that. I keep trying Bing every now and then. And if some day Bing gives me the best results...then I will use Bing.

wingliston said,
I rather Bing.

Thats great, use Bing. But why do you want Google to go down forever? Many people including me prefer it. Does Google existing affect you?

Auditor said,

Same can be said about Bing Bong. But given their search market it will be less significant and will be barely noticed by anyone.

Except us 1.4 billion in China (a Google-free zone).

Auditor said,

Same can be said about Bing Bong. But given their search market it will be less significant and will be barely noticed by anyone.

What's Bing Bong? Is this some new service? Perhaps Neowin should look into headlining this new service on the homepage?

Major_Plonquer said,

Except us 1.4 billion in China (a Google-free zone).


To each his own... enjoy your censored searches...

Fritzly said,

To each his own... enjoy your censored searches...

Yea, I would much rather have choice...than have the choice made for me.

Dot Matrix said,

What's Bing Bong? Is this some new service? Perhaps Neowin should look into headlining this new service on the homepage?

Google the term if you don't know what it is and in what context it is said. Don't use Bing as you will get not the correct result. LOL

Dot Matrix said,

What's Bing Bong? Is this some new service? Perhaps Neowin should look into headlining this new service on the homepage?


A quick Google search would let you know that Bing Bong is a brand of gum. Using Bing yields the same results.

Auditor said,

Same can be said about Bing Bong. But given their search market it will be less significant and will be barely noticed by anyone.


If you hate microsoft as much, there could be new microsoft out of google if there is no competitor for their services. Monopoly bring power and that bring evil.

Major_Plonquer said,

Except us 1.4 billion in China (a Google-free zone).

From china i am happy to announce china is not (yet) google free. It seems that the higher education one gets the more priority he give s to google(.com.hk) also very happy i hear a lot of users from china @gmail.com.

McKay said,

Thats great, use Bing. But why do you want Google to go down forever? Many people including me prefer it. Does Google existing affect you?

Over exaggerate much? He didn't say any of that.

ccoltmanm said,

Over exaggerate much? He didn't say any of that.

Over exaggerate what? He said he wants it to go offline forever.

Google gives you better results because you use it more. It is the same with Bing. When you switch, it takes a bit for the algorithms to catch with your search behavior.

ccoltmanm said,

Oh, you messed up the quote. Got it.

No, I quoted that because that was my point, he wishes Google would cost down forever and his only reason is he prefers bing, nothing else. I didn't need to quote him both times to get my point across.

techbeck said,
Yea, I would much rather have choice...than have the choice made for me.

Choice is an illusion foisted upon you by the capitalist world you revel in.

I stopped using Google 3 years ago. This is the first I'm hearing it went down. I use Bing rewards and get free gift cards for Amazon.

Avatar Roku said,
I stopped using Google 3 years ago. This is the first I'm hearing it went down. I use Bing rewards and get free gift cards for Amazon.

A happy bing user. Honestly, there is one service I am missing from bing which is a youtube like service. If microsoft grant my wish i would be 100% google free. Its like cancer free.

Lord Method Man said,
Happy to use Bing here and avoid Google as much as possible.

Same here, but I also use other search engines too. Google IS NOT the greatest thing on the net, as everyone seems to think.

Didn't miss Google for even a split second!

S3P€hR said,

A happy bing user. Honestly, there is one service I am missing from bing which is a youtube like service. If microsoft grant my wish i would be 100% google free. Its like cancer free.

It once had a video service that was similar to Youtube, less junk, less ads, just videos mainly. Noone cared, so it became a video indexer.
I go to bing.com/videos for my videos, hopefully having results NOT on Youtube as they're often also on Vimeo or any of the countless of dozens other video hosting sites.

he's right, same with me... I stopped using Google when I found out they go thru my email and my searches. Only Google product I use now is YouTube but I am starting to use vimeo. Plus, Bing rewards is good for me.

Edited by Marshall, Aug 18 2013, 8:51pm :

Avatar Roku said,
I stopped using Google 3 years ago. This is the first I'm hearing it went down. I use Bing rewards and get free gift cards for Amazon.

They have to reward you for using their service?! aha... AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Shadowzz said,

It once had a video service that was similar to Youtube, less junk, less ads, just videos mainly. Noone cared, so it became a video indexer.
I go to bing.com/videos for my videos, hopefully having results NOT on Youtube as they're often also on Vimeo or any of the countless of dozens other video hosting sites.

See that has been the problem with Microsoft for a long time, instead of focusing on the service making it more useful and promoting it. they ditch the service as if it neved existed. It has changed though recently, I remember once google drive was getting ahead of skydrive which is no longer the case now. skydrive has tons of better features. faster access and everything else. or mail.live.com which is now outlook and I absolutely Love it.

Avatar Roku said,
I stopped using Google 3 years ago. This is the first I'm hearing it went down. I use Bing rewards and get free gift cards for Amazon.

What's Amazon? Hold up let me Bing that. Lmao.

It never ceases to amuse me that people trust a company with Microsoft's track record and pat themselves on the back for doing it.

Javik said,
.....

As long as the Anti-Microsoft people keep them on their toes, it just makes them a better company for us.

So, yes I do trust a company with Microsoft's track record, because at the end of the day, they will respond to the law, and their customers.

If only they knew how to beat Google at doing technical searches I'd switch completely to Bing in a heartbeat.

As it stands today, in 2013, Google still shows more relevant results to something pasted from a Windows Event Log, moreso than Bing. Sad really.