For roughly an hour on Monday, one of the biggest web presences on the planet experienced an unprecedented outage. Several of Google’s services, like Gmail, Google Classroom and YouTube, were offline for roughly an hour Monday morning, keeping many from completing work or simply watching videos. A bit after 8 a.m. Eastern Time, the services had returned for many users. Some noted that Gmail continues to have issues Monday morning, however.
The issues, which started early Monday, are reported to have brought about some form of downtime or outage for all of Google’s live services. The ongoing Gmail issue was reference by Google directly in a statement on Monday morning: “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Gmail. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior.”
Google’s web presence is beyond massive; the company’s sites and search engine form much of the backbone of the modern internet’s structure. Millions of users online use Chrome to browse. The company’s titular search engine directs the vast majority of all web traffic. Gmail is a massive platform that millions of people use for work and personal email accounts. YouTube is one of the largest entertainment platforms on the planet. Suffice it to say, outages from Google are as rare as they are surprising.
Down Detector, a website used to keep up with service outages, showed tens of thousands of people Monday morning were without access to Google’s services. The rush of traffic to the sites as people tried refreshing pages and brute-forcing past error message likely only exacerbated the issue as Google worked to restore the sites to full functionality.
In an official statement, Google addressed the ongoing Gmail outages while also noting that system stability is a pillar of their company’s goal. “Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” Google wrote in the Monday morning statement.
Beyond just websites and email servers, Google has been recently attempting to branch out into other fields. The company now offers its own cellular service, Google Fi, and its own smartphones, the Google Pixel. As the company that creates the Android operating system, it’s no surprise they’d want to branch out into the realm of smartphones. Some tech reviewers have noted that, in the hardware space, Google seems keen to emulate the design ethos of Apple, who have largely dominated the space of “single ecosystem” product design with the iPhone, Apple Watch and MacBook lines of products.