On August 8, a fire at one of Google’s data centres disrupted its search results and other services. The fire occurred at Google’s data centre in Iowa, where three electricians were taken to hospital with burns.
The server fire was shortly followed by many social media reports of Google search outages. As a result of this, we have observed that pages have dropped from Google’s index and rankings dropped off across all sectors on the 8th of August. When trying to search, some users were receiving a ‘500 internal error’ message or a ‘502 error’. Since then, rankings have returned to normal and in some cases, have improved. However, this is something that we will continue to monitor over the next month.
The outages reportedly affected other of Google’s services like maps and Youtube.
What Google has said
At the time, a Google spokesperson said:
“We’re aware of a software update issue that briefly affected availability of Google Search and Maps, and we apologise for the inconvenience. We worked to quickly address the issue and our services are now back online.”
“The health and safety of all workers is our absolute top priority, and we are working closely with partners and local authorities to thoroughly investigate the situation and provide assistance as needed.”
However, Google says the reason for the outage was not due to the data centre fire but because of a software issue:
“We’re aware of a software update issue that occurred late this afternoon Pacific Time and briefly affected availability of Google search and Maps.”
Many people are claiming that the two are related as the events coincided with one another.
The current state of the issue
The Google search outages were brief, although users still reported issues the morning after the incident. But now, rankings should be back to normal, and services are fully functioning how they should.
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