It claimed that an error in one of its systems led it to direct some of its web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam and saw around 14 percent of its global users experiencing slow services or even interruptions.
Writing on the Google blog, Urs Hoelzle, SVP operations at Google, said:
"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."
Hoelzle went on to say:
“We've been working hard to make our services ultra fast and ‘always on,' so it's especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens. We're very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we'll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won't happen again.”
Users of micro-blogging site Twitter, however, were quick to launch conspiracy theories of a DDoS or worm attack.
Arbor Networks chief scientist Craig Labovitz, said: “Websites go down. Circuits fail. Network engineers goof router configurations. And few of these outages ever make the nightly news. But if you happen to be Google and your content constitutes up to five percent of all internet traffic, people notice. Network engineers around the world frantically email trace routes to mailing lists. IRC channels fill with speculation and end users Twitter.”