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Google News stutters for second day in a row

Glitches plague Google again; Multiple sites hit with three slowdowns in the past week

May 19, 2009 02:32 PM ET

Computerworld - For the second day in a row, Google News had a glitch that derailed Google Inc.'s news aggregation site for a short time this morning.

Google News was down for what appeared to be less than 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. EDT today. It wasn't a long outage but it was the second in two days and the third in less than a week. Google confirmed today that a "small percentage of users" received a 503 Server Error when trying to call up the service.

"This issue has now been resolved," said Gabriel Stricker, a Google spokesman. "We know how important Google News is to our users, so we take issues like this very seriously. We apologize to those users who were affected."

Stricker did not say what caused the short outage or how many users were affected.

On Monday, Google News went down between 8:35 a.m. EDT and 10 a.m. EDT. Some users trying to pull up the site received the same 503 Server Error message that was received today.

This week's glitches comes on the heels of a much bigger outage last Thursday that affected most Google products.

At the time, Google Search and Google News performance slowed to a crawl, while a full outage spread throughout the hosted Google Apps products, including Gmail, Google Maps and Google Reader. Comments about the failure were flying on Twitter, and "googlefail" quickly became one of the most-searched terms on the popular microblogging site.

Google reported that the May 14 outage, which started a little before 11 a.m. EDT, caused about 14% of Google users to experience slow service or interruptions. The problem affected all Google products.

Urs Hoelzle, Google senior vice president of operations, said in a blog post last week that a system error directed some of the company's Web traffic through Asia, creating the hangups and interruptions.

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