Google News back up after outage

Site down for more than an hour Tuesday; No "all-clear" yet on return.

After being down for about an hour and a half today, Google News is largely back on its feet.

A Google spokesman said in an e-mail to Computerworld that the news aggregation site went down at 3:45 p.m. EDT today, but various reports were popping up before 3:30 p.m. about the site's outage. The site was back up and running a little before 5 p.m.

"We are aware of the issue and working to fix it," wrote spokesman Chris Gaither. "We know how important Google News is to our users, and we take issues like this very seriously."

In a phone call at 5:45 to Computerworld, Gaither said the news site was largely back up but that they still hadn't called the "all-clear" yet. He added that Google was still working to correct the problems.

He did not say what caused the downtime or how engineers got the site back up. When Google News went down, users turned to Twitter to spread the word and to look for information about the problem. One Twitterer wrote, "wow. google news is indeed down. 503 error." Another tweeted, "Google News seems to be down... Oh my God... what's HAPPENING?! How are we to know?!"

This past February, Google News suffered a 14-hour glitch. Google acknowledged at the time that some users were not getting any results when they were searching for keywords, such as "Microsoft" and even "Google," in Google News. Others reported that entire news sections were coming up empty of any stories.

Google did not say what had caused the February problem.

More recently, Google's popular Gmail e-mail service went downearlier this month.

The problem, which kicked off one day with intermittent disruptions, ran into a second day with delays and outages. Google did not report what caused the Gmail problem.

That wasnt Google's first big Gmail glitch this year. Gmail suffered well-publicized crashes in February and May.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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