The slowdown peaked around mid-afternoon in Europe and morning in the US, affecting millions of users. Micro-blogging service Twitter lit up throughout the morning with comments and complaints about the outage at the company that controls more than 60 percent of the US online search market alone.
The Mountain View, California-based search giant did not provide any more details about the partial outage, but on their 'offical' blog, Google staff used the analogy of "planes piling up over Asia" to explain the meltdown.
The company was being notoriously coy about how many users were affected and for how long the service was affected. It claimed "about 14 per cent of our users experienced slow services", but a graph of worldwide internet use posted by Wired magazine pointed to a much different story. The graph shows traffic through the top 10 ISPs in the US and shows traffic slid to a virtual halt for two hours.