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Google Says Outages Caused By Routing Error

Company calls glitch that brought down Google services for several hours 'embarrassing;' AT&T off the hook.

Google broken and sluggish online services

Google services were back online by about 9 a.m., PST, Thursday and appeared to be running smoothly throughout the day.

An "error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our Web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam," explained Urs Hoelzle, a senior vice president in charge of operations at Mountain View, Calif.-based Google.

Earlier reports had identified an AT&T routing error as a possible cause of the outages, although AT&T said they had not identified any problems on their end after looking into the matter.

Hoelzle, posting Thursday on Google's official blog, said issues with Google services cropped up at 7:48 a.m., PST and caused about 14 percent of Google's worldwide users to experience slow service and interruptions.

"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," Hoelzle blogged.

He called the "glitch" that caused the outages "especially embarrassing."

The list of Google services that were reportedly down for various periods of time Thursday included YouTube, Gmail, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Google Docs, AdSense and Blogger.

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