February 19, 2009, 9:44 AM — Google Inc. acknowledged late Wednesday afternoon that some users experienced problems with its Google News search results during a span of more than 14 hours earlier Wednesday.
The problems started around 12:45 a.m. Eastern Time Wednesday and lasted until about 3 p.m. ET, according to a Google spokeswoman. Some users reported that they weren't getting any results when they were searching for keywords, such as "Microsoft" and even "Google," in Google News. Other users reported that entire news sections, such as Science/Technology, were coming up empty of any stories. Some also reported getting the following message on a blank Google news page: "Please try again shortly. We apologize that this section is currently unavailable."
"This issue has now been resolved," the spokeswoman said in an e-mail response to questions from Computerworld. "We know how important Google News is to our users, so we take issues like this very seriously."
Google did not say what caused the problem.
In December, Google confirmed that there was a technical problem with Google Talk and the Web-based Gmail chat system. One day early in the month, messages created by a "subset" of users were left unsent because of glitches in the messaging system, according to Andrew Kovacs, a spokesman for Google.
Users largely received an alert noting that their messages had not been sent, though that didn't happen in every case. Kovacs would not disclose the cause of that problem, noting that Google normally doesn't share technical details on what he called minor problems.