Google's services, including its search service used by nine out of 10 people in the UK, went down for just five minutes over the weekend - but web activity plunged by 40 per cent as a result.
The rare outage in Google's services, which also included the popular Gmail service, YouTube and Google Drive cloud storage service, as well as the much less popular Google+ social network, demonstrated how embedded Google has become in most people's web usage, as well as the fact that they are hardly ever offline.
"Google.com was down for a few minutes between 23:52 and 23:57 BST on 16th August 2013. This had a huge effect in the number of page views coming into GoSquared's real-time tracking - around a 40% drop," claimed web analytics company GoSquared.
However, Google itself has refused to disclose the reasons for the outage, beyond the message on the Google Apps Dashboard that showed that all of its services were hit. "We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behaviour," read the warning.
A later message added: "Between 15:51 and 15:52 PDT [Pacific daylight time], 50 per cent to 70 per cent of requests to Google received errors; service was mostly restored one minute later, and entirely restored after four minutes."
The blackout cost the company around $500,000 in lost advertising and other revenues, according to Phil Dearson, head of strategy for web company Tribal Worldwide.