Google Ads suffer outage across Europe

Any outage is a serious issue for online advertisers that have become so reliant on Google.

Broken robot: error message seen in lieu of Google ads today
Broken robot: error message seen in lieu of Google ads today

Google Ads reportedly went down for several hours this morning, according to multiple sources and complaints on social media.

Reports began about 10am GMT today that all ads using Google platforms, including search ads, as well as the measurement software Google Analytics, were unavailable for use in various European countries, including the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy, as well as India.

Various online marketers took to social media to ask Google why the outage has happened and what action they are supposed to take.

While some advertisers reported that Google Ads was up and running after an outage of about two hours, others say the service has been "up and down" and working properly only intermittently

Luke Judge, former UK chief executive of performance marketing agency Incubeta, warned that online advertisers are dependent on Google and that any outage of services is a serious issue.

"When there is such high reliance on a single platform such as Google Ads, the impact can be devastating for a business if that platform goes offline for any amount of time," Judge said.

"Digital advertising happens in the milliseconds, and having minutes or hours of downtime can really impact on campaign performance, not to mention marketers stress levels."

Google, whose income is almost entirely dependent on advertising, reported total revenues of $183bn (£133bn) in 2020, a rise of 23%. 

Stretch Digital, a London digital marketing agency, estimated that the outage would represent $280,000 per minute in advertising revenue. 

Google was not immediately able to respond to Campaign's request for comment about the extent and cause of the outage.

A 45-minute outage was reported on 14 December and, at the time, Google said this was due to "an internal storage quota issue".

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