For a little bit on Tuesday evening, if you tried search for something on Google, your search results may not have looked quite right: the actual list of blue links was missing. In searches I did while the issue was happening, I would see things like the Top Stories box and the info box on the side, but list of links just wasn’t there.
It wasn’t only me, either. There were nearly 20,000 reports of issues on Downdetector, and I saw lots of people reporting problems on Twitter, too.
Here’s a screenshot of what I was seeing while the issue was happening. Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge
Google confirmed that something briefly went wrong in a statement to The Verge. “There was a very brief issue affecting the availability of results for some searches, limited to the Americas region, and it was quickly addressed,” spokesperson Lara Levin said.
Even though the issue didn’t last long for me, it was really frustrating and highlighted just how much I rely on Google searches to bounce around the internet. It also underscored how much extra cruft can sneak into search results — despite how many other things I’d see in results, I didn’t know how much I used the links until they were gone.
Update April 18th, 10:34PM ET: Added a screenshot of what I was seeing while Google searches weren’t working as expected.
Update April 18th, 10:26PM ET: Added statement from Google.