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Akamai Outage Pulls Major Sites Offline Globally via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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An outage at Akamai turned the lights off at the websites of many of the world’s biggest and most important sites Thursday morning, rendering them completely unreachable.

There were no messages or error codes to indicate why sites were down so site visitors were left in the dark just like the websites they were trying to visit.

The cause was the Akamai Edge and GTM service was experiencing an outage that took down some of the most popular websites in the world, bringing banking, gaming and news websites to a standstill.

Major Akamai Outage Takes Down Major Sites

News websites, banks, travel sites and major gaming sites were reported by users to be down.

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Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The purpose of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is to deliver websites fast to users from data servers located near the site visitor trying to reach a website.

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CDNs also provide a layer of security and defense against hackers and other malicious actors who might try to bring down a site.

CDNs however are increasingly experience temporary failures resulting thousands of sites going offline.

According to the DownDetector site availability website, Akamai CDN Service has experienced a number of outages.

The Akamai website itself hasn’t acknowledged some of the outages noted by that site although it did post an update about the one from today.

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Aside from the outage today it most recently went down on June 17, 2021 and the year before on July 17, 2020.

Akamai Reported Outage

The outage began at approximately 9 to 10 AM eastern time

Akamai reported an issue sometime after 12 noon eastern time via Twitter:

“Akamai is experiencing a service disruption. We are actively investigating the issue and will provide an update in 30 minutes.”

Then 15 minutes later tweeted that they had found a fix for the problem:

“We have implemented a fix for this issue, and based on current observations, the service is resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor to ensure that the impact has been fully mitigated.”

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Akamai confirmed in a subsequent tweet that the outage was not due to malicious activities against it.

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“We are continuing to monitor the situation and can confirm this was not a result of a cyberattack on the Akamai platform.”

An official status report on the Akamai website itself states that the problem has been mitigated.

“Edge DNS Service Incident

Incident Report for Akamai Edge DNS and GTM

Resolved
This incident has been mitigated.”

Other than that there is no word what the problem was about, whether it was related to an update, hardware failure or simple human error.

It’s ironic that a web service meant to keep a website online turns out to be the one to take so many websites down, far more than any hacking event.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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