In a stark reminder of how reliant modern business is on digital marketing, a Google DFP power outage on Wednesday night affected 55,185 sites and cost millions of pounds in lost revenues for publishers.
The Google DoubleClick ad server powers the majority of the ads across the whole of the internet.
The outage meant that Ads that usually pop up on major publishers homepages were non-existent for 90 minutes.
Google makes around $1,800 per second from ad revenue, meaning the collective costs of the outage could equal $9,720,000 in lost ad revenue for publishers.
This outage, dubbed Bannergate’ on social media, didn’t affect internet users so much as it hit publishers and other businesses that rely on internet advertising. It could prove to be hugely costly.
Google has issued a statement saying that DFP is operating normally again after suffering a global outage earlier today.
The statement read: “Our team has worked quickly to fix the software bug and it’s now back up and running, so our publisher partners can return to funding their content,” the company says.
Application performance management provider, Dynatrace, tracked the outage and its widespread impact via its Outage Analyzer tool and benchmarks, and has data/graphs on its impact, see below.
• Total number of DoubleClick outages worldwide: 315 (these 315 outages impacted a total of 55,185 websites!)
• Total number of unique websites impacted by the outages: 3,357 websites
• Number of impacted websites by the biggest outage: 713 (websites impacted details in graph 1 below).
Michael Allen, VP of APM for Dynatrace comments: “Online Ad revenue is a substantial source of hard revenue for online media companies and advertisers. Any impact to Ad networks (DoubleClick being the largest) leads to a substantial loss of potential revenue as ad impressions are not happening. An issue like this that also slows sites is doubly impactful as users will get frustrated with slow pages and abandon the site they are on, leading to an additional loss of ad impressions. Given the widespread nature of this event (number of sites and duration) there was a substantial loss of revenue that occurred.”
The Cause of the Outage – Here is What happened. In the below graph, we are using a test that we are running against the Reuters Home Page as an example. Requests being made to DoubleClick (http://ad.doubleclick.net) are taking a long time to respond and eventually failing with an Error 502 (see the error detail in the screenshot). This indicates to us that this is an internal issue within DoubleClick’s infrastructure and not a network issue.
Almost every industry we track is being impacted by this (see graph below):