The outage affected Google's search engine and Maps service in countries around the world early on Tuesday, the tech giant said. Screenshot courtesy Google
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Google was back online early Tuesday after the search engine reported a brief but widespread outage around the world overnight.
More than 1,300 Google servers in 40 countries were affected, including the United States, Britain, Australia, South Africa, Japan, China and Singapore.
More than 40,0000 users initially reported the outage, according to DownDetector.com, a platform that tracks connectivity problems of other websites in real time.
By early Tuesday, however, the number of reported outages had dropped below 100.
In a statement, Google apologized and blamed the problem on "a software update issue" that occurred Monday afternoon and "briefly affected" availability of Google's Search and Maps services.
There were also reports of problems with Gmail and Google images, which become non-operational without Google search.
During the outage, many Internet users switched to alternatives like Bing and DuckDuckGo.
Google said it "worked quickly" to fix the bug and services appeared to be mostly restored.
Some inconvenienced Twitter users made light of the incident with the hashtag #GoogleDown.
Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, with more than 80 billion visits per month.