Tech Industry

Google loses .com.au briefly

Millions of sites unattainable for a few hours from the Net's most popular search engine.

Google's indexing service dropped all Web sites with a .com.au extension for a few hours on Friday, effectively leaving millions of sites unattainable from the Net's most popular search engine. Australia's major second-level domains, such as .gov.au, .net.au and .edu.au seemed unaffected. However, Google's paid-for advertisements, which appear on the right of regular search results, displayed .com.au domains as normal.

The company confirmed the problem in a statement. "For a few hours today, Google experienced temporary problems showing .com.au domains. The cause was quickly identified and is now fixed," it said.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.