The site was down from 3:45 to 4 p.m. PDT, Google spokesman David Krane told the Associated Press.
"It was not a hacking or a security issue," Krane told the AP. He said the problem was related to the Domain Name System, or DNS, which matches one's Internet Protocol address to the Web site that the user wants to visit. If the DNS system goes down, Web pages requested usually do not appear or take a long time to load.
"Google's global properties were unavailable for a short period of time," Krane told the AP. "We've remedied the problem and access to Google has been restored worldwide."
Rumors that the site was hacked began when visitors were reportedly rerouted to SoGoSearch.com.