Google Inc., owner of the world's most popular search engine, gave users false error messages on search results for almost an hour today before the problem was fixed, dpa reported.
During the glitch, Google warned users that all the sites listed in its search results could harm their computers, the company said in a blog today. Google said the problem was inadvertently caused after an update to the search engine.
"What's happened? Very simply, human error," the blog said. "We will carefully investigate this incident, and put more robust file checks in place."
Google dominates the market for search-engine queries with a more than 63.5 percent share in the U.S. during December, according to ComScore Inc. of Reston, Virginia. Google's nearest competitor, Yahoo! Inc., had 20.5 percent.
The problem with the Google search engine lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. New York time, the blog said. It also affected G-mail users between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today with some legitimate e-mails sent to spam holders, the company said in another blog.
Yesterday, the company reported some users of its Google News service had difficulty accessing the site. The news service, introduced in 2002, automatically collects articles from newspapers and electronic publications, grouping stories on the screen by subject. The service was fixed late yesterday.
Spokeswoman Jennie Johnson said today the two problems were unrelated.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, fell $4.79, or 1.4 percent, to $338.53 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday. The shares have declined 34 percent in the past 12 months.