Google suffered its second huge embarrassment within four hours today when its YouTube site crashed mid-afternoon.
Visitors to the popular video-streaming site got an error message raising the specter of a hack attack or a severe internal malfunction.
“Sorry, a team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation. If you see them, show them this information,” read a message on the site at about 4 p.m.
It could not be immediately determined if the message was posted by Google or if the site was hacked.
Google’s YouTube site is one of the most highly trafficked destinations on the Web across the globe. The news will no doubt roil Google’s numerous business partners and advertisers.
YouTube not only hosts user-generated content but a huge volume of professional channels, which were out of action for at least a number of minutes.
“We’re aware that some users are having trouble accessing YouTube,” the company said in a statement. “Our engineers are looking into it and will push a fix as soon as possible.”
By 4:45 p.m., the site was back up.
According to ComScore’s September figures, Google video sites, of which YouTube is the biggest, generated 161 million unique users a month.
EMarketer’s 2012 forecast has Google taking home $2.31 billion in US display ad revenue, up 38.5 percent from last year, which includes revenues from YouTube.
Google suffered a major blow earlier in the day when its third-quarter earnings were inadvertently posted early — in the middle of the trading day.
Google shares were halted in trading for about 2-1/2 hours.
The earnings were not as positive as expected. The stock finished the session at $695.49 down $60.49 or 8 percent.
Related link: YouTube goes down for some users who got an error message saying 'trained monkeys' were fixing it - NYPOST.com