Google's American news service news.google.com appeared to go down this afternoon presenting visitors to the site with nothing more than a 502 error.

A 502 error normally means that the server has been temporarily overloaded, but as Google run a cluster of computers this would seem that a number of their datacentres have gone offline leaving the ones left running overloaded with the extra traffic.

At the time of writing Google's website had been down around 30 minutes.

"What's surprising is that its happened to Google" a web developer told us. "You just don't expect Google to be inaccessible."

No word as yet whether is it in fact a technical hitch or a denial of service attack. However the UK News service seems to be working as normal.

We will keep you posted.