Uptime is something most Internet users don’t actively think about. Yet they instinctively respond to it. One reason so many Web searchers use Google is it’s always there. Always available. Always delivering results.

Until this morning. Many Google websites were unreachable from around 7:45 A.M. Pacific until 9:20 A.M. The outage was widespread. PC World confirmed it affected France, Australia and China.

You can follow the popular reaction on Twitter by searching for #googlefail and leaving the results window open.

ZD’s Larry Dignan got his "resident IT guru" to run some tests . "It does appear Google is stopped at the AT&T border," he concluded. When Google came back online, Dignan continued to report network packet loss in connections to Google sites, a sort of intermittent failure that makes a website seem slow.

But many of Dignan’s readers didn’t buy the AT&T theory. One wrote , "Abovenet routes straight to SJC [Google’s San Jose cluster of high-speed servers.] So it’s not just an AT&T issue."

The outage pointed out something nearly all Internet users take for granted: Google is almost never unreachable. A 90-minute glitch would be considered normal at Twitter. A Google outage is as rare as a Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.