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June 2, 2009

Google's "We're Sorry" Error Page

Sometimes when you search using Google, you get a strange error message titled "We're sorry" that temporarily restricts your access to Google. In some cases, Google shows a CAPTCHA that should confirm you are human, but that doesn't happen all the time.
"We're sorry... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software."

According to the help center, the error message is displayed "when Google detects that a computer on your network is sending automated traffic to Google." Maybe you use an application that monitors the ranking of a site in Google's search results, maybe a Firefox extension sends automated requests to Google every 5 seconds or a different computer that shares your IP is part of a botnet.

Google suggests to use an anti-malware application and to contact your network administrator if you still can't use Google. This is the perfect opportunity to try other search engines (Yahoo, Bing), but I noticed that you can circumvent Google's security filters by using a different Google domain: instead of searching from www.google.com, use www.google.co.uk, www.google.com.au or another international domain.

41 comments:

  1. I had this with the CustomizeGoogle Firefox add-on which streams result pages and makes lots of HTTP requests to Google for this.

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  2. I occasionally get this message, but I just enter the CAPTCHA and continue with my search. It has only happened a few times. I've never had it completely block me from searching.

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  3. I have had this in the last few days. I use Iron browser (as against Google Chrome) and when I entered Java exception message in the address bar, this message was shown to me. It didn't disappear even on entering captcha. Infact as you suggested, I did try the same on Yahoo and Bing after this, and they didn't cry!

    To top it, I use Ad-aware from Lavasoft and Spybot (though Spybot isn't that great). I ran both lavasoft and spybot once, while lavasoft caught the problem again and again, spybot was busy with IE ads etc

    Varun

    Varun

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  4. If you have the relatively common cookie problem in Firefox which causes Google's pages to refresh infinitley, you will eventually get blocked for hours seeing this message...

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  5. Haven't seen this message in a while but used to get it all the time. Never figured out what caused it..

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  6. I get the message after sending email through Google Reader to more than four recipients. It's a royal pain in the ass 'cause it shuts reader down for hours.

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  7. do you have something against google?
    it just occoured to me that you were advertising "bing" (not yahoo...that's total crap, there's nothing to advertise about...at least not about the search engine)

    I have seen that page a few times and it was mostly because of some virus in my computer...that's a good feature actually...at least it tells me (indirectly) that I should not be searching until I get the problem fixed cuz the virus might be collecting my data....

    so, my suggestion would be: don't use Bing or Yahoo search engine when you see that particular page in google....it's, probably, an indication that your privacy might be at risk (if you are stupid enough to believe that a search page with random hot air balloon picture is better than google's clean and fast search engine....you can try it some other time...after you get the problem fixed!)

    Thank me later ^_^

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  8. Another way to solve the problem once it occurs is to reset your dsl-connection (to receive a new IP-adress). Of course this only works if your ISP gives you new IP-adresses every time you reset...

    I also advise to delete your cookies every time you close your browsers...

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  9. It occurs many times when using tor.

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  10. timely, this just happened to me yesterday, only in firefox. possibly it was an older unused extension. deleted FF entirely and reinstalled with just the essentials, all is fine again.

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  11. It also happens when you are using an anonymizer but start it (the anonymizer program) after you've opened your browser.

    Similar to tor probably.

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  12. Usually get this with TOR

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  13. Um, how about fixing (or at least investigating) the problem, instead of simply switching to another Google domain or even another search engine?

    Seems you're missing the point: there's something bad going on, which Google has let you know about. Ignoring the messenger, well, it's not as bad as killing it, but still.

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  14. The problem is Google's message too often happens when nothing untowards is going on. This we know for a fact, having tested it on a controlled network, with all traffic monitored (and no, we weren't sharing public IP address space with others, or a proxy or anything like that). I don't know the exact listing of things that can trigger it, but I guess a certain number of related searches in a short time may do the trick, even if there's a perfectly good reason for them and they are not automated at all.

    Bottom line: this error does more harm than good and should be scrapped if they can't come up with a more reliable way to check for "evil" activity. Yes, you should protect your network, but that's another discussion for another day.

    And my advice: if this happens to you, try another search provider. Preferably, one that doesn't behave in such a patronising way. Who knows, you might want make the change permanent.

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  15. "This is the perfect opportunity to try other search engine..."

    I love how Google always looks at things from a marketing perspective. Whenever the world converts to ipv6, we shouldn't have this problem again.

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  16. Well!!this happens very rare.......I am a big fan of Google.....and always use Google for any kind of search!!

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  17. i have found the pagination probleam in the following links
    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=i+have+seen+google+error+and+i+want+to+post+error+on+google

    thankyou
    smr_sth@hotmail.com

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  18. Google is loosing a lot of business. I am closing my adwords account due to this!

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  19. I believe this has to do with Privacy On The Net try using something that protects your privacy on the net and you will see this ALL DAY.

    An example I started using anonymouse which is a FireFox|greasemonkey|anonymous script to protect your anonymity on the Net and "BAM".

    GEOIP
    IPLOCATOR
    IPTRACKING

    You block this Google Service and I believe you see the message

    To UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE SEE THE FOLLOWING
    http://www.gizbuilder.com/forum/other-software/585-fix-google-search-were-sorry-error-pages.html#post602

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  20. http://morinetti.deviantart.com/art/doh-138061093

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  21. I have reason to suspect that this message is a tip-off by google to reveal that your system is being probed by our nazi government.

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  22. While it is definitely frustrating to be banned access to a site when you are doing absolutely nothing wrong, I have to say that I cannot complain too much about this error message. Yes, I have been a victim of it. Yes, it caused me a loss of productivity. I just cannot blame Google for swinging and missing once in a while when they have such a high batting average overall.

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  23. This is the first time I have this error page "Google Sorry...". In this moment I am using Yahoo and I wait that the problem will solve quickly!

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  24. I maybe get this webpage when using tor(a proxy )

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  25. I keep receiving this error message while I run my google search. Although I did not do anything funny. It's annoying.

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  26. To Fix Google Search We’re Sorry Error Pages use http://www.google.com/webhp

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  27. I get this error when I do some heavy keyword research, a solution to that is to clear browsing history frequently so that you don't get this error.

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  28. this is really funny! dont u guys have an algorithm to test is the request is really!!! coming from a person or a bot???
    f***

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  29. I keep getting this... Drives me crazy

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  30. Someone wrote:
    how about fixing the problem, instead of simply switching to another Google domain or even another search engine?Seems you're missing the point: there's something bad going on, which Google has let you know about.

    Bullshit!
    Only very rarely there's something bad going on on the client computer.
    The problem is actually on Google side, they are aware of it and THEY should fix it.

    What's going on is that too often google mistakes advanced queries (for example, in my case, MANUAL browsing of google cache) as automated queries.
    Automated queries are not allowed and I got banned.
    They could at least provide a captcha so that an user can confirm being a real user and not a bot.
    This is done on some pages in google, unfortunately not on all of them.
    Instead of fixing the problem they find easier to blame user about non-existing malware on their computer.

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  31. Lately I haven't come across that annoying google error screen again. did they remove it completely?

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  32. No it's not gone and don't dare use Google's operating system with Google's bundled browser (android phones if you're not catching on) to do Google searches when connectivity may be an issue, where the retry attempts of Google's browser on Google's operating system might cause Google to have a heart attack. And to think I waited on android instead of swallowing my pride and buying an iPhone. Sux for those of us who are on the road for weeks at a time, trying to feed our families back home.

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  33. In this case I try other search engine.
    Dont worry- the next day will be solution!

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  34. I use safari on my iPhone g4 and it is with this configuration that google sends me this stupid message... I'm sorry google, I'll be using Bing and I'll come back later... Don't have time to loose and search results of Bing seems to be actually less commercial than google...

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  35. I'm getting it multiple times a day now I hate google now it sucks totally

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  36. getting on google's own android ICS OS. WTF is this shit

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  37. Am not able to search for the sites specially my site http://www.9flights.co.uk/flights-to-auckland.aspx because of this error. Is der any permanent solution to this kinda issue.

    regards,
    Jedson Ack

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  38. i am also facing a problem "we are soory".....some help me...

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  39. SOLUTION:

    1: update google via play store.
    1.a also update phone if u have not - ask at&t how
    2: reboot device
    3: click on google search bar
    4: Select "try it now" to the Google Now offer .
    ( u may have to wait a bit .Google now did not appear for me for 2 days after update)
    My device:
    Motorola matrix HD 4g
    On AT&T network

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  40. For a single computer its fine to clear cookies and clearing cache.
    But in a work-group of 35-40 Computers How can i solve this problem ??
    In this Group browse are using with page rank, Web rank, seo tool-bars, alexa traffic, moz-bar plugins and extensions are using they are unable to work with out thous toolbars.
    How can i Fix Google Search “We’re Sorry” Error Pages

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