An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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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, use, or another international domain.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.