As I tried Google search today from a college friend’s computer, Google displayed the “We’re Sorry” error page and blocked all search results. They labeled it as an automated search, banned the IP, and only after correctly answering the captcha twice, the normal Google search could be restored... temporarily.
Here is what the complete error message looks like
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.
If you’re continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser’s online support center.
If your entire network is affected, more information is available in the Google Web Search Help Center. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we’ll see you again on Google.
And it was not over yet, after a few search results, the Google search was blocked again. I was tested again for the captchas twice, and the cycle continued like this over till I was online.
Remembering how Google search had marked the entire web as malwareearlier, first I thought maybe it was a new bug affecting Google search. But the We’re Sorry error page is a well identified spam blocking technique from Google Search.
This message appears when Google detects automated queries from an IP address, which causes a quick traffic spike on google.com. Googleexplains some possible ways to fix the issue, remove the IP address ban and restore Google search results as usual.
When a computer in the network runs automated queries, it violates GoogleTerms of Service. This includes using any software that sends queries to Google to determine how a website or webpage ranks on Google for various queries, ‘Meta-searching’ Google or performing ‘offline’ searches on Google.
Step I - I tried the first and easiest way of deleting cookies from my browser.
If you use Firefox – Go to Tools > Options > Private Data > Clear Now > Check Cookies > Clear Private Data Now
And behold, all the errors were gone and the issue was fixed for me.
Step 2 - If that does not fix the issue, then download any popular anti-malware software like Lavasoft Adaware, or Spybot Search and Destroy,MacScan (for Mac), and run a full system scan to find and remove spyware and malware which could be triggering those automated queries to Google.
Step 3 – If you tested and your computer and network are secure, but you continue to get the Google errors, then send feedback to Google and they will investigate your report and fix the issue.