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Google blogsearch – sometimes you suck 403 forbidden

Google blogsearch – sometimes you suck 403 forbidden

Now this is really not good Google. 403 forbidden. I am not a bot or virus or an automated program.

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.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we’ll see you again on Google.

Sigh what a lot of nonsense that is… so I’m looking for blog posts using google blogsearch related to a post I want to update, I do 2, yep two searches for a search term ‘comment spammers’ and then I get that message.

I assume its IP or ISP related, or maybe its my toolbar and it has some kind of SEO ping ID that says mess this guy about he’s an SEO type..

My ISP is British Telecom they have quite a few customers, in excess of one million at least.

Sort it out google, make pages for your users! 🙁

Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios

27 thoughts on “Google blogsearch – sometimes you suck 403 forbidden

  1. David Airey :: Graphic Designer

    The joys of blog searching. One thing I’ve been wanting to do through Google’s blog search is to list the search results by some kind of rank, rather than by date published.

    Technorati do this well but I prefer Google’s blog search. I’ve never known enough about either method to post a rant so my guess is you’ll have the answer, Rob. 😉

  2. robwatts Post author

    I doubt you’d get a pageranked type output, although there might be a little mashup somewhere that someone made.

    Might help for generalised searches, allows you to be a little more picky. You can use inblogtitle: blogurl: inposttitle:

    Here’s a post from SEW some time back

    Come to think of it, there is a firefox plugin somewhere that outputs alexa and pagerank and other metrics in the serp output, though for the life of me I cant recall what it was called.

    I’ll post it, if it resurfaces in my head 😀

  3. Sephyroth

    Hi, I’m reading via the Bumpzee No Nofollow | I Follow | DoFollow Community RSS feed. 🙂

    I’ve encountered this once before while using a proxy, if I’m remembering correctly, so I do think it’s IP-based. I wonder if a lot of other people on BT are having the same issues..


  4. robwatts Post author

    Hi sephyroth, thanks for stopping by

    You are prolly right. I think that whatever the script looks for is tweaked way too high and throws the baby out with the bathwater. One rogue BT user spoils it for all it seems.

    You’d think there was a better way like using cookies or requirting some kind of login or…soemthing! Anything better than this existing not worky very welly method

  5. Shane

    I’ve tried Google blog search a few times to find similar blogs to mine or find great blog posts to link to. Can’t say I’ve ever been impressed with the results

  6. robwatts Post author

    @ David Interesting theory – I think in this example its more an IP related sledgehammer to crack a nut type stuff.

    In the past people used WPG to scrape serps or xenu or other similar progams to snatch google data. The thing is that a determined scraper would be a little more sophisitcanted and use a tool that spoofed user agents and used proxified IP’s so I dont quite get where google get off on what for me is probably related to some general IP based abuse capture mech.

    Take BT or NTL or any big UK ISP as an example and you’ll notice that they pretty much randomise IP ranges for their users. I think google might have a little aspect of their scripts that identifies say the 1st 3 aspects of the IP address eg 192.168.2. and then wildcards everything else. So, any user with that IP will get blocked for a short period of time.

    This is because a user on the same IP range could have been abusing the resource so they decide to take action. Yet the reality is, that they penalise everyone else on that IP range as a result, or at least a huge number of people, which is kinda sucky and bad for them too as it just weakens the user experience and makes them think damn you google.

    As for that spyware virus message thats even worse cos if anything it’ll just alarm users into thinking they have a problem..”ooh Google told me I might have a virus…it must be true ” kinda thinking.

    @Shane – Ive found it ok generally, and they do seem to pick up stuff pretty quick too – things like this though rerally let the side down!

  7. Tom Paine

    I’ve had that coming at me a couple of times.
    It really pissed me off the first time and i soon realised that when i changed google demographics i.e used or i could still search..

    So that problem can be easily overcome!

  8. robwatts Post author

    Hi Todd, no I doubt it was the search term, just some bozo on the same IP probably scraping their results, so Google takes a one size fits all approach and blocks everyone on the same…

    Agree , I’m sure that there’s a better implementation

  9. FortuneWatch - Robin

    I get that 404 or 403 crap every now and then and I blame it all on the Bahrain server. There are thousands of plugins around, they probably work if you know how to use them. Akismet suxx, i still get 100 spam comments everyday. Now lets forget about all that suxx, the good thing is thats its always a pleasure visiting you blog mate.

    Take care and cheers.

  10. Vahid Chaychi


    This is normal because Kevin Marks, one of the Technorati key developers, mentioned in his weblog that he has left Technorati and now works for Google (about 7 months ago).

    And as you know Technorati is famous in sucking. So this is normal to see that Google search sucks too because the Technorati key developer works for Google now.


  11. Michael

    Ah. Thank god for that. I was starting to believe that I was the only one afflicted with this problem. Was checking all the traffic in my office for this and could find no one using anything at the time that would have been spamming Google. Hmm may have to take them for a pint after the ruccus I caused. Oh Well Stellas all round

  12. robwatts Post author

    @ Vahid…I’m not so sure it’s fair to apply this to Kevin Marks, but hey…maybe you know something I don’t!

    @Michael – A wise choice in refreshment, just off for 10 1 or 2 myself 🙂

  13. Mathew

    Google toolbar search throws up this message a good 25-30% of the time for me. I’m sure I’m not *that* frequent a user for it to be problematic. (I’m with Tiscali BTW)

  14. Carla

    It’s all IP I think. When we travel to the States we see this at different IPs. We used to get it at home too, but have not for a long time.

    Like the little jab though……Google….make pages for users…heheheh

  15. Stephen Cronin

    I get the same problem with Google search from time to time to.

    I live in China, so I often use TOR to access certain sites that are blocked (such as or technorati). This means that I appear to have a different IP than I really have. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I will watch to see if I get the google search error when I’m using TOR – this might confirm the IP range theory.

  16. robwatts Post author

    @ Matthew – Toolbar, could be a factor. I often think that Se’s are SEO paranoid and do all sorts of things to throw them of the scent.

    @ Carla – yes Im kinda with that theory too, but thats all it is a theory. Glad you liked the little poke, sometimes its difficult not to 😉

    @ Stephen – ah right China could be an extra special problem huh? Let us know if you have anymore feedback on the IP thing, I haven’t seen it for a while though, so maybe they fixed it…

  17. Acopic Web Design

    Haha – I thought I was the only one who was getting this. Mine wasn’t through blog search though but

    I agree – it’s IP based. I get this page when using a few scripts (running a few threads per second) to hit google to pull data for various app/projects were working on. I couldn’t really argue on that score, lol.

    Not so good if it’s appearing when you hit google twice in quick succession.

    Oh – and personally I thought the page was OK – explained it quite clearly I thought?

  18. Dwight Stegall

    Error 403 Forbidden doesn’t suck. The person that doesn’t experiment to try and rid themselves of such problems and whines when things go wrong sucks. 🙂

    You can get this error in everyone of Google’s Products. It’s simply a corrupted cookie problem.

    When you receive Google Error 403 Forbidden simply delete the cookies, restart your browser, and sign in again to get fresh cookies.

    I don’t know what causes this error or how to fix it. But this is a good workaround until a fix is discovered.

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