One Bad Apple…

First some background, google has protection mechanisms around it’s resources for automated scripts abusing its search functions.  When google detects that your search terms are malicious, manipulating page rank, or even just doing too many searches to be an actual human it redirects all future google searches from the offending IP to sorry.google.com and asks the user to fill in a captcha to proceed.  This seems legitimate and since you are using google’s product they can do whatever they want.  However, the possibility of that policy affecting many innocent users that also browse the internet with the same source address seems like some high collateral damage to me.  Some instances of this would be if all company users were behind a proxy server using NAT or a FireWall using PAT.  I recently experienced this myself.  Google doesn’t seem to give a lot of good information on exactly how they decide if you need to be throttled (although I didn’t search extensively).   But if you search for sorry.google.com you’ll find many users complaining about the very situation I described above.  So if you ever go to work one day, do your morning Google search and you are sent to sorry.google.com, you might want to call the helpdesk and make sure it’s not happening to anyone else.  If it is then search your proxy/FW logs for the client user/IP that is sending the most traffic to sorry.google.com and you will most likely have the one or more culprits that are defaming your NATTed IP and causing confused users who don’t remember there are other search engines to put in a ticket about “not being able to search the web.” 🙂

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