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Google Search Results in Blank Page

 5:14 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

i've started to encounter blank result pages when doing google search.

No matter what the search (or where done, such as toolbar vs bringing up google.com).

Here is the returned source:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=utf-8"></HEAD>

In the past, I've always seen an error page show up saying temporarily unavailable, etc.

any ideas on how what might be the problem and a side question, is there any way to affect which server google (automatically) uses in its search.

btw, using an IP address of a known server, such as 72.14.x.x does work.

OH, and now I'm not sure if I should post this b.c. google search is now returning valid results... but still might be worth a comment or two.


Receptional Andy

 7:15 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fact that the IP address worked but using a hostname didn't is fairly suggestive. And also the fact that the blank page you saw had a doctype declaration - something Google don't include in their result or error pages. I suspect this may have been unrelated to Google; perhaps a caching error either with your local network or ISP.

is there any way to affect which server google (automatically) uses in its search

Not really, since the requests are routed by Google. I believe you are more likely to hit certain data centers if you use regional Googles and there may be other similar factors that affect which data center you hit, but I don't think there's a way you can directly influence Google's choice. You can force the use of a particular data center in various ways, however.


 8:52 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

You might be interested in the information here: The Google Search Query - a technical look [webmasterworld.com]. That thread discusses how any Google query gets routed, and the startling fact that "Today it's estimated that [a single Google query] travels across 700-1000 machines."

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