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Cookies required to use Google Search?

 7:19 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lately I've been unable to use Google Search without having cookies allowed. Not always, just occasionally. Today it seems to be consistent, no cookies, no clicking thru from the basic G search results page.

Is that new, or just some kind of testing?

When this happens I can still click thru to maps and then click thru to the ecom site I wanted to visit.

Any idea whats up with that?

(I have been using search without cookies enabled for a long while with no issues like this. I only allow Google cookies when logging into Google WMT or AdSense.)



 9:20 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

A little more digging around and I find that if I have cookies disallowed and disable javascript when searching I can click through from the SERPS page.

So it seems like I have to enable cookies or disable javascript.

brotherhood of LAN

 9:34 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a bug?


 10:14 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

There's a parallel thread in which a couple of different non-US users found they couldn't access google.com with cookies disabled, but were bounced back to their own country's google. This sent me scurrying to a different browser to switch off cookies and javascript and verify that they'll still let me in. Both google.com (I'm in the US) and a randomly chosen other country.

:: looking vaguely around for Moderator to consolidate proliferating closely related threads ::


 10:20 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is a thread in the firefox forum that seems to be talking about the same issue.

That thread went live while this one was still waiting for a mod to approve it.


 10:24 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...] even earlier ;)


 10:30 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

>> even earlier ;)

Not sure that's the same issue.

Seems like a different cookies related issue.

This thread may be more of a cookies/javascript/maybe-Firefox issue.


 11:54 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

nah I think its the same, that change happened 2 days ago


 3:08 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Also, this thread: Google SERPS redirects fail if user doesn't accept cookies [webmasterworld.com]



 6:56 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this accounts for some of the reports of traffic reductions despite unchanged rankings.


 7:16 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

This should be combined with my thread (the one rlange links to above) which discusses the same issue.

It appears to be a Firefox 10 issue, and a bug. The Javascript throws an error:

Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "Security error" code: "1000" nsresult: "0x805303e8 (NS_ERROR_DOM_SECURITY_ERR)"

That means you do not get the JS redirect.

On the other hand, if you have JS off, it never runs, and you fallback to the http-equiv refresh within the noscript.

Why is it taking Google so long to fix this? Why did neither Google nor Mozilla spot this in an FF 10 beta or RC? QA is obviously weak all round.


 7:56 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

It appears to be a Firefox 10 issue, and a bug. The Javascript throws an error:

Not just FF 10. This machine is running a much older FF version and having the same issue.



 8:23 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

So its not Mozilla's fault.

I had not even considered the possibility that Google would put a Javascript on search that has not been properly tested with even a single recent version of Firefox.

Either testing procedures are inadequate (i.e. do not cover all major browsers with cookies off) or someone took a shortcut. You can automate this sort of testing and run it with every single change.


 11:33 pm on Feb 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The confusing part of this is that it is not consistent.

It happens randomly. Sometimes I can get hit on computer "a" and yet the same search on computer "b" within seconds clicks right thru.

Both computers with the same cookie/js settings (cookies disallowed/js on). One with FF 10 and the other with an older version.

Random testing ot a bug?


 6:28 am on Feb 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google randomly inserts the redirect links. This has been the case for a long time (since I first noticed them). I assume that this is because they do not need to track every click, just a valid sample.


 7:09 am on Feb 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

thats a bug. because most of old mobile devices have no cookie enabled ..


 3:29 pm on Feb 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've seen this couple of month ago, where on work pc "G Search" wouldn't run without JS in FF(NOScript by default) and then at home would be just fine. I spoke with bunch of developers at work and some had the same issue and some did not. So we switched to another "search engine".

"Temporarily allow google.com". Ye right, let me recharge the batteries in my pointing/clicking device first. The JS Redirect is annoying as...


 8:53 pm on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google said they just fixed the bug. Can you confirm?


 10:34 pm on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can still not change to google.com with cookies of


 6:36 am on Feb 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was able to complete a search just now with cookies and/or javascript turned off.


 8:29 pm on Feb 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google said they just fixed the bug. Can you confirm?

Assuming you are asking about not being able to click thru from the serps page when cookies are disallowed and js is on,


it seems to work at the moment.

[this is on a serp showing the redirecturls/tracking/whatevertheheckallthatstuffis.]

[I'm on my machine with the older version of FF and have cookies disallowed and js on.]


 7:17 am on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Works on FF 10 now.


 12:38 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think they have changed something so you are forced to use cookies, at my place with cookies of it dont work on IE and firefox, I also see sites that use google serps, but blocks the tracking dont work ether. I think this has something to do with there latest data collecting plan.

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