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"query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus"

     
5:27 pm on Feb 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone else been getting Google error messages on general searches? I'm getting this error message on a variety of searches .. only the last few days ...

Google Error
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.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.
To continue searching, please type the characters you see below:

And then of course, there is a captcha response box.

This is frustrating. I'm sure most of us makes a good search for things like how to spell a word ... or simple stuff.

[edited by: tedster at 5:51 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2008]

6:33 pm on Feb 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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This topic comes up pretty often - here's a good thread from last August:
[webmasterworld.com...]

...and a more recent one from January:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Google Groups shows hundreds of complaints about this behavior, by the way.

2:19 am on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I got this recently and tracked it down to a plug-in for Firefox for SEO purposes. There is nothing malicious per se in the plug-in but it was getting caught by this rule.