Facing DDoS Attacks, Google Tells Regular Users “We’re Sorry…” But You’re a Spammer



As you know, Twitter, Facebook and many other social networking sites fell victim to a DDoS attack last week. Well, Google was also included in the attack, but managed to stay afloat.

Now SER has word that many users–at least of the marketer variety–are complaining that Google unfairly labeled them as hackers and were shown the following error message:

I suspect this was part of Google’s efforts to thwart a DDoS attack, but perhaps they dialed the anti-spam dial just a little bit too far to the right. ;-)

  • http://www.ousbey.com Rob

    Yeah, I get this from time-to-time if I’ve been running a bunch of queries with operators in, in quick succession.

    I think they admitted recently to doing this to avoid DDoSs. I remember when Michael Jackson died, and they interpreted the spike in searches for his name as an attack, and loads of people saw the message.
    .-= Rob´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • http://www.webworkerdaily.com Nancy Nally

    I’m not a marketer. I’m a blogger. The error message that I kept getting from Google was slightly different from the one you picture. It said that “your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users we can’t process your request right now.”

    It’s been several days now since I’ve gotten that message thank goodness. Things seem more back to normal. It was a real pain not being able to access Blogger sites while trying to read feeds and do research.
    .-= Nancy Nally´s last blog ..Do You Need to Keep Up With Social Media? =-.

  • http://www.saynotoflash.com/ Jestep

    I get this every once in a while. I think I’ve seen it mostly, if I hit refresh too many times, or access google on several computers with the same user logged in. It goes back to normal after while, but is definitely am inconvenience.

    You may be able to get rid of it by clearing cookies, logging out of google and logging back in.
    .-= Jestep´s last blog ..20 Great non-PHP Tools for PHP Developers =-.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Thanks for the feedback. I remember seeing this a lot when working with 200 employees all on the same IP, all conducting Google searches throughout the day. :-(

  • http://www.yogeshsarkar.com Yogesh Sarkar

    This is not new, I have seen such messages this a year or two ago as well.

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  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    I also get this about once a week and I am not doing anything wrong. I think I just search to fast and to many times manually?
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Bing = Yahoo: One Search Result…Finally =-.

  • http://blog.traffic4u.nl Remi van Beekum (Traffic4u)

    Yeah those messages telling my query looks a lot like a spam query suck. We’re a search marketing firm with over 100 people working on 1 IP, searching a lot, and using a lot of Firefox plugins. And we trigger that filter every few months.
    We can’t reach google then for a few hours and get restored then. Really anoying…
    .-= Remi van Beekum (Traffic4u)´s last blog ..Twitter: discovery engine =-.