Google To Chinese Searchers: Your Search Interruptions Are Not Our Fault

Google announced on their blog that they have noticed an increase in complaints from searchers in mainland China. The issues they are reporting is that Google.com and searchers are not coming up, as if Google.com is down.

So Google investigated their servers and operations and noticed no issues with anything on Google’s side. So they ran some tests and were able to confirm that many queries lead to Google acting as if Google is unreachable. They produced a video showing this in action, where one query would work but then another query would lead to a response of either “This webpage is not available” or “The connection was reset.” After that message, Google would not load for a full minute and a half. Here is the video:

Google had their engineer run hundreds of thousands of tests and produced a warning screen to preempt these webpage not available errors in order to give the Google user a more pleasant experience. The message looks like the picture above and you can try it out yourself over here. The message reads:

We’ve observed that searching for [query] in mainland China may temporarily break your connection to Google. This interruption is outside Google’s control.

The message links to this page which explains the phenomenon but doesn’t outright blame China for the issue. Google does clearly state, “these disruptions are outside Google’s control and unrelated to Google’s technology.”

Google has a long sensitive relationship with China, see our stories below for more on that.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google & China | Google: Outside US | Google: Web Search | Legal: Censorship | Legal: Regulation

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Pat Grady

    “doesn’t outright blame China for the issue”
    Eventually, any victim must be willing to name their attacker, or justice eludes us all.

  • http://twitter.com/tebie_ Tobias Dokken

    I live in China and this happ

  • Lin Xue

    有人说,谷歌的这一做法,会让他们被中国政府的防火长城完全屏蔽!
    因为这直接赤裸裸地方展示了中国政府GFW的敏感词列表!

  • Allen Leung

    Hi,Ilm from Guangdong province,China.I have to say,the Great Fire Wall is very disgusting.But I stick to using Google but disgusting Baidu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561608384 Hewitt Pratt

    Interesting that the kill switch is thrown by two consecutive, innocuous searches (KFC > McD).  So not only are some topics off limits (the Dalai Lama, eg) but a certain level of inquisitiveness — more than one search per 90 seconds — is disallowed. Damn.

  • dv0xxuk2

    Doesn’t surprised me at all, considering China is pretty much aggressive in everything they do from fake stuff to world dominance.

  • Jonny Greenwood

    Hi, I am a Chinese. You situation is caused by the Government’s Fire Wall, even your ISP provider also can’t control it, because the providers are controlled by government. 

    You can use Google’s GoAgent app to visit google.com, facebook, or twitter. There won’t be any interruption.

  • KramerEdward77

    my roomate‘s sister makes $82/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six months but last month her check was $19771 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site ====>> ⇛⇛⇛⇛► http://enternet-Job.blogspot.com

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