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Sorry, What is sorry.google.com?

Sorry.google.com is the page Google serves you (or an application) when you fail to answer its human-verification question. Google has instituted this new policy – randomly checking to see if queries submitted to it (ie. searches) are done by human beings (as opposed to software applications). The purpose of this is two-fold. On the one hand, blocking the search query and redirecting the user to sorry.google.com alerts the user to potential spyware on their PC; on the other hand, it prevents users from utilizing software to query the Google search engine.

Google protects you from spyware

On the sorry.google.com page, you’ll see Google recommending you run anti-virus and anti-spyware checkers. Why? If spyware is present on your computer, it may be accessing the Internet, and will often execute Google queries. If Google detects this, instead of giving the application what it’s looking for, it will block the request and serve the sorry.google.com page instead. On this page you’ll see recommendation for you to scan and clean your PC in the event of an infection.

Google blocks Google ranking and utility tools

Just because you see the page sorry.google.com doesn’t mean your PC is infected with spyware. It’s also possible that you have a browser plugin (Firefox add-on) or software utility installed, such as a Google ranking checker, that performs regular Google queries. Since Google randomly executes human verification, the utility will get caught, and eventually the sorry.google.com page will get served.

While this reduces the load on Google’s servers, it also prevents software and utilites that rely on the Google API and querying capabilities to function. Bottom line, if you’re repeatedly getting this error, you should run an anti-spyware utility (such as SpyZooka), first, and then check your browsers for plug-ins (such as Google rankings tools, etc.) and other software that might be accessing the Internet and querying Google.


About Alex Schenker

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
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  • Vivek

    To solve the problem, I installed the Extensions Disconnect and Disconnect Search from Disconnect Me.

  • Anonymous

    Even if I type the Captcha correctly many times, it never goes beyond the sorry.google.com URL.

    • Anonymous

      The sorry page requires cookies to be set to let Google know you are human.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a Google page, keep your dirty hands away from Google! :)

    Better check your computer protection…

    Google user

    • Anonymous

      I tried from different computers in many friends’ houses to login to Google. However, the same exact Google “sorry error” occurs again no matter what!

      Please try a search on this page, where a code given by Google itself finds itself: [URL removed for security purposes]

      Can you explain why the page keeps displaying “Google is sorry, but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.”

      And I’m not given a Captcha option to circumvent this!

      • Web Rocker

        Check your website and make sure all your webforms (contact forms, email us, etc.) are protected (using a captcha, for example) and aren’t vulnerable to spamming or forwarding. It could be that malicious users are abusing your website, and those are the queries Google is seeing, and in response blocking your entire site from accessing Google services.

  • Anonymous

    Hey guys,

    I am also getting the captcha thing like every 5 seconds now. But also, I have been downloading a book, about 400 pages. I started at 10 pm, it’s now 4 am. I have no idea if it’s even actually downloading.

    The bottom just says retrieved, then some other things, then retrieved again – but no other indication that there is “progress”…like “downloaded 50%” or something.

    Any insight into this? Am I doing something wrong?

    Furthermore, now I also cannot access Google books. For like 1 second it gives me the “enter the code” but then immediately disappears and says “Oops…this server appears broken – DNS error – server cannot be found.” Anyone know what this means?

    Meanwhile, it looks like files are still being retrieved… which doesn’t sound right. Maybe it was never working?

    Finally, I am using the mgbd.exe … and I just installed Spybot S&D. Do I need to start over again??

    Bottom line – does this all mean I am “banned”?

    Any suggestions/explanations would be greatly appreciated. I am a student in China (from the US) and ordering all these books would be astronomically expensive. And many are not even available in China so my options are really limited!

    Thanks again!

    • We Rock Your Web

      Google is in the middle of shaky relations with China, and as far as I know, they’ve taken down their websites in China and are forwarding everything to Hong Kong. I’m surprised you’re even able to access Google from China, but if you’re experiencing problems that’s probably why.

      The way to verify this would be to use another PC to try and access the same Google page. If it works on that PC, then maybe there’s an issue with your PC or ISP (Internet Service Provider) that is preventing you from accessing Google.

      Good luck – keep us posted and greetings from the USA :)

  • Anonymous

    No captcha appears in my “Sorry…” page and I already checked that my computer isn’t infected. Reloading the page or re-sending the search query still gives me the Sorry page. Google = EPIC FAIL

  • Anonymous

    When you start a website – keep track of these sorts of stats – such as your Alexa ranking, the amount of traffic & page views, the number of pages that Google or Yahoo have indexed, the number of links they show – it’s hard to know where you’re going with your website unless you can see progress – and you can’t see progress unless you know where you once were.

  • Anonymous

    In a typical setup there are hundreds of computers behind a single natted IP address. And most users set Google as their home page. So even if there is no spyware, the Google server thinks that there is, due to the frequent requests from the users every time they open a new browser page.

    This is turning out bad for Google as people in my company have now started setting other search engines as their home page. This is leading to them not using Google anymore. So, here we have Google shooting itself in the leg.

  • Anonymous

    Dang I hate it when I find no spyware nor virus on my system, refresh my computer, but the Google sorry page still pops up say it’s sorry. I am switching to Yahoo and it’s working fine now. Thank you Yahoo and good bye Google.

  • Anonymous

    Google is good. Things can get annoying, yes, but they are getting big and still look out for their users.

    Rob Miller

  • Anonymous

    Every day I try to open my Gmail account but I can’t get it to open. I try to open it in “html view” in my browser, but it cannot open in the “normal view.” I am really grateful if my problem can be solved.

  • Anonymous

    This captcha sorry page is really a pain. Sometimes I keep getting the image ID over and over until I just give up and use yahoo. It all started after trying to find some info on a certain brand of freezer. I tried multiple websites because couldn’t find any pages that stated what temperature the freezer operated at. Basically I couldn’t get in at all for 2 days after this search, and now I get it any time I initiate a search.

    It started up totally blocking me again for a day when I checked multiple searches for a rental in my area.

    Now it lets me in sometimes after one captcha, but I’m beginning to think that if you run multiple searches on the same subject/words then you get banned. This is ridiculous. People use the internet to get comparison prices, or different opinions on the same subject. Nobody but an idiot will take the first search item that pops up. Maybe evil Google is trying to force you to accept the paid ads on their first page.

    The sorry page mentions something about Firefox add-ons causing this. Hmmm, like ad-blocker perhaps? I don’t have that but i bet Google hates it.

    Google has the right to do what they want, but I’m going elsewhere.

    What’s the best alternate search engine?

    • Anonymous

      Same here… I get the image verification every time I search and even if I enter the letters correctly, I get served with it again. I’m using Yahoo now.

  • Anonymous

    I must say Google does a better job of handling errors in ways that humans can understand than I’ve seen other services do. At least you’re not simply “mysteriously” locked out of the site – you’re given instructions on how to fix the problem in a way a non-technical person can understand. If only Microsoft could learn from this…

    • Anonymous

      What kind of comment is that? You’re a F***!

      • Anonymous

        You didn’t understand what he (or she ) said ???

        Many other websites handle cases such as Google’s “sorry” in a very blind manner. For example: I had such an experience with Wikipedia a few days ago. They blocked not only my account but also the IP address range of our network, yet I don’t know for what reason.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, I was wondering about that Google Sorry page. What a pain in the butt – but I suppose if it’s helping my computer get infected I should be grateful. Oh, how we all bow down to the almighty Google…

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t make any difference how many time you put the script in the box, it keeps on rejecting it. There is something rotten in Denmark, I would say. It is not working today, at all. What a pain. So I went to Yahoo. Seems the rest of all the search choices in the upper right hand block of Firefox will work — but not Google. Google, you got some work to do.

  • Anonymous

    There are various editions of anti spy ware products but choose only Spybot S&D, which is better than others and it is also FREE to download.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the point of auto-querying Google to begin with?

  • Glauber Felix

    Tor network brought me here… Google blocks queries when it can´t identify the original IP. Google business is to map people around the world and if you use some tools to mask your IP, it´s not intersting to the company. I use TOR network to anonymize my queries and i can´t use Google because the captchas. So i started to use another services like Bing, DeeperWeb, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo. Try Deeperweb. It returns Google results without the captcha pain.

    • whytegold

      Thank U for the Deeper web info. We are using it as our default search now!!! A wonderful share. Now this kind of thing is one of the things the WWW is perfect for!!!

  • Anonymous

    Well F**K this!

    After using Google for 10+ years, suddenly access is restricted
    for no good reason?

    Time to switch to another search engine.

    Bye!

    • Anonymous

      Ah, I was wondering about that Google Sorry page. What a pain in the butt – but I suppose if it’s helping my computer get infected I should be grateful. Oh, how we all bow down to the almighty Google…

    • Anonymous

      It does not make any difference how many times I say/enter the secret words. It keeps on coming back. Been using Google for a bunch of years, and now it ain’t working right.

  • Anonymous

    No, Google, you’re sorry, because I’ll now be browsing over to Bing,Yahoo, or Ask to get my search results. Oops!

  • Anonymous

    I use Safari on my iPhone 4g and it is with this configuration that Google sends me this stupid message… I’m sorry Google, I’ll be using Bing and I’ll come back later… Don’t have time to loose and search results in Bing seems to be actually less commercial than Google…

  • Anonymous

    If anyone have problem then LPC

    I don’t care

    By Google Admin

  • Anonymous

    And this is another thing I didn’t know about Google. I have to admit that the guys who invented this research machine are totally intelligent. Congratulations to them and I hope that they will keep up the good work because their competitors are also working hard to make some room for themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting topic you’ve discussed here. Google screws up from time to time.

  • Betty

    I have been having problems with Google now for over a month. I have only gotten the CAPTCHA one time. I am using an Apple iPad. So – just what kind of software do I run on an iPad to correct the problem. MacScan is for computers. The other stuff Google recommends is for PCs. I am an elderly lady, and I am not using my iPad for anything which should destroy Google. I am on AT&T network. I am not using a router or wifi. I use my iPad for queries when I don’t want to turn on my computer.

    I have started using Yahoo and Bing. I do NOT have this problem on my iPhone or computer.

    I contacted AT&T to see if they could assign my iPad to another IP address. They said NO. I did a network reset but that didn’t help, and tried all the other stuff, I.e., clear cookies, etc, etc. to no avail.

    Suggestions anyone?

  • Anonymous

    I just got this message also. Except for the fact that I’m using my iPhone 4, AND I’m on 3G?! Haven’t had wifi even turned on today! Any ideas?!

  • Anonymous

    This is an example of a safety measure which forfeits itself by being too strict (or being not perfect?) My fully patched XP Professional PC is protected by Avira Premium Security Suite which reports: “no infection” but the Internet not being accessible hurts our business.

    Who can we hold responsible? Reminds me of Kafka. No use giving my email address; it’s not accessible!

    • Anonymous

      Seriously, you have to type in a captcha and you’re in. You don’t lose your connection to the Internet and others don’t lose connection to you. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck, but come on man. Be real.

  • Anonymous

    OMG google was OWNED!!!!! O:

  • Anonymous

    Few days back I was checking my web design and all of a sudden, I encountered an error. It said something was wrong with my browser – “access denied to Google servers.” I assumed it to be some sort of Google Error page. Later, however, it fixed itself. Any idea what it could be? Was it something wrong with my firewall or did Google really go down (which I find hard to believe).