Google Cryptically Alerts The World That It Will Nudge Chinese Searchers Away From Censorship
from the losing-access dept
Over the past couple years, we’ve had a lot of feedback that Google Search from mainland China can be inconsistent and unreliable. It depends on the search query and browser, but users are regularly getting error messages like “This webpage is not available” or “The connection was reset.” And when that happens, people typically cannot use Google again for a minute or more....Of course, they never say what that "subset of queries" might be, but you can take a guess.
We’ve taken a long, hard look at our systems and have not found any problems. However, after digging into user reports, we’ve noticed that these interruptions are closely correlated with searches for a particular subset of queries.
The "solution" is that, similar (though slightly different) to Google's "autocomplete," Google, when accessed by Chinese mainlanders, will make suggestions on alternative searches that won't cause the user to be blocked from accessing Google: