How long did google lock me out of searching?
January 25, 2010 11:11 AM   Subscribe

I tried searching for a term multiple times (around 100 in a minute) to see if it would come up on google trends, and now I can't search on google at all. Does anyone know how many times you can search a single term on Google before they shut you down for "sending automated queries"? How long does the lockdown lasts?
posted by numbskeleton to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Which Google API are you using?

(Somebody that knows their APIs better than I will probably come along soon, but in the meantime, my admittedly limited understanding is...) The SOAP API has a limit of 1000 queries per day, but it's deprecated in favor of the AJAX API (which appears, on a quick glance through the docs, to have no limit).
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:29 AM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: I work in the search industry, and coworkers and I often use tools that perform automated queries in order to benchmark and measure certain trends for our clients. My supervisor was locked out, and it lasted months and months before she could do more than a few searches in a day. Very anecdotal, but hope it helps.
posted by DrDreidel at 11:33 AM on January 25, 2010

Does anyone know how they do it?
Is it by IP or MAC address? If so would getting a new IP or using a different network card help?
posted by WizKid at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2010

To comment on "and hosted from Uranus"'s reply...
I don't think he reached a cap, I think he was flagged for using the same term for many searches in a short amount of time.

And Chocolate Pickle's...
He's probably right. Any good developer should hold issue regarding re-allowing access to a user that was trying to 'attack' their system programmatically.
posted by Gainesvillain at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2010

It could be either a ban by IP or a ban by cookie (if you were using a browser). Can't be a MAC ban as MACs only apply on your local subnet.

Clear your cookies and see what you can do to get a new IP address (if you're lucky, unplugging + replugging a cable modem will do it).
posted by galamud at 12:48 PM on January 25, 2010

This is anecdotal and possibly out of date, but I wrote a little tool a couple of years ago that did both pattern searches (like "the * brown fox") and quoted-string searches ("the quick brown fox"). I had to throw in delays between searches in order to avoid getting locked out, and the necessary delay was different for pattern vs. non-pattern searches: 30 seconds vs. 10 seconds, as I recall. This makes sense, because doing pattern searches must be significantly more computationally resource-intensive.

It was definitely by IP, since the lock-out would affect different browsers and even different computers on my home network (my wife was thrilled). Getting unbanned usually just required filling out a CAPTCHA, though -- I don't think I ever got locked out completely.
posted by The Tensor at 1:27 PM on January 25, 2010

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