Google throwing CAPTCHA and blocking search results on changing preferences

Since November 2017, users have been facing an issue with Google Search. Reports on the official Google Search help forum say that on changing the per page search result limit preference beyond 30, the user is re-directed to a CAPTCHA page due to unusual traffic sensed by Google.

Those affected confirm that the behaviour persists irrespective of browser being used (be it Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer).


In addition, some users say Google even blocks search results for them. Specifically, users say they initially encounter a CAPTCHA page notifying that Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network, and then their search results get blocked.


We would like to mention that we were able to partially reproduce the aforementioned glitch – going by the steps suggested by one of the top contributors on the official help forum – and the proceeding CAPTCHA screen (with unusual traffic message) is the one that showed up.


However, search results weren’t blocked for us. As forum experts themselves encountered the same glitch, they escalated the issue soon after it was reported.


As a result, Google employee Andy B (who is also the Community Manager at Google Search and Assistant Help Forum) not only addressed the complainants, but acknowledged the problem as well. Furthermore he added that as the team is not able to reproduce the matter in question, additional information would be required to debug.

Here’s the complete statement:


While Google is investigating what’s broken, how long will it take to fix cannot be commented yet. We hope they catch the root cause, and mend it sooner than later. We suggest you to keep a tab here for all related developments, as we’ll update as and when they occur.

Meanwhile, following are the steps to reproduce the aforementioned problem:


Do let us know (in the comments section below) if you get to see the same issue on your device.

Google Search and Assistant Help Forum 1 2

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.