Google Search Requiring Cookies? Google Says No

Feb 10, 2012 • 8:29 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google CookiesThere are several reports at WebmasterWorld where users using Firefox are claiming that the only way to search at Google is to turn on their cookies.

I've personally tested this in a few Firefox browsers and cannot replicate it. I've turned off cookies but Google still lets me conduct my searches. But at this point, there are just too many people complaining about it to not raise an eyebrow. There are tweets, forum posts and so on.

Google told me this is something they are "not testing or rolling out."

So maybe it is a Firefox issue? Maybe it is a bug in Google that Google is not aware of? Or maybe Google is not telling the truth and they are testing something? I am not sure.

Here are some of those reports:

Lately I've been unable to use Google Search without having cookies allowed. Not always, just occasionally. Today it seems to be consistent, no cookies, no clicking thru from the basic G search results page.

Is that new, or just some kind of testing?

This is a new one on me. With Firefox 10 newly installed nothing happens when I click on a Google SERPs link, but I have no problem with Bing, or the Google ads! Switching to other browsers solves the problem too. I re-installed Firefox 8 and still get the same problem! Short of switching permanently to Bing, can anyone offer a possible solution?

Do you have this issue? Can you replicate it?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Postscript: Google said this was a bug and sent us an official statement:

This was a bug that was flagged and the team quickly resolved on Thursday. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Image credit to Bill Alldredge on Flickr.

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02/10/2012 06:58 pm

I was dealing with this recently on my two computers, both using Firefox 11, and and cookies blocked explicitly (for whatever that's worth...).  The initial google search would return the results as usual, but when I would click on a result to open, the browser just would not bring up the result.  When I would open the search result in a new tab, the google redirect URL would be in the address bar but the actual link would never come up. My workaround was to reenable the google cookies. My current hypothesis is that Google is now requiring that the cookie be in place for searches to work...


02/11/2012 04:31 am

I'm now having this problem on my computer.  When I use Firefox to run Google - I'm rerouted to BuffPuma and a blank page.   When I use Bing to find something, no problem. I'm using : Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110303 Firefox/3.6.15  


02/11/2012 04:33 am

I can't help if Google declared war on Firefox because they started a new partnership with Bing this week.  When I run Bing on Firefox - it boasts how much faster it is. I'm also unable to access my Google Adsense account from Firefox.


02/12/2012 06:59 pm

Just the same for me with and I block FF cookies, with some explicit exceptions. Now I have to add google to the exceptions (session cookie works fine, no need for permanent cookie). Without the cookies enabled for the domain, when clicking on a search result the result url is shown in the url textbox, but the redicection doesn't occur and the content of the page remains blank. Turning the cookies on for the domain just allow the redirection to occur.

Ed Dawson

02/14/2012 12:20 pm

And I thought, it was only for me. Had this problem a couple of times last week and couldn't figure out why...

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