Google Search Gibberishes to Some Users in Japan

google-japan-logo

Google Japan announced their apology on their search results for some users were showed garbled texts from 9th evening to 11:30 p.m. for around 6-7 hours on their official blog [J]. The bug affected some Japanese users and some other language users, as they wrote. It also said that it was caused by engineering human error.

I myself had not had such a problem so it might happen not on whole Google Japan’s servers but in some clusters.

A blog “Bikkel no Kuuchu Teien”(Hanging Gardens of Bikkel) reported his/her searching results of “cherry blossom”.

google-garbled-results-sakura

S/he and some other reported their browsers thought the page as Turkish. The correct results can be gotten now is like this,

google-correct-results-sakura

The cause was not explained in the official statement so let us search Japanese users reporting. There are many blogs, 2-channel bbs comments and Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers Japanese) questions.

According to a Oshiete Goo (Goo’s answers), the garbled page header did not have a character encoding meta direction “UTF-8”. Some people suggested to set browser encoding manually with UTF-8, which solved the garbles.

Most reports indicated that it happened only with Windows and Internet Explorer. Browser’s automatic encoding detection algorithms are different so probably no-encoding worked badly on IE this time for those users.

Many other bloggers reported that their uninstalling Google Toolbar solved the problem, but the official announcement denied that the bug was nothing related with Google Toolbar.

Yahoo! Japan’s daily Kyu-Jyosho Word Ranking (Surging Keyword Ranking) on 10th showed “Google Garbled” as 12th rank.

yahoo-hot-keywords-12th-google-garbled

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@akky is one of the first Japanese pro-bloggers [J]. He also leads Asiajin, writes a tech column on The Japan Times, consults for some foreign companies interested in Japanese web market. (please inquire to akimoto on gmail.com).

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Akky Akimoto

@akky is one of the first Japanese pro-bloggers [J]. He also leads Asiajin, writes a tech column on The Japan Times, consults for some foreign companies interested in Japanese web market. (please inquire to akimoto on gmail.com).

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