Question for Verizon Internet Users

Update (2/25/09): Some potential solutions for the Google redirect problem can be found here in a post from 12/02/08.

Dear Skylarking Readers: If you use Verizon for your Internet access, I’d like you to go to www.google.com and search for anything, and see if your search resultsĀ are redirected to www.google.fr.

Here’s why:

In my earlier post, “Why is Google sending me to France?”, I discussed how my Google searches were being redirected to www.google.fr, Google’s French subsidiary. I, not as clearly as I had hoped, suggested that the problem appears to be related to Google’s computers misreading my IP (Internet Protocol) address as originating in France.

To clarify, my ISP (Internet Service Provider) is Verizon FIOS. So Verizon assigns my computers an IP address whenever I connect to the Internet.

Prior to my Google.fr woes, I had received a phone call from my bank stating they believed someone in France had tried to access my bank account. As I worked with their security expert, he looked further and saw it was a Verizon IP address, and further investigation revealed that the IP address originated in New York, and not in France. The bank computers had misread my New York USA IP address as being a French IP address.

It is my opinion that Google is also misreading the IP addresses. It is my opinion that this problem is specific to Verizon users. Perhaps just FIOS users. Perhaps just users in the metro NY area.

So go to google.com and conduct a search. Let me know if the address bar shows you’ve been redirected to google.fr.

If you have a Google account, make sure you aren’t logged in. If your Google account includes your zip code. That information may be used by Google to track you correctly. Those of you who are being redirected from google.com to google.fr might try signing up for a Google account (www.google.com/accounts). You can edit your personal information to include your zip code.

I’d like to point out that I have checked my computer thoroughly for spyware and viruses. I used both Lavasoft’s Ad-aware and PC Spyware Doctor to scan my system.

Update (2/25/09): Some potential solutions for the Google redirect problem can be found here in a post from 12/02/08.




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11 comments

  1. R Walker says:

    I too am being redirected to France – much to my consternation. Note: I fall into the “Verizon FIOS NYC metro area” category you described above.

    Inasmuch as this appears to be the case, are the results of my Google queries subject to the restrictions imposed by the French government?

    Thanks for helping indentify the problem – I thought my modem had caught a virus….(which is probably not possible….)

    Best regards,

    R. Walker

  2. Jen says:

    Odd. For what it’s worth, I’m in the New England area, have Comcast for Internet, and Google sends me to Canada–but just (oddly) when I use Google Maps.

  3. C Lalonde says:

    I too have the same problem and not just with Google. There have been a few other sites I have visited which have directed me to their international sites rather than their US version. I’m with Fios but am in Mass. rather than NY so the problem seems to be wider spread than just NY.

  4. Thanks, R Walker, Jen, and C Lalonde for sharing your misdirected IP experiences here. I hope you saw my follow up article “Is Google sending you to foreign countries?” where I mention Google has a form for reporting misdirected IP addresses.

    A few hours after I used Google’s error reporting form I received this message from Google Help:

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your reply. It will take some time for the fix to fully take effect before you’ll be correctly redirected to http://www.google.com instead of http://www.google.fr. In the meantime, you can use the Google Ad Preview Tool at https://adwords.google.com/select/AdTargetingPreviewTool to see how ads are being served on certain keywords in a specific domain. Thank you again for taking the time to write. We’re sorry we’re unable to provide further information at this immediate time.

    Regards,
    Skylar
    The Google Team

    The problem seems to be lessening, I haven’t been paying much attention which is probably a good sign.

  5. Rob Saxon says:

    I’m in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas, and a customer of mine is getting the same thing. Not just the New England area.

  6. William says:

    Having the same problem in Southern California.

  7. G K says:

    In the Dalas Area – Flower Mound, Texas. I have same Google.com issue sending me to .fr google site.

  8. Ken Scott says:

    Ditto here. Plano Texas (Dallas Metropolitan area) and yes, Verizon FiOS.

  9. Marc says:

    I also have FIOS in the Dallas area and I’m having the same problem. What’s worse is that I work for a global company that routes all internet traffic through Germany, so I have problems at home and at work. There are a half-dozen websites that I want to use, but can’t because “services are only available from within the United States.”

  10. Update (2/25/09): Some potential solutions for the Google redirect problem can be found here in a post from 12/02/08.

    Thanks for all your comments on this issue. Please check the link above for possible solutions.

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