Google Hates “Design”

I have no idea what Google does or doesn’t think about design in general, but they seem to not like an intitle: search where the word “design” is part of the query and quotes are used around the phrase. I’m assuming this is a glitch of some sort, but here’s what I’m seeing anytime I try. Anyone else seeing the same or similar?

Google 403 Forbidden error message to an intitle: search query
Click to enlarge

I’m only seeing this on an intitle: search that includes the word design and wraps quotes around the phrase.

intitle:design works fine
intitle:”design” leads to the error message above

intitle:”web company” works fine
intitle:”web design company” leads to the error message

I’ve been trying different queries around the word design with and without quotes for the last hour and always the same results. Is it a glitch? Is this known? It’s new to me. Are virus and spyware applications really that concerned with the word “design” to the point that Google is blocking the query.

Anyone seeing something similar?

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.


  1. That’s an interesting error message. I read it as suggesting that maybe that query has been abused somehow, so they’re blocking it.

    The variations of “design” seemed to work with inurl:, for whatever that’s worth.

  2. I was originally thinking it was because I had made too many intitle: queries too quickly, but the odd thing was I could still search all day on intitle: as long as design wasn’t included inside quotes. I was able to search successfully for inanchor: too.

    The search works without the quotes and I even tried removing a letter or two.


    Both work. It’s only on the intitle: search; only when the full word design is used; only when quotes are wrapped around the phrase. Different tenses of “design” seem to get the error message too. “Designed” for example.

    Very strange.

    Did you get the same error message?

  3. It seems very veird. I had done a search for intitle:”web design company” and it lists around see below: Results 1 – 10 of about 92,400 for intitle:”web design company”

    There may be some sql errors when you do the query, Am I right?

  4. Peter it seems to be working for me now. I think it might have been just what Dr. Pete was suggesting. I might have simply tried searching a little too quickly and so Google thought I was automated. I found it odd that it was a few days before the search did work for me, which was longer than expected. It’s all working now, though.

  5. I too am facing the same problem. But when I copy pasted the query as said by Peter, it worked fine. And when I retype the first quotes, it again gives the error. Its very strange!

  6. Pretti I think it really was a matter of making too many queries too quickly. It was strange to me how long it took before I stopped getting the error message. It was a few days. It was also odd some of the other and very similar phrases I could still get results for.

    You’ll probably have to wait a few days before getting results, but you should get them again.

  7. I get that message all the time when I put design in quotes. I thought that was a pretty odd error.

    It didn’t seem to be a problem with the frequency of queries.

    My $0.02

    • Yeah, this does still happen to me at times when I haven’t been searching much. I can understand if it’s at times when I’m searching a lot back to back, but plenty of times I can get the message on my first search of the day.

      Odd isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.