Chrome bug sends users to blank pages, Google on the case

3 Jul 2012

If you’re a Chrome user experiencing a problem with instant search this morning, you are not alone. Thankfully, though, Google has already fixed the issue for most users and provided a temporary solution for others while it works on solving it completely.

The beauty of Chrome is that its address bar isn’t merely just that. The ‘omnibox’, as Google has named it, allows users to conduct a search right from the address bar – only not this morning.

For reasons as yet unknown, users searching via the omnibox found themselves redirected to blank pages for some time this morning (which we’re sure must have felt like an eternity). It seemed to be that no matter what the search query, ‘blank.html’ kept inserting itself into the results, redirecting users to an empty dead end.

User reports on Twitter and the Chrome Product forum indicate that the issue was widespread, affecting Mac and PC users alike.

The ever-resourceful internet community responded with a few suggested hacks to address the problem. One user recommended removing ‘blank.html’ from the search query, while others recommended clearing the browser search history, disabling instant results or – dare we state the obvious? – searching directly from instead of through the omnibox.

Google has since announced it is investigating the issue and, at this point, it has been fixed for most users.

If you are still seeing searches come up blank, a tip from The Next Web, which has been validated by Chrome team member Peter Kasting, suggests users select ‘Manage Search Engines’ in ‘Settings’, create an alternative Google search option from ‘Other Search Engines’ using the URL and make this the default option until the issue has been completely resolved.

Google search image image via Annette Shaff on Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.