Update: Fix released
We have released an update that should make this significantly less of a hassle. We now have built-in timers on in SearchTempest to avoid hitting this Google limit, so instead of being timed out and having everything break for five minutes, the worst you’ll experience is a few seconds delay (with a message explaining why). This still might be an annoyance for larger searches, so we do have a couple other options for you as well. Please see here for more info: http://support.searchtempest.com/hc/en-us/articles/226378827-Limit-on-number-of-cities-that-can-be-searched-in-a-short-time.
Some of you have probably run across this recently: view a few pages of results fine, and then all the cities just get stuck “Retrieving Results from Google”. This issue just came up a few days ago, but what we’ve been able to determine so far is that Google have added a new limit to how many queries can be sent to their Custom Search API (which powers our results) in a short period of time. We’re in the process of determining what those limits are, so that we can put our own limits in place to avoid hitting them.
For the moment, as long as you’re taking the time to read each page of results before moving on to the next, it’s unlikely you’ll have this problem. Where it is more likely is if you’re searching for something rare, so a bunch of cities are skipped through quickly. For now we suggest just taking your time with those searches. Loading a chunk of 50 or so cities (including ones with no results), waiting 30 seconds, then loading the next chunk. That should avoid hitting any limits.
Another option is to switch your sort order (using the “Sort” drop down on the results page) to one of the single list options. That way a separate query doesn’t need to be sent to Google for each city, which will guarantee no limits are hit.
Again, we’re still actively working on this and hope to have better work-arounds in place soon. You can find more info here: http://support.searchtempest.com/hc/en-us/articles/205166587-The-results-load-slowly-
How do they detect the number of cities searched in rapid succession by an individual user? Cookies? IP address? Either method has its own workarounds.
The block appears to be by IP address. Unfortunately it is Google’s right to put whatever limitations on their API they wish.
That said, we have now released an update that should prevent users from hitting the block on Google’s side. (The tradeoff is short delays introduced on our side, but it should be much less obtrusive.) If you still find it annoying though, we do have a couple other options to try. You can find more info here: http://support.searchtempest.com/hc/en-us/articles/226378827-Limit-on-number-of-cities-that-can-be-searched-in-a-short-time