Google Sites is a service which lets you use a Content Management System (CMS) to build web pages for an Internet or Intranet website. It comes with Google Apps which makes it attractive because of the single sign-on when using Google Mail or Google Calendar.
Today, after a heavy bout of work switching between multiple user accounts, I noticed that my company Intranet returned a “Bad Request Error 400”.
(I have obscured my actual site because that isn’t important to this tale, but you can infer quite a bit from the image)
No problem I thought, it is just after midday on a Sunday, perhaps they are doing some maintenance work. I could see nothing on the Google Apps status dashboard. I still wasn’t bothered as I figured a big issue would get fixed quickly. Some hours later I still didn’t have access and I noticed that other Google sites I use and run on other domains also didn’t work. Very odd. Some more hours later I was getting irritated. I noticed that if I used different browser then I could get to the sites. This meant it was not a Google issue, it was me, and I hate it being me. Given that it was specific to a browser, I figured it was cookie related.
I use Firefox (12.0 at the time of writing) so I selected Tools / Options. Cookies are found in the Privacy tab.
Click the ‘remove individual cookies’ link to see them. I used the search box at the top of the sub-page and entered ‘Google’. There are a lot of cookies found so scroll down to the ones for sites.google.com. I found 4 and deleted them using the ‘Remove Cookie’ button – they are only cookies so I deemed the potential risk to be minimal.
(the other cookies display content that might be interesting but you don’t need to see it!)
Accessing the URL for my Google Sites page now correctly brought up a Google Sites login page. Once my details were entered, I once again had access – ready to while away my Sunday hours working.
There seem to be no pages offering a cure for this issue, so hopefully this is a useful pointer.