Web Accelerator and Your 404 Page

    May 6, 2005

Google Web Accelerator’s most useful function is that it, in theory, removes the Slashdot effect where you get a 404 “Page Not Found” error when visiting an overburdened site. But what happens when you type in an address that doesn’t exist?

In Firefox, this happens:

GWA 404

Google’s Web Accelerator serves up that page instead of a 404. This according to Benjamin Adam, who reminds us of when Verisign changed the 404 and caught hell for it. Of course, Google is different, because you choose to have it this way. The Google 404 page, of course, also has a link to a Google search.

I’m kind of surprised they don’t put the search results on the page.

The 404 page has a reason for existing in Firefox, as commenter Justin P. explains:

The reason that this only happens in Firefox is probably because IE serves up that little local document that says host not found. Firefox on the other hand presents an annoying pop-up window. Maybe Google’s thought is to get rid of that annoying pop-up?

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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