Sign at the Googleplex

I’ve always been a fan of information packed 404 error pages. When a web search sends me to a page that no longer exists, I expect to be given some hints as to where I might find the new page or at least some indication of related content.

I don’t like to see a page with the boring old “404 Not Found” error message. It completely puts me off the website and instantly makes me look elsewhere. From an online marketing point of view, that’s potentially one lost client.

With the launch of the new Google Chrome browser, all default 404 error pages, will instead present a Google branded page with suggestions and a search box. This is such a waste from the website owners point of view as it instantly brings the user away from your website. Why would they bother staying on your site if they can just search for someone else’s?

When all you have to do to avoid this default action fromĀ Google Chrome is create a 404 page larger than 512 bytes it’s a simple and easy way to ensure that you are not losing potential visitors.

It must be noted that this feature is not only a default setting inĀ Google Chrome – but it will also be default in the new Google Toolbar 5 which is currently in beta mode.

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