The Google Operating system blog posted this short article about “page not found” (aka 404) errors.
These errors can be frustrating for users, as they are often uninformative if not properly handled. For example, an unmanaged 404 from an Apache web server simply says “404 not found” and another short sentence saying almost the same thing. No help text, nothing.
So it seems that Google’s Toolbar is taking it upon itself to trap these errors and make them more user friendly. Good for them, good for users of the toolbar.
In content management systems, one can often handle these things internally – this is great, as it means you can present the user with whatever information you want. Site owners should be aware that this kind of error can cost them dearly in terms of loss of repeat visitors. Take steps to avoid this – make sure your web developer has this base covered.
As we’re using Drupal here at Kineta, we of course perform this service for our clients anyway when setting up their sites.