Home > Uncategorized > Google’s different page-not-found pages

Google’s different page-not-found pages

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I had recently noticed that http://www.google.com/test and http://www.google.com/test.html used to return different error page, but now it seems they’ve fixed this to return an error page of the same design. However still the Google logo colors are solid with not gradient as the more modern logo used at http://www.google.com

Should have kept a screenshot I guess. Tried finding an old http://www.google.com/test at the WayBack machine (http://www.archive.org), but stumbled upon some bug they have, where although it has 3 recordings of saving that page, it just points to itself:

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By the way, trying http://test.google.com you get a classic browser page that the site can’t be found:

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However, trying http://sandbox.google.com/ you’re redirected to http://www.google.com/unavailable.html which is itself not found (!) and you’re taken to their "404 Not Found" custom error page:

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Other interesting finding at the WayBack machine Internet archive is that there used to be a http://sandbox.google.com indeed, till 3 Feb 2007 and was related to Google checkout (e-shopping cart):

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A test.google.com used to also exist around 2003, but the archive also has Google site archives back from Nov 1998, where their simplistic homepage points to two prototype versions:

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First one is more academic, having (C)opyright notice of Stanford University at the bottom and with the "About Google!" link showing related research papers (the WayBack Internet Machine has even cached research papers about their WebBase)

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The second prototype they point to is more business like, with (C)opyright Google Inc.

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The "Company Info" there says "Google Inc. is not at present a publicly traded company, and we are currently unable to speculate on whether or when our privately-held status might change" (those who did speculate correctly, did invest and were patient enough should be rich by now)

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That page even explains how they came up with the name "Google!" (note that they had an exclamation point [!] at the end of their logo that later on got removed [together with the "Inc." suffix):

10^100 (a gigantic number) is a googol, but we liked the spelling "Google" better. We picked the name "Google" because our goal is to make huge quantities of information available to everyone. And it sounds cool and has only six letters.

BTW, Stanford Search eventually ended up using "Google Custom Search" as you can read at https://itservices.stanford.edu/service/websearch

As for Google’s rival, Microsoft’s Bing, earliest archive dates back in 2003 it was "Bing, Inc." (bing!) webpage and related somehow to didonna.com (judging from the broken image URLs at the page http://web.archive.org/web/20030726111100/http://www.bing.com/)

And finally for some fun, try the URL http://www.google.com/tisp/notfound.html (note the "tisp" there – guess it’s "tips" mispelled on purpose)

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