404 Search Box

Yesterday I went on a fix finding tour of things that did not quite work here at DY.

First, I fixed this blog. The blog had several mysterious problems –
1. It had been loading slower than molasses for months
2. It randomly banned ip’s and made comments invisible. I was not excluded from the ban list. I thought that was kind of funny.
3. Something “backend” about the url was not right
So, it’s all fixed now, details are unnecessary, right? A plug-in was causing all of my blog’s problems.

A few days ago I noticed that my error pages at donnayoung.org had a non-working search engine box. How embarrassing for me, well it might be embarrassing for a normal person, but I thought it was an amusing twist that a “Not Found” page would have a search engine that would send you to another type of error page. The search engine box that didn’t work is the Google search engine box that I use throughout my website. It works elsewhere, but apparently not on error pages.

I found a solution today. I really do care about my visitor’s time and try to maintain some level of professionalism here, albeit casual since donnayoung.org is a personal website.

The solution that I am using is a Google widget (linked below) that is made for 404 pages. The widget has two features, both of which are useful and appropriate for a 404 (not found) page:
1. It adds a search box for your site with appropriate search suggestions.
2. It tries to provide alternatives to incorrect URLs.

If you are a webmaster and have the same problem with your search engine, here is the link to the Google search engine solution for error pages.
Google’s Enhance 404 widget