An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

May 14, 2007

Google's Browser Address Error Redirector

Google has partnerships with computer hardware makers like Dell or Gateway to set the default search and the homepage to Google on new computers. By default, if you type a non-existent address in Internet Explorer's address bar, you're sent to a special Microsoft homepage that suggests some related links. Google decided this is a lucrative feature, so they install a Browser Address Error Redirector that replaces Microsoft's redirects. Here's the explanation:
This page was generated because of one of these two reasons:
* The web address you typed did not resolve correctly.
* You typed a keyword query in the browser address bar.

This page is meant to provide you with helpful related content, including web search results and paid advertisements, based on the meaning of the web address/keyword query that you typed. This program can be uninstalled from the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs. Look for the application named "Browser Address Error Redirector". Older versions may be called "GoogleAFE".

If you type linux.om in the address bar, you're sent to this page that has 5 big ads at the top and links to high-paying keywords.


Google is the same company that makes money by placing ads on parked domains. "AdSense for domains allows domain name registrars and large domain name holders to unlock the value in their parked page inventory. AdSense for domains delivers targeted, conceptually related advertisements to parked domain pages by using Google's semantic technology to analyze and understand the meaning of the domain names."

{ Thanks, Tim. }

42 comments:

  1. really that's pretty messed up

    ReplyDelete
  2. Didn't Verisign get sued for doing exactly this in 2003? Link.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In IE6, Microsoft used to send user to a page that looked like this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Verisign was changing the address for everyone. Google is only doing it for people who purchase a Dell computer.

    Can this not be changed by the end user as well? I am not sure but I would assume it could be. I mean I know that if I choose I can set any computer I want to redirect www.yahoo.com to www.google.com. Why wouldn't I be able to change my page not found?

    ReplyDelete
  5. From the help page:

    << This program can be uninstalled from the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs. Look for the application named "Browser Address Error Redirector". >>

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have looked to remove the "browser address error redirector" but it does not list as an existing software that can be removed. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you have a PC bundled with Google software (a Dell/Gateway), you should find an entry in the Control Panel. There's also PC Decrapifier that promises to remove bundled software.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This shows up with or without the software if you have the Google toolbar installed.

    Terrible. Shame on Google.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not quite true. If you have the toolbar, there's a feature called Browse by Name that lets you type your query in the address bar and:

    * if the query is navigational (like [IBM] or [Ford cars]), you're sent to the proper page

    * otherwise, you go to a search results page.

    This thing can be easily disabled: Settings / Options / More / disable "Browse by name".

    By the way, this features comes by default in Firefox 2 (in Firefox 1, you were automatically sent to the first result). You can change it by typing about:config in the address bar, then entering keyword.URL in the input box and changing the value of the key. If you remove the URL, you'll get an error message every time you enter something that's not a valid URL in the address var.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Google et al have lost their marbles! What a crock!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It looks like this is a part of AdSense for errors:

    << Our AdSense for errors program serves users with targeted AdWords ads when they enter a search query in their browser's address bar instead of querying it through a search engine like Google. Previously, these searches would result in error pages (i.e. a "404 error" page), which would leave the user with no other option but to renew the search query. Now, these pages offer ads (some pages also include actual search results) that can be relevant information for the user.

    AdSense for errors uses Google's semantic technology to thoroughly interpret search queries before delivering targeted, contextually relevant ads to users. The pages that display your ads through AdSense for errors belong to our content network. Only advertisers opted into Google's content network may have their ads shown on these pages. >>

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why are people putting down Google? The only reason this tool came into existence is because Microsoft uses their OS leverage to send everyone to Microsoft's site without a choice. Microsoft started it. Every computer retailer should install tools to break Microsoft's unfair advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't even visit cnn.com without being redirected. There is no program to uninstall and I can't find the settings to turn it off. What next?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Click "Tools", then "Internet Options". Click "Settings" for the "Search" section. Select "Live Search" and click the "Set Default" button. Now, select "Google Search" and click "Remove". Done and Gone!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have just bought a Dell computer in the UK and have noticed the Google search (even ignoring the adds) comes back with a different set of results, try it an see. So if you have built up a good position on standard google listings your customers may not see you if they use a Dell PC:-(

    ReplyDelete
  16. I work from home. This Google redirect disconnects me from the company router that sends me my work. Since my work is performance base, my performance has gone down and I actually stopped working to trouble shoot the problem. Used to love Google, but I am really upset by this. Of course my computer maker is mentioned in this blog. I will contact them as well. Shame on Google and Gateway.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I didn't have a "Browser Address Error Redirector" in my programs- the only thing I have is Google Desktop, which I don't remember installing or requesting. Could that be the little devil that's redirecting me, wasting my time and frustrating the he$% out of me?

    ReplyDelete
  18. i do not want googles browser address error redirector and i have already unistalled it from my computer but its still there. If anyone can help please do. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  19. Internet Explorer offers a way to bypass all of this melarky. Tools --> Internet Options --> Advanced Tab --> Near the bottom, select the option "DO NOT SEARCH FROM THE ADDRESS BAR".
    This will turn off all redirector searches, the native microsoft included, and allow you to see your 'page not found' errors again.
    Also helps when you're trying to navigate to a local router or device by IP only and the stupid redirector takes you to their stupid search (advertisement) page which wont resolve private ip addresses.

    ReplyDelete
  20. C'est une bonne idée sauf que lorsque l'adresse n'est pas valide, mon système se débranche d'internet et je dois aller dans outils et décocher travailler hors connection.

    ReplyDelete
  21. yeah, i've removed the program and it's still redirecting me. what's so annoying is that everytime i click on a webpage, the page will load halfway through and then it'll redirect me and tell me that they couldn't find some sort of random website.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have tried to uninstall the Browser Redirector and it won't let me uninstall it. What next?

    ReplyDelete
  23. My local ISP actually seems to beat Google to the punch. When a non-existent URL is located Verizon will actually bring you to their own error handling URL which is run by Yahoo!. I never get to the URL set by Google's software.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Every time I attempt to do a search I get the Server Not Found error: no matter which search engine I use (if I am accessing a link already on my PC (i.e. shortcut on desktop or bookmark).I have re-installed FireFox to the latest browser and it fixes the problem very briefly (i.e. I am able to access Microsoft Update site to view available updates, but as soon as I click on the download link I get the Server Not Found Error...(I am able to access some, but not all web addresses and GMail and Google search see especially troublesome.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't what Google are playing at with their Browser Address Error Redirect but they have really messed me up, and I can't get rid of it. They might think that they are greater than thou but they're not!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I keep gettting redirected when I go the check my hotmail to google image search, with a nonsensical webaddress in the search feature. I have tried all the sugggestions, nothing works. I hate google and my laptop.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Run
    MsiExec.exe /I{62230596-37E5-4618-A329-0D21F529A86F}

    David Kittell
    Quantum Computers, LLC
    http://qclaptops.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Of course the irony of having this blog post rounded up with a bug Google Ad that reads "Download Chrome" is priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What the hell is wrong with Google? The money is getting to them.
    What is this image search they keep sending me to??? I keep getting images from Wall-E & High School Musical... WTF!?!?!?!?!
    STICK WITH YAHOO! SIMPLE AND EASY!
    Although I do use Google search engine for rare things that yahoo cannot find. But Yahoo is much better for EVERYTHING else from Fantasy Sports, News, Games, etc...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yeah, this just showed on my laptop as well. As they say, the nerve! Google and Dell are collaborating in the production of plain old malware. It's worth giving their respective headquarters calls and telling them what they need to hear, because this is inexcusable.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I got like WildBil has with Verizon except with Frontier Communications redirecting me to the Frontier http://searchguide.frontierfnet.net/.... search page which is a hybrid with Yahoo! It's not like I hate Yahoo or Frontier, but it ticks me off when I know I typed something wrong and this hijacking search redirect deletes my url and puts the above url in making me retype everything in again instead of just simply editing the bad url. I've tried all of the tricks listed here with no success. If I type foo.foo in the url, it gets replaced with http://searchguide.frontiernet.net/index.php?origURL=http://foo.foo/
    Hitting the back arrow does not help because IE7 (in this case) does not record the invalid address before allowing itself to be heisted to Frontier/Yahoo! Are there any registry hacks that can fix this once and for all? I have successfully done this on my desktops in the past. This pesky mini laptop now presents me with a challenge.

    punmaster7@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think most of you are having problems with unrelated malware, not Google's redirect. If you've uninstalled it, it's gone and won't be redirecting you anywhere. But if your hosts file is screwed up or you have something else redirecting your searches then uninstalling Google won't do anything. I have tried Google Chrome and haven't run into any issues with the search from the toolbar feature. Basically if you type in a legitimate URL like "FORD" with the "www." and the ".com" removed. You'll go to Ford's website directly, but you type "FORDS" you'll got to a Google search page (or Live Search or whatever you set your search engine to). Nothing Google does should be redirecting you to Google Images search or away from Hotmail or any other website.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Those Yahoo issues are probably due to Paxfire. Blame your ISP for signing up with Paxfire, not your laptop/computer manufacturer. You can stop it by changing DNS servers UNLESS you're like me and have Hughesnet Satellite, where the modem hijacks your DNS settings.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Go to “Control Panel”

    then “Internet Options”

    or

    open “IE”

    and click on “Tools”

    “Internet Options” then

    click the “Programs” tab

    Next click on “Manage Add-Ons” (give it a sec to load)

    Disable this "CBrowserHelperObject"

    In the file column it shows up as “BAE.dll”

    ReplyDelete
  35. Like many of you, I, too, suffered from Google's annoying-as-hell redirects when it couldn't find the website I wanted to visit. The annoying thing is that even though the site was legit, and up & running, Google would still appear, as though it was stalling out way too early and therefore "encouraging" me to use their links to navigate to my page.

    I've been digging and digging to try and find out where that setting is. Now, if you have IE8 (I'm also running Win 7 Pro), then the setting you're looking for can be found here:

    Tools, Internet Options, Advanced Tab - then scroll just about all the way down until you see the Security entry.

    You'll find an option that says Do Not Search From The Address Bar, as was stated several entries back. Thanks to you, man, I've finally got that damn thing disabled. Now, if IE8 can't display the page, it simply says "Page cannot be displayed" and I won't get Google's crap all over it.

    Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  36. boo hoo.

    stop going to error pages or uninstall it, life's too short to start crying over software

    ReplyDelete
  37. Can they please stop sending error reports, there was a website page I could go to, but now I can't go there at all.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My local ISP actually seems to beat Google to the punch. When a non-existent URL is located Verizon will actually bring you to their own error handling URL which is run by Yahoo!. I never get to the URL set by Google's software.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The annoying thing is that even though the site was legit, and up & running, Google would still appear, as though it was stalling out way too early and therefore "encouraging" me to use their links to navigate to my page.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I face this problem before and i got rid of it
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  41. please please help me.
    Have been spending much time trying to find answers.

    I am on Frontier from Verizon, and whenever no page error,
    assist2.searchguide.frontier.com. comes up.

    How to remove or change from assist2.searchguide.frontier.com.

    ReplyDelete
  42. well this last previous post above was mine.
    After spending about 20 hours on the web, including trying everything suggested here, and what krummy un-tech support Frontier people said to do, I changed to diff.provider.

    Instantly I am FREEEEEEEEEEE of the frontier problem, so so nice to be able to put search term in without the com,net,org, and get the results.

    Shame,shame on Frontier.

    ReplyDelete