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OK to put Adsense Search Box on 404 error pages?

TOS does not clearly state

9:31 pm on May 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I finally decided to write a custom 404 page since deleting almost 25k of pages in the supplimental index. I put some text and links to my homepage and my sitemap, and I know that you can't put adsense ads on error pages, but what about a search box? I see nothing in the TOS that clearly states that search boxes cannot be used on error pages, just adsense ads, buttons and image ads.

Your opinion?

12:19 am on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Look at the big picture.

visitors who end up at the 404 page are going to be confused enough; adding a search box tellsthem they are not really wanted, doesn't it?

Much better to have a useful and functional page that refers visitors where they want to go *within* your site. That's what a 404 is for!

As for the TOS - I don't know if it breaks the 'letter of the law' - but I'm also sure that's not the kind of thing that Google intends you to do.

1:09 am on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think its a great idea!

If it works then delete all your pages and just leave the 404 :)

Actually I think its against Googles TOS...

6:39 pm on May 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google AdSenseTM Online Standard Terms and Conditions

5. Prohibited Uses. You shall not, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to:

(v) display any Ad(s), Link(s), or Referral Button(s) on any error page, on any registration or "thank you" page (e.g., a page that thanks a user after he/she has registered with the applicable Web site), on any chat page, in any email, or on any Web page or any Web site that contains any pornographic, hate-related, violent, or illegal content;


1:03 pm on May 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That phraseology "Ad(s), Link(s), or Referral Button(s)" seems like it deliberately left out "Search Box" or "AdSense for Search."

Have you e-mailed AdSense support to ask them? Getting a direct answer from the source would be more reliable than any speculation here about exactly what the TOS means.