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June 3, 2008 10:00 AM
Posted by Benjamin J. Romano
In a sign that every search -- or would-be search -- counts, Microsoft today announced a plan to steer people who hit the Internet's dead ends toward its Live Search service. The company says it is equipping pages on its Internet domains that return a "404 - File Not Found" error message to redirect to its search engine, and helping Web publishers do the same.
These error messages typically pop up when Web addresses are entered incorrectly or links are dead.
Microsoft, via its official Live Search blog, says it will the redirect on Microsoft.com and other inactive domains it owns "to keep customers engaged in our active domains and help them find suitable content quickly and easily."
The company is also releasing a software development kit to help Web site publishers do this, too, giving them the option to redirect to "Live Search or a search engine of their choice."