I just accidently misspelled an Web-URL in my browser and was quite shocked when I saw a page telling me that the entered address could not be found. The site may be unavailable. Instead there was performed a web search which results were displayed to me. This “feature” was called something like “Navigation Help” (to translate it into English):
How does it work?
My initial speculation turned out to be true: The linked “Further Information” page (German) told me that the DNS Server returning this page instead of an error is responsible for that.
Who else is behind it?
Well, who searches the web and provides an API for integrating its services into other web pages? Right: Google.
And when there is Google there are also Adds by Google? Also right.
What to think about it?
“If you misspell an URL of a web site or even don’t know it, the Navigation Help lets you find the right page more easily and more quickly. The service is free of charge for you and you need no additional software on your computer”. That’s how the advantages are described by my provider (translated and summarized for posting here).
They even try to explain why there are shown ads when you misspell an URI: They help finding the right page. How unselfish that is…
Therefore, my opinion is clear: No, thanks, I don’t need and I don’t want a feature like that.
Fortunately there is shown a possibility how to deactivate this in the customer center. So I immediately did. After a router reboot and some time I have back my “good old” “This page cannot be displayed”-Warning.
After a little bit of goog.. ehm binging I found out that not only my provider provides such a “feature”.
And it seems that they “forgot” me in the beginning – other blogs already reported about it nearly two months earlier.
I really doubt whether this “feature” helps anyone or if it is just an other way to dispose of ads…