According to reports at DigitalPoint forums, the latest beta release of Google Toolbar hijacks 404 pages as shown in the image above.
It’s not clear from the reports as to whether this occurs only when no customized 404 page is available on a specific site, or with every 404 page. I also can’t test the theory, least the only beta version of Google Toolbar I could find was for Internet Explorer.
The Google 404 page offers some hints as to what a user could do next, and also provides a Google search box.
If true (and there’s pages of people saying that it is), Google being helpful (which I’m guessing will be their justification) really goes against their do no evil mantra once again. For 404 pages to be hijacked in this way, be it in all cases or only some, removes the rights of the webmaster to decide what a user sees when visiting all parts of their website, and that’s something many will find wrong.