Why do Searches timeout and not support Back?

Bit of a rant, sorry. I'm going to pick on Amazon, but others do this too: why does a Search timeout in a web browser?

Here is the scenario: do a Search on Amazon. See something interesting in the result list, click on it. Read the info, decide its not the right thing, hit Back to get back to the search list, then boom:

Warning: Page has Expired
The page you requested was created using information you submitted in a form. This page is no longer available. As a security precaution, Internet Explorer does not automatically resubmit your information for you.

To resubmit your information and view this Web page, click the Refresh button.

WTF? It doesnt matter how quick you are, the search page has expired. Drives me crazy. Another Back takes you to the page that inputs your search. Grrr.

Comments (3)
  1. I have noticed this as well. Seems to be IE specific and I feel like it began with XP SP2. Too tight security?

  2. Andy-Pennell says:

    Someone pointed me to http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=319792 which looked promising, but I am running a much newer version than this anyway. Maybe it is the Microsoft Proxy Server on our network (which would explain Mikhail’s comment too), have to try this from home to check. Maybe I shouldnt be perusing Amazon from work 🙂

  3. Jim Lynn says:

    I knew this one sounded familiar. The reason is that their search page is returning a Vary: header (specifically Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent) and some flavours of MSIE have a bug where they will refuse to locally cache a page if it has a Vary header).

    At least, this is one reason the back button can break on web pages. And they’re probably not even setting that vary header deliberately – Apache sets it for you if you use mod_rewrite and use a condition based on User-Agent.

    So it’s really annoying, and either MSIE or Amazon need to fix it. Or you could use Firefox 😉

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