Last week I installed hotfix 941653 and hotfix 950292 (post SP1) to a client site to fix the dreaded Error: 'length' is null or not an object that occurs with Office 2003 Standard edition and MOSS Content Types. Unfortunately, not only did the problem remain (i.e. the hotfix fixed nothing), but I started to get 403 (Forbidden) errors when I tried to navigate to Search Settings page.
To fix this problem, I had to do the following:
From the index server (I've got a front-end web server and a backend index server, both 64 bit):
stsadm -o search -action stop -f
then I did
stsadm -o search -action start -role indexquery
then I did a:
stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs
Then I went back to the front end web server, navigated to the Shared Services Admin page, selected the SSP site, then from its context menu selected 'Edit Properties'. Then from the screen I reselected what the Index server was. After this, on the front end server I did a stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs. Then search started working again (but as the index was blown away, I had to do a full reindex).