Google Background Image Forced On Users


One of many images that you can put on your Google background today. (Source)

Starting today, and for the next 24 hours, Google is putting background images on its homepage. If you open Google.com’s homepage, you’ll see one of the images, which replace the comforting white that has been there for more than a decade. The idea is to nudge users into customizing their Google homepages with their own images. Search Engine Land has more:

About a week ago, Google began letting users to upload their own background images on Google.com, to help them customize the Google home page.

To drive more awareness to this feature and to inspire users to change their home page, Google teamed up with “several well-known artists, sculptors and photographers to create a gallery of background images you can use to personalize your Google homepage.” Over the next 24 hours, when you visit Google.com, the home page will feature one of those custom backgrounds.

The artists and pictures come from Dale Chihuly, Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness, Polly Apfelbaum, Kengo Kuma (隈研吾), Kwon, Ki-soo (권기수) and Tord Boontje, as well as some incredible photos from Yann Arthus-Bertrand and National Geographic.

Also, this feature of changing the home page is now available internationally.

The funny thing is that Google now looks an awful lot like Bing. I’m not sure alarming users with a non-mandatory background image was the right way to gently remind them to upload their own.

You can’t remove the background image today, but you can change it by clicking “Change Background Image” on the bottom left corner of the Google.com homepage (note that the text of this link is white). You have to log into your Google account, then select a different image. If you’re into white, there’s an image of snow…but really, being able to remove the image should be an option, too.

  • I think this is such an odd move on Google’s part – they’re generally regarded as the innovator. Pretty much copying Bing doesn’t seem to be the best way to maintain that position in consumers’ eyes, and they already added the left-hand bar in the search results, a la Bing.

  • I have always had dale chihuly on my homepage and now tonite it is gone. I want it back.