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’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, 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, 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 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.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.