Google's new Bing-like look disappears

Google saysbug made them take down new background images today

Only hours after launching vibrant background imagery on its homepage, Google stripped the page back to its usual stark white.

Earlier today, anyone going to Google's homepage probably was surprised to find the site looking a lot like Google's biggest search rival , Microsoft 's Bing.

Google today started offering customized background photos such as this one to its home page.

Google had made what was supposed to be a one-day-only change to its usually stark, white homepage with colorful images from artists, photographers and sculptors. Images from the likes of Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness and Polly Apfelbaum served as background images on Google's homepage.

Google said today in a blog post that on Friday, the site's homepage will go back to normal.

That schedule was moved up -- way up. Between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern today, the background images disappeared.

Google said it had planned to run an explanation of why the homepage had a new look along with the imagery. Because of a technical bug, the explanation didn't show up.

"As a result, many people thought we had permanently changed our homepage, so we decided to stop today's series early," wrote Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of Search Products and User Experience. "We appreciate your feedback and patience as we experiment and iterate."

Many users can't be unhappy to see the page back to its normal stark white. Earlier today, there was widespread condemnation by users who didn't appreciate the new look. Many also were critical that they needed to create a Google account to get rid of the background images.

Some took to Twitter to air their grievances about the Bing-like change. So many people were tweeting about the new look that they made the phrase "background image" one of Twitter's top 10 trends.

Jayfanelli tweeted, "If Apple ran Google.com, they would've never added a background image. They would've made the white background whiter." And Designbyblake twittered, "I love being able to add custom background on Google now. I just uploaded a giant all white image."

And Microsoft, showing a sense of humor, had a little Twitter fun at Google's expense with MSEurope tweeting, "We've lost a background image, if found please return to bing.com ;)"

Today's imagery on Google comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Google was unveiling a new feature that enables users to add a favorite photo or image to the background of the Google homepage.

"Whether you choose a photo of a loved one, a picture of your favorite vacation destination or even a design you created yourself, Google.com is now yours to customize," wrote Mayer, in a blog post last week. "For those of you who want to enjoy the clean, simple look of Google, as well as your personalized view, we've made it easy to switch between your customized search page and classic Google."

Users will be able to customize the homepage with one of Google's images, or with their own pictures from their computers or their Picasa Web Album. Users who don't want to change can leave the page its usual utilitarian white.

Today's new look for Google's homepage was startling though, since it so closely mirrors the vibrant look of Microsoft Bing's homepage .

"The new look could give the impression that they are copying the more colorful Bing," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it's not a bad idea to copy the successful attributes of competitors . Being able to select your own pictures is a nice feature, but it's not a huge advantage, it's more of an evolution in the search wars."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesearch enginesbing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?