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Google Introduces, Then Scraps, Bing-Style Background Images

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the go-beyond-your-imitations dept.

Google 466

NIN1385 writes "Google has scrapped the now infamous background image option on its homepage. After 14 hours of a scheduled 24-hour experiment to see how people liked (or disliked) the new homepage layout, the company must have found out it was very disliked. I guess the fact that 'remove Google background' was the seventh most searched for phrase today might have had something to do with it."

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Opera users didnt have a problem (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527238)

Google was browser sniffing again and didnt offer this "feature" to Opera users (who could get it to work simply by identifying as any of the supported browsers,) Opera users rejoiced.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527348)

Personally I liked this "feature". [imgur.com]

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527384)

Good job with the screenshot dude. Now we all know that your email address is: milsorgen@gmail.com

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (3)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527414)

The spammers wouldn't have gotten his address from the image if you hadn't posted it in plain text.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527500)

That's exactly why it was posted in plain text.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (3, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527526)

The spammers wouldn't have gotten his address from the image if you hadn't posted it in plain text.

I post my emails milsorgen@gmail.com and mils_orgen@hotmail.com in plain text all the time, really the consequences of such actions are minimal enough to warrant not caring about someone scraping slashdot posts. Shit I sign up for enough marketing material willingly enough as is I doubt any real spam would even register at this point aside from producing an occasional fun diversion.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (5, Interesting)

Flipao (903929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527790)

Funnily enough email addresses with the word spam on them get no spam at all, the word is stripped by pretty much every sniffer out there :)

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527704)

The spammers wouldn't have gotten his address from the image if you hadn't posted it in plain text.

niggers. filthy, greasey, stinking, thieving, lazy fucking niggers. the most confusing day in Harlem is father's day.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (-1, Redundant)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527458)

And your name is Andrew Kent, living in Nampa, Idaho. You have questionable taste in music, you are 27 years old, yadda yadda

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527486)

You think I'm not aware of what is accessible by the information I provided?

Everything you will find I am well aware of and accept that for if I did have a problem with that I wouldn't post said information unto the tubes to begin with.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527542)

Quick playin' Battlefield: Bad Company 2, finish Fallout 3 dammit.

5 of 50 achievements! Yeesh!

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527724)

    The question then becomes, which is real information, and which is disinformation. :)

    More than half of what I put online is disinformation. Anyone profiling me knows that I live in New York, California, Florida, Alaska, and Iceland. Well, except when I'm not there, then I'm anywhere else.

    My entire online presence is a well choreographed illusion, with a myriad of aliases and other disinformation. I'm always entertained when someone finds another alias for me. Sometimes I'm surprised when they pop up with an alias that I hadn't used in decades.

    If someone were to stumble onto my real identity, they may as well be searching for "John Smith", as there are thousands of people with my name world wide, with varying levels of expertise. There are several that work in similar fields, so I am surprised that I haven't encountered at least one of them in real life yet.

    I thought of retaining the attorney with my name, and becoming a patient with the doctor with my name, just to keep things really interesting.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527842)

So you may or may not be:

JW SMYTHE
INDIVIDUAL
809 E. BLOOMINGDALE AVE.
PMB 288
BRANDON
33511-8113
US
Tel: 1.8135551212
Fax: 1.8136894328
Email: JWSMYTHE@JWSMYTHE.COM

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527466)

who is milsorgen@gmail.com ? The feature was nonsense, who cares about backgrounds, especially when you are blind.

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527382)

Neither did people who used pre-release versions of Firefox like me

...But of course this means that people with ancient versions of IE didn't have to see it also...

Re:Opera users didnt have a problem (4, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527752)

My main issue (Firefox 3.6) was I couldn't get rid of the damn thing, or change images. Clicking "Change Background Image" did nothing. Clicking their main link which was supposed to tell me more about it, took me right back to the homepage. Useless.

It might've been okay if they had put a faded pillar in the center of the screen, so all the text didn't get washed out. Oh, and had options that did something.

I still see the link (5, Interesting)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527250)

The feature still seems to be available - so you can set an image if you want, but I guess they won't be providing you with one of their own picked images as a default.

Thanks god. (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527252)

Now if only they'd get rid of that awful text fading in. What's that about?

Re:Thanks god. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527316)

Now if only they'd get rid of that awful text fading in. What's that about?

So stop running their JavaScript by default. NoScript works well for this purpose. Google.com works perfectly well without JS of any kind. If you use Gmail you'll need to allow JS from gmail.com but as gmail.com != google.com you can be selective here.

Re:Thanks god. (3, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527334)

What text fading? I don't see any text fading. You must have done something wrong. Especially if you wouldn't even know how to modify that feature. [/typical enthusiast forum response]

Re:Thanks god. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527338)

NoScript addon for firefox will disable that and the background. First thing I did when I saw that mess.

Re:Thanks god. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527356)

I don't know, but I want it gone as well. I can handle all the bars and links being there and I can handle them being gone, but the "I'm a clean page"..."SIKE!" is really obnoxious. I know about using Noscript on it, but I don't want to blacklist the largest page on the internet just to search in peace.

Re:Thanks god. (1)

Kev92486 (1187107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527358)

I imagine it's to put an emphasis on the other portions of the site besides the search bar/logo. Either way, avoiding it is one of the many benefits of running NoScript.

Re:Thanks god. (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527404)

That's not a bad feature actually. It makes it easy to quickly see the search bar where you can type in your search. That's what the page is for after all.

Re:Thanks god. (4, Informative)

thms (1339227) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527452)

It is a reference to their early days. Back when Altavista & Co. were the dominant search engines they had incredibly cluttered interfaces, they were more like web portals.

Then Google came along with just a logo, an input field and two buttons. And of course an awesome search algorithm. Not showing the inevitable clutter that has crept in for the first few seconds is their way of having and eating the purity cake.

Re:Thanks god. (4, Informative)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527836)

It's not necessarily hidden for just the first few seconds. It's based on mouse movement. If you mouse over the page, the text fades in. If you just open the site, the search box has an active cursor, so you type your query, hit enter, and you're off without ever seeing any of the clutter they've added.

Re:Thanks god. (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527788)

The fadein is to present a simplistic uncluttered style. It happens when you move the mouse.

If you use Google as a homepage, opening a new Window/Tab and typing something in the box means you'll never encounter the fadein.

Re:Thanks god. (3, Insightful)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527800)

My guess about this one is that they don't want you to notice that you are almost always "logged in" into Google search if, for instance, you have a Youtube or Gmail account. With the fade-in, you don't really notice the "log out" option in the top-right corner.

I remember being very surprised to see that I was always searching in "authenticated" mode because I told Gmail to keep me logged in (btw, the option is checked by default so probably most users are).

I find it very frustrating that they decided to link all the accounts like this. I want to keep my search separated from my Youtube views/comments separated from my mail.

(of course: they can still deduce who you are without being officially authenticated, but that's another story)

There is a reason... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527260)

There is a reason why few people use Bing, Yahoo!, Live, Ask, etc. if Google wants to branch out in different directions, do it under a different banner other than Google search.

People like the way Google is/was, if they didn't, there would be a flood of people going to Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, and all the other search engines. Because there isn't, you can pretty easily realize that people like the way Google is.

Re:There is a reason... (5, Interesting)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527360)

That's a pretty false dichotomy. Yes, the majority of people do seem to like Google better than they like Bing, Yahoo etc. But that doesn't mean all those people think everything Google does is perfect and they never want anything changed or have any new features added. Ultimately, if Google took your advice and search development became completely stagnant, then eventually the other search providers would improve over time and overtake Google.

Re:There is a reason... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527430)

But this wasn't a new "feature" it was purely an aesthetic look. You are going to get pretty similar search results with Bing, Yahoo, Google, Live, etc. lately but its mostly the look and feel that is different. Of course, there is some difference in search results put its generally so minimal you can find the same site within a few pages on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc on the same search term.

Re:There is a reason... (1)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527786)

You're kind of contradicting yourself here. You say that search results are all the same, people pick their search engine based on aesthetics (which I strongly disagree with) but then you also say that a change in aesthetics is not a new feature.

That aside, I definitely don't think Google should force a background image on their users, but it is a nice choice to have. Turning it on by default probably wasn't the best way to promote it, although it did make everyone aware of it's existence and I highly doubt it cost them any customers, so maybe I'm wrong.

When we're in a bubble... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527456)

We tend to only see what's inside the bubble.

There is a reason why few people use Bing, Yahoo!, Live, Ask, etc...

I can't speak for Yahoo, Live, Ask, etc., but from what I've noticed from most home users (you know, the ones who buy their computers at Best Buy and use them as is), they all use Bing. It has nothing to do with what people prefer. It's what's set as the default and most people use it.

Re:When we're in a bubble... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527582)

Yes, but most of those time those people don't live in a vacuum. They have children who know how to use a computer and set the homepage to Google, they have geeks who for some reason have to use their computer and set it to Google, etc.

While it is true that a lot of them use Bing, they aren't going to be very valuable for MS who spent tons of money in marketing and developing Bing when they are the same people who used the piece of crap MSN search because it was the default in IE.

Re:There is a reason... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527856)

There is a reason why few people use Bing, Yahoo!, Live, Ask, etc.

Yes, it's because Google's search engine is better. I kind of like the background images; a lot of them are really nice.

Of course, I basically never even go to a search engine's front page anyway (searching from the address bar), so it doesn't matter so much.

Microsoft Responds (4, Funny)

eihab (823648) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527266)

There were also a couple of snarky [twitter.com] tweets [twitter.com] from Microsoft regarding the "bing-style" backgrounds.

Re:Microsoft Responds (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527328)

Ops. The second link should have been this status message [twitter.com] instead of their twitter page.

Re:Microsoft Responds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527396)

I wonder what their snarky response will be to realizing that everyone hates their background images?

Also, unsurprising to see that even Microsoft uses Google to search ;)

Re:Microsoft Responds (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527576)

Also, unsurprising to see that even Microsoft uses Google to search ;)

...or they may in fact be paying attention to IT news, and keeping an eye on competitors.

Re:Microsoft Responds (1)

tiptone (729456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527410)

I've never done a Bing! search to know that it came from there. I did however set mine to a little plant growing out of a rock above the water the first time I saw the option. Still there for me, and I like it. :P

Re:Microsoft Responds (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527506)

Haha, yeah, I'm sure MS if gloating about how Google copied them. On the other hand, the response to the 'Bing' flavored Google was overwhelmingly negative, which can't make them feel too good. Especially since a lot of the comments that I saw were along the lines of "If I wanted this crap I would go use Bing".

Fire that marketroid! (5, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527272)

You might think a background image is nothing worth getting in a huge flap over, but let me explain why this experiment was so stupid.

First, Google seems to have forgotten the early days of the search engine wars in which Yahoo, Excite, et al vied for the most user-hostile, craptacular portal landing pages. I believe it was primarily their choice of a minimal utilitarian design that made people flock to Google, and the quality of the search results, good as they were, was a distant secondary factor among typical users.

Secondly, the actual execution of this feature was terrible. Not only were the images bright, garish, and distracting, but there was NO option to turn it off. Sure if you spent a few minutes digging you could find the "editor's choice" images, and if you scrolled all the way down to the bottom you could find white. But then if you picked that, you would get white text on a white background. Brilliant.

Google has said in the past that they use an empirical, incremental approach to UI design where user actions are studied and these guide decisions down to the level of how many pixels to make a line or what font size to use. Some have rightly pointed out that this will cause you to get stuck on local maxima and you need to have a methodology that allows for some creative design. But forcing such a butt ugly intrusion on all users for the purposes of a trial is ridiculous. If they really wanted to do a trial they could have simply served this to, say, 1 in 10,000 users (based on IP+useragent hash, for example) and got the exact same information.

No, this could only have been the brainchild of a marketroid who thought it would be necessary to "make a splash" and get some "buzz" going. Well congratulations, you got your feedback and the answer is a resounding "fuck off". Google has officially run out of ideas if this is the best they can come up with.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527370)

Google seems to have forgotten the early days of the search engine wars in which Yahoo, Excite, et al vied for the most user-hostile, craptacular portal landing pages. I believe it was primarily their choice of a minimal utilitarian design that made people flock to Google, and the quality of the search results, good as they were, was a distant secondary factor among typical users.
[...]
Google has officially run out of ideas if this is the best they can come up with.

Good. Maybe without ideas they'll stagnate and, as a result, remain popular.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527426)

Google has said in the past that they use an empirical, incremental approach to UI design where user actions are studied and these guide decisions

I have google set as my home page, and the first thing I did when I got to work was search for what is this shite, Bing?! So, google reverting to a lightweight UI -- that was my idea!

Re:Fire that marketroid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527444)

Hey it worked for Coca Cola and Slurm

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527766)

Hey Slurm is very honest and direct in their marketing.

Slurm, it's highly addictive.

As opposed to Coke, it's the real thing. Bah, if it was the real thing it would be highly addictive.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (4, Informative)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527520)

..Thirdly, on train with a laptop with a 3G dongle it was f*king awful-to-impossible to load and eat up my data allowance.

The person or people at Google eho thought this was a good idea should be given a severe ass-kicking, with the video of the event posted on Youtube.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527530)

Google seems to have forgotten the early days of the search engine wars in which Yahoo, Excite, et al vied for the most user-hostile, craptacular portal landing pages. I believe it was primarily their choice of a minimal utilitarian design that made people flock to Google, and the quality of the search results, good as they were, was a distant secondary factor among typical users.

Which is why I a quite frustrated when I first saw iGoogle and thought it was their new look. They should have tested this on iGoogle; google.com is for people who don't want annoying bullshit on their search engine.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527552)

Damn fine post. Hopefully Google reads it.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527586)

Not only were the images bright, garish, and distracting, but there was NO option to turn it off.

I use the address bar in Chrome for my searches so I rarely ever visit the Google homepage. So unfortunately I missed this. I think it looks pretty good (but even when I used Google I used iGoogle so I had a nice design on the page all the same).

Anyway, in the screenshot [imgur.com] that the guy posted above, it clearly says "Remove background image" in the bottom left.. how did you (and presumably millions of others who Googled "remove google background") miss that?

Re:Fire that marketroid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527732)

You had to log into Google (GMail) to set the background. Also, there was no "don't use background" option. How did you miss clicking it and seeing what was there?

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527768)

That link just reverted it back to the default, impossible-to-read-over background image. It only showed up *after* you chose a different image.

At least, that's all it did when I tried it about an hour ago.

--Jeremy

Re:Fire that marketroid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527802)

The 'Remove Google Background' link didn't seem to do anything when we all clicked on it ... unless you want to login to do a Google search.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527852)

Maybe it was more about telling google this sucks than actually removing it?

Re:Fire that marketroid! (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527682)

Agreed. The increase of graphics, etc on msn.com put me in the habit of the first thing I do on a new windows machine is change the homepage to google. It loads quick, and doesn't make my eyes hurt or send me into an epileptic seizure.

Re:Fire that marketroid! (2, Informative)

Skater (41976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527706)

First, Google seems to have forgotten the early days of the search engine wars in which Yahoo, Excite, et al vied for the most user-hostile, craptacular portal landing pages. I believe it was primarily their choice of a minimal utilitarian design that made people flock to Google, and the quality of the search results, good as they were, was a distant secondary factor among typical users.

There were days earlier than that. Yahoo was the clean page - I remember someone showing it took just 7 seconds to load on a 56K modem or something like that. Google didn't even exist. Then the clutter began, and Google was the one with the clean page.

Google has lost their identity (2, Insightful)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527278)

Their idea of minimalism is clearly dead. Why do I need an image distracting me from a page I only visit for a couple seconds? It is not like a desktop which you will be looking at a lot. I go to Google.com to search the web, not look at a picture. To even attempt something like this shows they have lost their way.

Re:Google has lost their identity (2, Insightful)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527478)

I really, still don't see the issue with this. I guess it's hard to be well known, everyone complains and nobody is never happy.

These are customizations that can be removed. I opted for adding one of my picasa pictures. I I liked it.

As for the "it's not like a desktop", it's to me a good indicator that they could be moving to Web Operating Systems, where you can add icons an launch applications from within your browser. Is that bad? Is that the way? I don't know, but while people complains about being good or not, it seems to me that at least they offer options, and they try to please people. so they can pick for themselves. Whether they like Bing style or the traditional or the iGoogle with gadgets.

On the other hand, I see more the background on Google's page than my own desktop wallpaper that it's usually covered with more than one window.

Re:Google has lost their identity (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527818)

I didn't see any "remove desktop picture" link in Safari last night. I was able to change the background to white after searching and figuring out how to do it.

Re:Google has lost their identity (4, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527572)

You look at the desktop a lot? I can barely even remember what my desktop background is. I see it for about 10 seconds after a very rare reboot, while I'm waiting for various maximized applications to start.

Didn't even notice (5, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527312)

I only use the Pac-Man [google.com] page.

Not here (5, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527314)

I just checked and Google.com still shows a "Change Background Image" link in the lower left corner, so it looks more like it's still an option, they just realized they confused people by defaulting it to on for a few hours.

Anyway, it's just an option now. Nobody's forcing you to use it. I suspect the Slashdot crowd keeps it pretty real on the "give me a plain white background or give me death" tip, but a lot of people like this sort of silly eye candy.

Anybody else remember back when we all switched to using Google *because* of the plain white background and simple layout?

Re:Not here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527712)

I just checked and Google.com still shows a "Change Background Image" link in the lower left corner

Only if you allow Javascript to run.

After their last stupid adventure with Pac-Man, Google is no longer allowed to run Javascript on my machine.

/frank

Re:Not here (2, Informative)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527846)

Remember when Blackle [blackle.com] came out as a joke on the plain white background?

About time too! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527320)

The popularity of Google was and will always be because of less clutter compared to Yahoo, MSN, Altavista. Fast loading of their homepage was why I stuck with them even though their searches some times were not as precise as others in some areas.

I don't want them to go Bing's way. White is good enough for me.

Re:About time too! (2, Insightful)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527408)

The popularity of Google was and will always be because of less clutter compared to Yahoo, MSN, Altavista.

What? I thought it was because of the more relevant search results. Silly me.

iGoogle (5, Insightful)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527324)

Honestly, I haven't seen the main Google page in a while. Had no one sent me the link, I would've missed Pac-Man day.

Re:iGoogle (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527546)

Ctrk-k, type search spec, enter, rejoice.

Resistance to change (4, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527326)

Google is finding out again (and has found out before) that, because they are the default search engine for so many people, they can't really make large interface changes. I recall reading that they would like to remove the "I'm feeling lucky" button (because no one uses it), but they can't. Users simply can't handle large changes. This is a sad truth of many consumers, especially in computers: change of any kind prohibits many users from functioning, even when that change would have almost no impact on them.

Re:Resistance to change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527440)

Well, one part "users dislike large changes" and one part "users dislike bloody stupid changes which only serve to make a page slower to load".

slow on uptake (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527332)

I thought this was just a one-day thing they were doing to show they're aware of the oilpocalypse. Bing has pretty pictures but I don't actually use it for anything. As Stephen Colbert said "Bing is the best search engine. I know because I googled it."

The psychological problem with the background... (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527352)

When I look at a great photograph, I have an emotional response. It's certainly pleasant when I am at a photo exhibit on the weekend but when I'm just searching for documentation on a jquery plugin it's simply distracting and breaks my concentration.

You know something has gone seriously wrong... (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527362)

You know something has gone seriously wrong in your company when your employees are ripping off Microsoft's ideas.

Re:You know something has gone seriously wrong... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527848)

Perhaps they weren't "ripping off" Microsoft, but gathering data to show that it is a bad idea.

Apparently, they didn't even need to gather a full 24 hours worth of data.

What did they think was going to happen? (1)

rigga (600504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527368)

Did they really expect their hardcore users to embrace that crap? I had a bit of tear in my eye, that it was the end of the era of google doing the right thing.

Vocal (4, Informative)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527372)

Many, many folks (including myself) got quite vocal about it on the Google Support forums:
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web+Search/label?lid=54fe34ede196c261&hl=en [google.com]

It was entertaining to see the range of reactions during the last 12-14 hours.

The most interesting take was from my dad who called me up and asked me if he had a virus or something, I can only imagine how most "normal" people reacted to this change today.

google sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527374)

And I had just finished telling Google what I thought of their new system by creating a plain white image with the word "sucks" strategically placed in the upper right hand corner...and selecting it as my google background. Wonder how many people messed around like this.

I must be the only one (4, Insightful)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527376)

I must be the only person on the whole internet who didn't really care about this. Why bother visiting the Google homepage anyway? I just search from Firefox's search box.

Re:I must be the only one (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527734)

Quite a lot of people have Google as their homepage. I guess they're the ones who noticed.

Re:I must be the only one (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527744)

I must be the only person on the whole internet who didn't really care about this. Why bother visiting the Google homepage anyway? I just search from Firefox's search box.

Anyone know if there is a way to make the search box default to "safe search off" without resorting to cookies?
I know you can manually stuff a "&safe=off" in the URL - but can you make the firefox search box do it automatically for you?

Re:I must be the only one (1)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527832)

There is no "safe search" by default for the regular text search results.

It wasn't THAT bad... (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527380)

although it opened up a lot of jokes around the office about google/bing.

no fuss google url (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527390)

http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&client=google-coop-np

I use this uri no adds, no fuss, simple return of search results. The way it should be.

Some clarification is needed ... (0)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527434)

You still have the option to set the background image. What was scrapped was Google setting an image for you when you had not previously selected one.

Honestly, I rather like it. The pictures in their gallery are not offensive in the least and provide a nice bit of somewhat blandish eye-candy.

I actually liked it. (2, Interesting)

EMR (13768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527448)

I just wished it would have shown the background in the search results too:)

How clever of them... (5, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527454)

See, it was all a plan - give us a day of "Google as Bing" and demonstrate with cold hard data that people don't like Bing's style and prefer Google. Shut up carpers among stockholders that were screaming "do something!" to respond to Bing grabbing 2 percent market share, AND wipe MS's nose it it.

Yeah, that was the plan all along.

Re:How clever of them... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527692)

If life gives you marmals, make marmalade.

The repercussions of being given mammals is terrifying.

Re:How clever of them... (2, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527710)

That's actually a very common IT/software dev reaction to marketing decisions, "Fine, we'll spend three weeks building this feature and make sure to make it log everything just so we can get them to realize that it's pointless".

Re:How clever of them... (1)

VIPERsssss (907375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527834)

No, it was a plan to harvest the email addresses of everyone who had to create an account so they could "turn it off".

"That, and there's no such thing as bad publicity" - if you believe that crap.

Wait! (1, Flamebait)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527508)

People actually go to the Google homepage?

But seriously, you do anything, and you're going to find people a vocal group, perhaps even a majority that hate it. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It's a trivial change. Who is going to say, "Oh, they have a background on their default page. That completely changes my search experience. Screw that. I'm switching to Ask.com ." No one, that's who. If this is what you can find to complain about, there's nothing to complain about.

Times like this I'd find it refreshingly honest if Google's FAQ said:

Q: How can I disable the background image?
A: You can't. Get used to it. You can't change the Google Doodle either.

OMG (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527534)

How about we go back to the CGA amber CRT screen where we have a command line, no windows, no mouse, and a 5.25" floppy drive to save our work on? Things progress whether you like it or not so give 'em a break...

Fine, now kill the 'sidebar'. (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527536)

I didn't like it, but i could tolerate it. What I cannot stand is the sidebar. Why the fsck would I use that when the links at the top already do the same thing but better/without clutter?

This reminds me of Coke / New Coke. (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527574)

Coke had the #1 product in its market segment. Unsatisfied with this, they formulated New Coke, which was practically a tribute to the #2 product in its class: Pepsi.

Turns out, people chose Coke over Pepsi because they actually preferred Coke over Pepsi, and not because of , say, the bottle shape or the name.

So then they scrapped New Coke and nobody missed it.

Re:This reminds me of Coke / New Coke. (1)

VisiX (765225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527804)

I wish they would have kept it so I could get something that tastes like Pepsi in restaurants that only sell Coke products.

ROFLMAO! (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527584)

I guess the fact that 'remove Google background' was the seventh most searched for phrase today might have had something to do with it."

So people were searching for 'remove Google background'' from the very page that had the 'remove Google background'' link on it? There goes a little more of my faith in humanity.

Re:ROFLMAO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527776)

It didn't have that link, at the time.

Bandwidth (1)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527650)

I checked. The image I got was around 200KB in size. That's got to add up over all the visits to the Google home page.

Because people like it the way it is (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527674)

Actually it's not like it's better to have a background, or worse. It's just different. People find change jarring.

It's all perfectly natural that people want Google the way it always used to be... What I find amusing is the people going into length explanations about why a background image is such a terrible thing.

It's the New Coke thing again. In blind tasting, people preferred New Coke. When it was actually sold as something different, people hated it.

Now, now.. calm down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32527698)

Google was simply testing for the desire of a certain "feature" (or what have you). Several (if not all) companies do such a thing to see if there are ways to grow in consumer demand. Sure, many companies have had failed experiments (Pepsi Clear and New Coke come to mind first). That does not make the company or person a failure. Its a way to test for growth in popularity.

    If no company tested what consumers would like, imagine how our computers would function right now (or our cars, TVs, etc etc). You get the point.

Sadly I first thought I was at Bing this morning when I saw the feature.

Clever on Google's Part (1, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527854)

1) Emulate absurd feature of competitor
2) Wait for public upheaval
3) Concede to users' outrage
4) Make it into a news story
5) ...
6) Profit!

What many people may have gotten from this:
"Wow, Bing still does that? Google was good enough to axe it. Google cares about users. Bing is Tacky"

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