Posted June 10, 2010 8:47 am by with 16 comments

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See that? That is Google’s homepage today. For everyone…in the world!

When Google announced that it would let users upload images to its homepage, it was cute. It gave me the ammo to suggest that Google was copying Bing–which was the first big search engine to go with the background images.

That’s still a legitimate observation, but here’s another one that I’ve not seen mentioned.

Google wants you to add an image to its homepage because that is exactly what you do to the background of your desktop, right? You customize your desktop with an image that makes you happy, makes you smile….makes you want to see your desktop!

That’s right, this is not so much Google copying Bing, but Google trying to make its homepage your new desktop. Google’s not just taking on Bing, but Windows 7 and Mac OS X.

Think about it. Bing shows you some random image on its homepage–to give you something to look at. Google’s letting you upload your own image so you’ll come back…over and over again.

  • Er… why would I when I can have them right on my desktop, though, Andy?

    My iMac lets me rotate pics every few minutes, if I’m so inclined!

    Nice psychology, though, if that’s really what they hope for.

    All success

  • Ah yes. Make way for Chrome or Android or whatever. There are still big fish to fry for Google in their attempts to “Do no evil” by removing Microsoft from the picture completely 😉
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..I’m With Steve On This One =-.

  • Tom

    Possibly, but also, to have a customised image on google you need to be logged into google. This could be google trying to get people to sign up for accounts. Or to get more information about people and their search habits, being able to gather more data that way which is probably very useful to google.

  • Craig Rickel

    As with any change to a familiar environment, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of angry users out there. Many technically adept people don’t want another Bing imitator – they wanted a clean, fast search page that emphasizes performance and not appearance. Others simply want to cuddle their white background like a security blanket. In either case, it’s not surprising that the #2 search term in Google Trends right now is ‘Remove Google Background’.

    • Good point Craig! Funny thing: is trying to be like Google, with good reason, and Google trying to be like Bing, with TERRIBLE reason. Okay, okay, yeah, Google has other reasons, but that was what I thought of as soon as I saw the picture!

  • Tough, since I use the search bar on Firefox to bypass it completely.

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  • considering chrome OS is in the final beta developing stages and would be open in its commercial avatar very soon, this is perhaps a strategic step in that direction.
    .-= Piyush Aggarwal´s last blog ..Mcdonald’s latest gay ad is creating Social ripples =-.

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  • Leaving non erudite, politically incorrect comment – but pushing image to all users instead of opt in – SUCKS!
    .-= Ameya´s last blog ..Why we need an NPT for PPT =-.

  • I thought the same exact thing when I noticed Google today.

    A previous reader mentioned how he uses the toolbar Google search built into FireFox, and therefore does not see the Google homepage ever. This is the same case for me, however, I could not resist checking out the Google homepage when somebody at work remarked, “Wow, Google’s all pretty today!”

    It’s got people talking, AND there’s that whole desktop thing going on. Pretty powerful stuff!

  • if I didn’t use google, this wouldn’t sway me.
    .-= Dan Wedin´s last blog ..Analytics Shape Successful Campaigns =-.

  • Well, it worked for me. I have a picture of my kids on the google search upload.

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  • interesting move by google