Thursday, June 10, 2010

Google's Got Background

Go away for a few days and when I come back, Google looks like Bing. Instead of a restful blank page they had a background picture. Arrgh! Fortunately, it lasted for less than a day, and then we went back to the blank page we knew and loved.

Actually it is very clever. Firstly it tells the people who might be attracted to Bing because they can customize how the page looks that they can do the same thing with Google. Secondly, and more importantly, it encourages people to create and log in to their Google account so that they can customize their Google home page. Google can give you a better search experience when it knows who you are, and it can make more money from the advertisements that are pitched at you when it knows who you are.

I thought of trying to customize the page to something less distracting when I realized that I would have to give up something of my identity in exchange. On weighing this transaction I decided that what I would give up outweighed the benefit, particularly when the backlash would probably cause the background image to be a short lived experiment.

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