Google kills photo homepage after 14 hours

Google has ditched a bold experiment with background photos on its homepage after only 14 hours.

Google kills photo homepage after 14 hours

The infamously Spartan design of the Google homepage was yesterday replaced with customisable images, ripping up the company’s infamous no-frills approach.

However, it appears the overhaul proved deeply unpopular. “Google background” was the seventh most popular search term on Google US yesterday, with many people struggling to work out how to switch off the photos (“remove Google background” was one of the top related searches, according to Google’s own stats).

A “remove background” link was placed in the bottom left corner of the screen, but it appears many users didn’t notice it, most likely because the white text link is very difficult to see on light-coloured backgrounds.

The experiment was meant to run for 24 hours, but Google pulled the the plug after only 14, with company vice president Marissa Mayer declaring the experiment over on her Twitter feed, having earlier informed her followers how to remove the backgrounds.

Visitors to Google this morning are presented with the traditional white background, although users who have signed in with Google accounts will still have their chosen photos in place.

The brief flirtation with background images at least provided some amusement for Google rival Bing, which pioneered the idea when the Microsoft search engine was revamped last year. “We’ve lost a background image, if found please return to,” Microsoft Europe tweeted yesterday.

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