Google.com gets a bit more customizable

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Google has unveiled a new feature that allows users to upload their own pictures to use as the background image on Google.com's main landing page, without affecting the search platform's load times.

The new feature, which is being rolled out in phases to random user groups across the country, lets users upload their own pictures or use any one of the public photos posted on Picasa, Google's online photo sharing service. It is clearly a response to the rising growth of Bing, Microsoft's retooled search engine that has a much more visually pleasing interface than Google's minimalistic approach.

In a response to InformationWeek.com, Google confirmed that loading a picture in the background will not increase the site's load time.

"With or without a background image, the Google search elements show as quickly as before, allowing users to search just as quickly as without the new feature," a spokesperson was quoted as saying. "We make this possible by post-loading the photo -- we load the search elements first and then load the picture into your browser cache and show it as soon as it is available. Meanwhile you can already perform your search."

We expect that everyone will begin using the TG Daily graphic pictured above for their new Google home page.