Google crashes and burns with home page shakeup

Posted by Mark Raby

When users went to Google.com this morning, something looked a bit different - quite a bit different in fact - causing a full-scale outrage like never before.

Instead of the standard, simplistic look of the Google home page, users were greeted with a very busy-looking background image full of color and unusual imagery. It was supposed to be a way for Google to promote its newly launched feature that allows users to upload or customize their own Google home page. Instead, people around the world were whipped up into a frenzy. It seemed like something was just wrong with life.

In fact, there was no way for users to switch back to the standard, plain-white Google look. While it was possible to change the background image to a blank white picture, choosing that option altered the Google logo to a blue embossed image.

What was supposed to be a big kick-off to the customizable Google feature ended up in sheer panic. However, Google is not eating too much humble pie because it says the outrage was unjustified. It claims that there was supposed to be a link that talked about the new background image feature.

"We had planned to run an explanation of the showcase alongside it, in the form of a link on our home page. Due to a bug, the explanatory link did not appear for most users. As a result, many people thought we had permanently changed our home page," said Google VP Marissa Mayer in a PC World story.

Within hours, Google returned its main landing page to the familiar, plain look. Better luck next time, Google.