Google homepage to offer custom search backgrounds

Bing-esq photo backgrounds to transform search engine

Soon your loved ones and landscapes will accompany your searches

Google is to go against its traditional minimalist and function-over-style approach to its search engine as it announces users of the web’s most visited site will soon be able to customise the homepage background.

With the new customisation tool, users will be able to choose any photo or image from their hard drives or Picasa Web Albums to ‘enhance’ their search experience.

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Over the next few days, Google’s U.S. users should see a customisation button appearing in the bottom left corner of the Google Search homepage with international users noticing the same addition in the near future.

Although other Google products and services such as iGoogle and Gmail have allowed custom personalisation for some time, the company's initial service, the now world famous search engine, has retained its static, sparse design that makes use of unblemished white space to reduce clutter.

The announcement, which came from Google’s Vice Principle of Search Products, Marissa Mayer, failed to detail exactly why the decision to add this customisable feature has just now been made by Google’s bigwigs. At first glance, the most obvious reasoning would be to mimic Microsoft’s upstart search engine, Bing, which has received much praise for its background imaging for displaying a different picture on its homepage everyday.

Let us know through the comment boxes below or the usual Twitter and Facebook feeds if, and what, you will be changing your Google background image to.