Update: Thankfully, after just a few hours, this post is now obsolete. Google has changed the homepage so that the “remove background image” link actually takes you back to the old homepage.
Sometime Last Week…
Google: Hey Jason, guess WHAT!?!
Me: Uh, what?
Google: Have you seen that “Change Background Image” link we added?
Me: Yea, sounds a little Bingy to me but I’ll try it some time.
Google: We really think you should try it…like…NOW!
Me: Too busy. I should really get back to work.
Google: Oh. ok. we understand…
Me: I. need. (click) CoffWTFage!?!
Me: My eyes. The contrast. Too. Early.
Google: We know you liked Pacman. Everybody loved Pacman! So you have to like this!
Me: Make it go away!
Google: You can change it with that little link down there in the botto…
Me: I KNOW. I said make it go AWAY!
Google: You can’t remove it any more. You can only change it…
Me: Fine. Where’s the option for PLAIN WHITE BACKGROUND?
OK, Now what?
I don’t know about you, but I keep Google as my home page because it’s mostly blank. All browsers have a search box in the toolbar, but it’s just as easy to hit the new tab or new window shortcut and start typing my query. I don’t want a custom user experience or unnecessary cruft on my homepage and I don’t want the background image to change every time it loads. As a temporary fix until Google adds a “back to plain” option,
I’ve set my custom background to an 800×600 transparent gif image. That’s the smallest dimension Google will let you choose and it only weighs in at ~1kb. I made my own 1920×1200 1-color png image background. Using ImageOptim I was able to compress that down to just 376b. If you want Google to be blank like the image here (gray shown), right click on the link below, save it, and upload it on the “From my computer” tab of the “Change background image” dialog.
My friend Bermon suggested changing the http to https to use SSL Google instead. Aside from the little SSL lock icon and obligatory “beta” tagline, it’s mostle good ol’ Google. Any other ideas? Share them below.