Customizing Your Search With

Don’t like the backgrounds available on No problem. Now you can upload any image you want. For instance, maybe you’d like this one! Custom Background

The new background feature is part of the skinning ability launched as part of Ask3D last year.

The other engines offer some customization features as well.

You can upload your own image and create themes with iGoogle. While iGoogle’s feature is more versatile (as the documentation says, “This makes it easy to create a story that unfolds throughout the day, landscapes that change as the sun rises and sets, and abstract images that become more complex.”), it requires an XML file and the steps include a suggestion to read the developer’s guide, so the audience is likely a bit different than for the feature. (Indeed, the iGoogle API enables you to create themes that you can share for others to use, as opposed to being specifically for letting you customize your search experience. Those not well-versed in XML can pick an existing theme to spiff up their searches.)

Neither Yahoo nor Live provide options for uploading background images, although they do let you change the layout and background colors.

With Yahoo, you can change the color and layout for the portal: Yahoo Page Options has similar options: Live Search Custom

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Ask: Web Search | Channel: Consumer | Google: iGoogle


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

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