Goodbye Google Custom Home Pages With Personal Backgrounds

Over two years ago, Google enabled users to customize the Google home page with their own image or graphics from a library of images. But now that feature is going away.

This is coming to a surprise for many Google users because Google quietly announced this news late on a Friday afternoon saying:

Classic Plus is a Google Search feature that lets people upload or select images to use as a background on Users won’t be able to upload new pictures starting from October 16, and we’ll turn the service off in November 2012. You’ll continue to have access to any images you’ve uploaded.

Google has more details about this feature going away over here.

Many users are simply not happy. If you take a look at the Google Web Search Help forum, you will see hundreds of complaints from Google users. Googlers are leading them to this thread with hundreds of complaints.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: General | Google: iGoogle | Google: Personalized Search


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Alan Bush

    I wonder if this has any correlation with the block of Google by China..that move eats into their profits so one way to save on server space is to eliminate superfluous features.

  • Sam H

    It reminds me of the backlash there was when Google first introduced the feature!

  • Abhijeet Mukherjee

    You make a point Alan but considering a company as mammoth as size as Google, it is very hard to digest that Google is doing this to save server space. And this feature seems to be popular among everyday Google users. So, I still wonder what’s the rationale behind Google removing such a simple (from what it looks like) customization feature.

  • Alan Bush

    That is true I’m sure they can afford it! But you’d be surprised how many tiny fixes can add up to huge savings and a huge loss like ads in China they need to make some decisions starting with the small stuff. Reducing “clutter” can add up to millions of dollars given their size, which can pay salaries or be used for forthcoming projects. There is usually a financial tactic behind cutting features; even the seemingly small ones. The millions of MB used to hold those images and the amount of bandwidth that takes up…could be a good thing for people working at Google. I suppose we’ll find out sooner or later :)

  • Richard Missey

    I have to preface by saying this isn’t a feature that I use. Given that, though, I cannot understand the rage that people will express online at the loss of – or change to – a purely cosmetic feature within a FREE resource. Don’t like it? Use another search engine! Bing would be happy to have the traffic.

    I can easily see the major search engines releasing a paid account with these types of cosmetic features at some point. Like Alan pointed out, stuff like this can cost a lot in bandwidth and storage when you have hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people using it regularly.

  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

    That home page is a lot of space. Looks like Google is doing bulldozing for the advertising super freeway.

  • Heather Cuthill

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Tom Kay

    I regularly update this chrome extension to re-enable custom backgrounds

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