Google blink with the introduction of background images

10Jun10

Microsoft created something right with Bing; a search engine that finds what you search for and does look great, because of its background images. The launch of Bing was quite a coup for Microsoft, because they hadn’t performed well in the search engine space, but started to gain some traction with a clearly differentiated product.

Google on the other hand have launched more products than you can shake a stick at in the last few years, certainly more than anyone can name or have the time to use. Some tech blogs put the launch list at over 250 google prodcuts. But the product that fuels this appetite for innovation is the search engine that pays the bills. Google search is still king. It may have a hard time in China or wobble in India. But Google search simply dominates most western markets (where advertising revenues are most valuable).

It’s also fair to say that Google haven’t been slow at introducing new features, toolbars, algorithm improvements and a dash of fun to their core product; as last month’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man showed us. Google moved from using a doodle (the pictorial versions of the Google logo made to celebrate a theme), to creating a videogame version.

So no-one can say Google have been idle in innovating with their core search engine product. But today Google blinked. They introduced the option of featuring glorious photos as backgrounds to your search start page; plagiarising a core feature found in Bing. Only they’ve not just stolen an idea, as with every competitive move in technology, they’ve enhanced the feature. They’ve given the consumer choice of image.

It will be interesting to see what happens next; but one thing is for certain, the view will be prettier.

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