Google Fallen to Bing! The Controversial Google Background Image Service. Author: Eric Everson, MBA, MSIT-SE - Founder, BikerAwareness.com
Within the past 24 hours, the simplicity of the Google Search Engine that you have enjoyed since the beginning has seemingly exploded with color. Google has been making several updates in recent months and this latest blast of color is said to demonstrate some of this capability. For anyone that has visited Bing.com, Google’s up and coming market share rival, it would seem that this update only demonstrates Google’s submission in the search engine cage fight of the century.
Round one seems to have fallen to Bing.com as Google has stepped away from their traditional white background and company colored logo and has given in to the market pressures created by Bing. The biggest issue this introduces for Google is that it creates the perception throughout the search engine market that Google has lost its edge as an innovator by following in the footsteps of a rival, rather than leading.
This kind of thing happens sometimes in business; a company loses sight of its core hallmark and introduces something that is… well, let’s just say not great. “New Coke”, the 1985 catastrophic blunder of Coca-Cola, comes to mind when looking at this product debut by Google.com. Perhaps more modernly, Google could learn from the miscalculation of Harley-Davidson in considering the controversial VRSC “V-Rod” model motorcycle.
For Harley-Davidson, the V-Rod has faced incredible skepticism over the years, though there are a few avid followers that have finally come to accept the bike. The V-Rod was a motorcycle that was introduced in 2001, largely in response to the liquid-cooled cruiser motorcycles that Japanese brands (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha) had so successfully introduced into the market. At the time of its release, the V-Rod was seen by company officials as the future of The Motor Company, but the public unfortunately did not share the same vision. Despite dismal sales of the model, Harley-Davidson has stood by its investment, which has conjured some support, but nothing like the company had once hoped for.
What The Motor Company did successfully, much like Google is doing, is keep their tried and true hallmark available to those that want it. Just as you can purchase a timeless classic motorcycle from the other Harley-Davidson model families, you can also adjust your Google browser back to the traditional white within the “Change background image” option. Though there may be pockets of Google service where a bug in the change back option is being resolved, sooner than later all can be manually restored to traditional white around the globe.
Are we just resistant to change, or is there something simply comforting about the traditional white background of Google.com in a world where every other website around us seems to be flooded with color? Has Google made a “New Coke” mistake here? There are many questions that this “update” has solicited, yet one thing seems certain, Bing.com has Google in a hold and is showing no signs of letting up. For Google, perhaps for better or worse, the choice to launch this update is as simple as the age old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” It seems evident that with growing market pressures from Bing, Google the teacher has now become the student.