For today only (update: they’ve killed it early!), Google is implanting a default background on its search page to make users aware this new ‘feature’.

Google, I get it.  You want people to know that you can do a background image on your search page just as well as Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing.  Got it.

Now how do I turn it off?

The ‘remove background link’ in the lower left hand corner just changes the page to a different background.  And that is in Chrome (your browser) on Mac (your favorite platform – for now). I tried using the white background image but your logo is still white.  ‘Annooooyyying’.

I’ve decided to screenshot Bing and make it my Google GOOG background until I can turn off this feature.  This is only slightly more annoying than having a background.

Marissa Mayer says, “To provide you with an extra bit of inspiration, we‘ve collaborated with several well-known artists, sculptors and photographers to create a gallery of background images you can use to personalize your Google homepage. Included in the collection are photographs of the works of Dale Chihuly, Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness, Polly Apfelbaum, Kengo Kuma (隈研吾), Kwon, Ki-soo (권기수) and Tord Boontje, as well as some incredible photos from Yann Arthus-Bertrand and National Geographic. We’ll be featuring these images as backgrounds on the Google homepage over the next 24 hours.”

Microsoft has been having a good time with this one.  They’ve Tweeted the following statements:

  • Imitation (however pale) is the sincerest form of flattery: a certain search engine put up the same pic (tulip fields) used on Bing long ago
  • How intriguing to see friends at Google borrowing the Bing homepage photography idea.
  • We’ve lost a background image, if found please return to ;) – Microsoft Europe

OK, I’ve actually found a way to turn off the background: Use Google’s SSL encrypted search page! (Update: or use )

Maybe, instead of trying to get us to put an image on our search page, Google is trying to steer more of us toward using encrypted search.