World to Google: New Homepage Stinks

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Google's home page has gone back to basics after users griped about a promotional stunt that wrapped colorful photos around the Internet's most popular search engine.

The complaints poured in Thursday when visitors were greeted with full-screen photos of sand dunes, flowers and other artistry instead of the website's familiar white background.

The imagery was meant to draw attention to a new tool that Google introduced last week to allow people to customize the page with their own photos. The decorations have worked well for Microsoft, whose Bing search engine features a new photo each day.

But Google's one-day gimmick upset a lot of people who thought the change might be permanent, prompting a switch back the site's Spartan look.