MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (TheStreet) -- The new Google (GOOG) - Get Report background broadens image options, but to Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report and change-wary users searching "remove Google background", they look like attempts to build a better Bing.
-- which is now based on the user's choice of images from either Google's collection, their own Picasa Web Album or any Picasa gallery -- is the new battleground in a fairly one-sided search engine war is fairly surprising, considering the competition's market share. As of April, the latest month ComScore gathered such data, Google held 64.4% of the core search market, compared with 17.7% for
sites and 11.8% for Microsoft sites.
On Google alone, users conducted nearly 10.6 billion searches in April. That's negligible growth from the month before, but still better than the 2% loss incurred by Bing, whose users logged only 1.6 billion, 1 billion less than Yahoo.
So why would Google make this change when critics are just going to accuse it of being like
? Because even a slight amount of lost market share, like the 0.7 percentage point dropped by Google in April, is still ground ceded to competitors like Microsoft, which gained 0.1 percentage point over the same period.
However, for those unsatisfied with their glossy new
(many of whom are likely flooding Google with calls
): 1. Log in to Google. 2. Click the "change background" link on the bottom of the page. 3. Click "Editor's picks" from the left column. 4. Scroll to the bottom of the image gallery, click on "White" and click "Select." That should keep Google's scary multiple-image monster away.
-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.