Google Is Looking To Add Backgrounds To It's Search Engine's Results

Google is currently testing a visual feature that will show a prominent image relevant to one's search showing up as a background for the result pages, as first spotted by SaadAK.

For those having trouble imagining what this particular update looks like, it's very comparable to what the Bing search engine does on its home page. However, while the Bing search simply cycles through a predetermined set of "aesthetic" pictures, Google Search's aim is set differently. It wants to display high definition pictures relevant to a user's current search in the background. For example, if a user were to search up the keywords "french fries" or "Roasted garlic pizza" via Google Search on mobile, the resulting webpage's background would feature a high quality photo of fries or pizza. The same can be applied to any number of searches, pertaining to food items, recipes and so on. Unfortunately, that lack of a limit to the backgrounds proved detrimental to Google.

This isn't Google's first attempt at Search-relevant background displays. In fact, this recent resurgence has taken place 9 - 10 months after the first experiment. Google was beta testing Search backgrounds, and it's userbase decided to get a bit too creative with their testing privileged. Many would end up searching content of a more adult nature and, since the background AI was taught no filters, relevant images would fill up the webpage. Sensing that this would lead to inevitable backlash from the larger community, Google shelved the project and began to rework it.

As of yet, the feature is not publicly accessible to everyone. Google's normal tactics when testing the waters with newer products and developments is to employ a strategy labelled "A/B Testing". According to A/B Testing, two versions of a product are created (the product in this case being Google Search). A represents the default, unedited version of said product, while B denotes the one with newer features. Then, both of these are randomly dispersed across specific populations. This has the double effect of both removing user bias and ensuring that, if a feature backfires, the fallout is very limited.

The addition of images themselves, probably in an attempt to maintain an aesthetic aura, seem to be taken right off of the first Google image searches. Those end up providing pictures often taken by professional photographers that are both high quality, while also being pleasing to the eye. Minor as the feature may be, Google does not want to be caught slouching on work.

Google is experimenting with custom graphic headers for Mobile Search box based on users searched terms

Read next: Google Might Add New Trending Search Carousel

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