Google's Homepage Hypocrisy

[UPDATE: As of Jan 7, 2010, Google has now changed its homepage so the Nexus One ad fades in with the other content -- more below]

Remember how hard we gad to fight to convince Google to include a link to its privacy policy on the Google.com homepage?

Remember how Google argued “we do believe that having very limited text on our home page is important” and that it was pitched as some great sacrifice to include the word “privacy” and disrupt the homepage’s aesthetics?

Remember how, just a month ago, Google argued that a “clean, minimalist approach” to their homepage gives users “just what they are looking for first and foremost” — thus only the search box appeared when you visit Google.com, with all the other content (including the privacy policy link) only fading in if you happen to move the mouse?

Apparently none of this is nearly as important as shilling promoting Google’s new phone, the Nexus One. If you visit Google.com today, you’ll notice everything faded out except a prominently placed Nexus One advertisement:

Move your mouse, and then everything else fades in (including yet another advertisement for Google Chrome, and an ugly one at that):

Yes, we’ve seen this kind of hypocrisy before

UPDATE (1/7/2010): Google has now changed the way the homepage loads, with the Nexus One ad faded out and only appearing with the other content when the use moves the mouse. I’d be curious to see what kind of discussions led to the original design, and this revert.

[Minor update: crossed out "shilling", since it is Google's own phone]

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