Why I Decided To Make Google My Home Page and Never Looked Back

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google as home pageHome pages have perhaps never been less relevant than now, the age of tabbed browsing and browsers capable of restoring previous sessions. Since I decided to make Google my home page in 2003, I’ve never really thought of switching.

There are some good reasons for my decision to make Google my home page. Google’s home page is clean, loads quickly and allows me to perform a search instantly if I so choose. Combine this with links to services I use constantly including Google News and Gmail and I’ve got a solid place to start my browsing. Maybe someday I’ll find a better alternative, but for now there’s nothing that suits me quite like Google’s ultra-clean home page.


But the main reason I decided to make and keep Google as my home page is that I’ve never found anything I liked better. Let’s discuss a few of the alternatives out there, and then give you guys a chance to offer a better way.

Portals suck

Technology is hard to keep up with, let alone predict. Although pundits who claimed web portals would be the media empires of the future were laughably wrong, they really can’t be blamed for that.

Web portals were supposedly going to be everyone’s homepage of choice. If you’re not sure what a web portal is, check out AOL or MSN. These sites offer not only a search bar, but a variety of headlines and links to other online services.

Compare this to Google and the difference as clear as night and day: Google is a search engine, first and foremost. Besides the Google logo and a few small links to other services, Google.com is clean.

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This cleanliness is the main reason I made Google my home page. When I start my browser, I don’t want distractions in the form of news headlines or gadgets. I want at most to search for something, and I want whatever my home page is to load quickly so I can get to it right away. That means I like Google, and hate portals.

To point out what I mean, here’s Google:

make google my home page

And here’s MSN:

make google my home page

Google is clean, doesn’t present anything I don’t need — allowing me to quickly start a search if I want to.

But of course, portals aren’t the only alternative to Google. Let’s explore some other alternatives and see why Google comes out on top.

Bing’s alright, but not perfect

There’s actually a lot to love about Bing as a home page. It’s free of clutter and, unlike Google, features amazing photography every single day. Check it out:

make google my home page

Seeing how clean this is, why wouldn’t I use it as my home page? And no, it’s not depression about the USA defeating my home and native Canada. The problem is that those photos do take some time to load, and I’m looking for an instant home page. Picky, I know, but those are my rules and I’m sticking too them.

The other reason is that, while Bing’s search is improving every day, I still prefer Google’s search result to that for Bing’s.

Is this just my opinion? Absolutely. Is my opinion correct? In my humble opinion, yes: my opinion is always objectively correct. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong in the comments below.

Nope, no iGoogle

So if portals are out, and Bing’s elminated, why not go with Google’s own custom home-page service, iGoogle?

First of all, because it’s a portal. Yes, it’s different from most other portals in that I can customize it however I like, but that doesn’t change the fact that it takes longer than a second to load and features widgets I’m not really interested in.

Additionally, iGoogle has a habit of preventing me from seeing Google’s famous doodles. For a couple week’s now I’ve been enjoying artistic renderings of Olympic athletes. I know it’s silly, but I don’t want to miss those.

Fav4.org is a close second

google as home page

I have to admit, if there’s a site close to replacing Google as my home page it’s [NO LONGER WORKS] fav4. This site features nothing but four icons that link directly to prominent web sites around the net. Best of all, pressing the numbers one through four on your keyboard loads a site accordingly.

This site meets all my qualifiations: it’s clean, loads quickly and serves as a launching point to my browsing without feeding me useless information.

Unfortunately, I can’t find four sites amongst the options listed that I want quick access to. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one, though.

Conclusion

I’ve yet to find a home page better than Google. It’s clean, it links to service I use constantly and–last but not least–allows me to launch a search as soon as my browser opens.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite home page? What is it? Help me replace Google by informing me in the comments below!

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