Google Homepage Features Rare Ad Push Today

Google’s simple and ad-less homepage is breaking conventions today, but it’s not to commemorate some oddball, little-known historical curiosity. Instead, Google’s homepage today features an ad for their very own Nexus 7 Android tablet.

If you were wondering what Google is trying to say on their homepage today, Mashable reports that they’re simply pushing tech with an ad for the Nexus 7 tablet. Today’s animation shows the top of the tablet, with the message “The playground is open. The new $199 tablet from Google.” Relax, Google users. The search engine has hosted ads before, including one for the Nexus One Smartphone, so they haven’t sold out on us.

Still, the large ad suspiciously comes six weeks after the departure of Google homepage boss Marissa Mayer, who left the site for the greener pastures of Yahoo.

CNET doesn’t read any Marissa Mayer fallout into Google’s choice to host the ad, but says that the graphic, Google’s first animated ad, is more of an effort to push product (specifically tablets) into a market primarily dominated by Apple. The Nexus 7 Android tablet ad simply “underscores the company’s desire to make a bigger dent in the burgeoning tablet market, one still dominated by Apple’s iPad,” they said.

Still, the violation of Google’s one long-standing inviolable rule for their homepage has some internet users crying foul and losing the faith.

What do you say? Is Google’s move pushing their own tech on their traditionally ad-free homepage sacrilegious or savvy?