Google has made a rare change to its famously spare landing page by adding the word "privacy", and subsequent link, to the instantly recognisable search engine homepage.

In the company's official blog this change is discussed by Marissa Mayer, VP search products and user experience: "We're making a homepage change by adding a link to our privacy overview and policies. Google values our users' privacy first and foremost. Trust is the basis of everything we do, so we want you to be familiar and comfortable with the integrity and care we give your personal data".

Mayer states: "We added this link both to our homepage and to our results page to make it easier for you to find information about our privacy principles. The new 'Privacy' link goes to our Privacy Center, which was revamped earlier this year to be more straightforward and approachable, with videos and a non-legalese overview to make sure you understand in basic terms what Google does, does not, will, and won't, do in regard to your personal information".

Google has actually made the change in response to the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003, which states that a commercial website that collects personal information must link to a privacy policy from the site's homepage.

Mayer also elaborates on the behind-the-scenes decision to make the change: "Larry and Sergey told me we could only add this to the homepage if we took a word away - keeping the 'weight' of the homepage unchanged at 28. Given that the new Privacy link fit best with legal disclaimers on the page, I looked to the copyright line. There, we dropped the word 'Google' (realizing it was implied, obviously) and added the new privacy link alongside it".