The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn't know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. Infact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.
Read some other interesting remarks from the presentation here
Google presented by Marissa Mayer
Posted on Sunday, Jan 16 2005 @ 15:02 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck