Google has made peace with privacy advocates, and it did so without cluttering its famously sparse home page.

The search giant had drawn criticism over its refusal to include a link to its privacy policy on Google.com. Some groups said that was a violation of California law. The company said then that it didn't think the link was necessary because its privacy policy was "readily accessible" to those looking for it. It could be found, among other places, on its About page, which was linked from Google.com.

But Thursday, Google quietly changed its stance and added a privacy link while privacy advocates were focusing their attention on another Google issue: a New York judge ordered the company to hand over information about YouTube.com videos and users to media giant Viacom as part of their copyright dispute.

Google announced the privacy link decision on its corporate blog and public policy blog. On the former, Google Vice President Marissa Mayer said founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had told her that she could add "Privacy" to the home page, but only if she subtracted another word to keep the word count on Google.com at 28. So, the company removed "Google" from the copyright line at the bottom of its home page and added "Privacy."

She said that offering "easy access to our privacy information without any added home page heft is a clear win for our users and an enhancement to your experience."

So ends the minor tussle over valuable real estate: Google's home page. Privacy advocates get their link, and Google's top executives get to keep their home page clean.