I don't know what Google are thinking - here's how I solved it in Firefox, with the Adblocker add-on.
Go to the Adblock pulldown and select 'Filter Preferences'.
Select 'Ad blocking rules' in the left box.
On the right click 'Add filter' and input http://www.google.com/logos/*
There is a userstyle that will replace the doodles and special logos with the default. Here are the set up instructions:
Install Stylish for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera.
Install Force Default Google Logo from userstyles.org.
You now have a non-distracting Google Search.
Google.com is not only the US version of Google but also the International version of Google. As Google Doodles are country specific I would hazard a guess that they have probably decided to exclude Google Doodles from their international search page. Perhaps what is celebrated in one country is offensive to another country (you never know...).
You will ...
How can Google users/the public submit ideas for doodles?
team is always excited to hear ideas from users – they can email
email@example.com with ideas for the next Google doodle. The team
receives hundreds of requests every day, so we, unfortunately, can't
respond to everyone. But rest assured that we're reading them :)
That is the Google Doodle!
And what it depends on is what Google decide to amuse us with on their search page at any time, usually to commemorate a historical event whose anniversary it is.
They do seem to be less common now. They were daily for some time, but I haven't seen one for a while either.
This is what I did to disable the doodles in the Chrome browser:
To disable them in the new tab page, I went to chrome://flags and set
#use-google-local-ntp to Enabled and
#doodles-on-local-ntp to Disabled
Like someone else suggested, to avoid seeing them on startup I set one of the tabs to this:
A Google employee pointed out that you can search from an empty results page and not see any Doodles:
It works for me on my phone, where I can't use Adblock etc.
(It's bizarre how Google's original page was specifically designed to not have any crud like this, and now they go out of their way to force it on us.)
Here is a solution I use in Internet Explorer 11. IE will use the default search provider to search from the address bar. I set Google as the default search provider, never need to browse to google.com and thus avoid the doodle.
In the upper right corner of Internet Explorer click the Tools icon (looks like a gear) then select Manage add-ons. Select Search ...