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article imageGoogle celebrates its 18th birthday, may have the wrong date

By James Walker     Sep 27, 2016 in Technology
Google has turned 18 today, at least according to itself. The search giant posted a special celebratory Doodle to its homepage this morning, as it has done for the past 11 years. However, some people maintain that Google's birthday isn’t on September 27
Today's Doodle sees an animated Google "G" icon don a party hat and form the company's logo by blowing up a balloon. Designed by Google artist Gerben Steenks, the graphic has been created in celebration of the company's 18th birthday, stated as September 27, 1998.
As in previous years, the Internet has collectively questioned whether Google has picked the wrong date. The company was founded on September 4, 1998, a day that some people think would make for more appropriate birthday celebrations. The now infamous domain name was registered almost a year earlier than the company's incorporation though, on September 17, 1997.
The September 27 date that Google's been using for the past 11 years seems to be an arbitrary day that Google has selected itself. In the past, it has posted Doodles on different days, further confusing the situation.
In the past 18 years, Google has celebrated its birthday on four different dates. In 2003, it was September 8. For 2004, September 7 was used. In 2005, Google made the switch to its current end-of-month position, opting for September 26. Since 2006, the company has settled on September 27.
A selection of past Google birthday Doodles
A selection of past Google birthday Doodles
It seems as though Google is now content to celebrate on this day every year. It remains unknown what significance, if any, the date has. Google has officially addressed its varied "birthdays" in the past, admitting the company's true birthday appears to have been lost to history.
"When's Google's birthday? I'm not sure even we know," Ryan Germick, Google's Doodle Team Lead wrote on Google's 15th birthday in 2013. "We've celebrated on September 7th, 8th, 27th and, most recently, the 27th. Still, while there's some differing opinions about when to bust out the candles and cake, one fun fact is that our first doodle was posted even before Google was officially incorporate (August 30th, 1998 vs. September 4th, 1998)."
Confusion aside, Google's latest Doodle marks another achievement for one of the most successful internet companies ever formed. Google, for many the epitome of the Internet, is now old enough to be treated as an adult in most regions worldwide and has impacted the lives of billions of people.
The company’s current corporate mission is "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," an idea it realises through a range of technologies that hadn't even been dreamt of 18 years ago. You can view the Doodle, and Google's previous birthday celebrations, on the company's official archive page.
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