Google celebrates 15th birthday with interactive pinata ‘doodle’

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Google is celebrating its 15th birthday with an interactive doodle based on a Mexican piñata. The doodle comes in the form of a basic video game that challenges the user to release as many virtual sweets as possible by thwacking a star-shaped piñata with a stick.

The doodle forms part of the celebration for Google’s 15th birthday, which has also seen the search engine create ‘Google in 1998’ – a fascinating look at how the website looked in its launch year.

Originally called BackRub and based in a Menlo Park garage, Google was founded by PHD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin as part of a research project. It has since grown into the world’s most visited website, making its founders multi-billionaires.

The actual date of Google’s birthday has long been a topic of debate, with a number of analysts saying a more accurate birthday would be September 7 – the date the website may have been incorporated, or September 15 – the date the domain name is believed to have been first registered.

The reason for Google celebrating its birthday on 27 September appears to stem from an argument the search engine had with Yahoo in 2005 over their respective size and growth rate.

Following an announcement by Yahoo that it’s indexing was larger than Google’s, software engineer Anna Patterson hurriedly posted a message on the search engine’s blog revealing Google had subsequently expanded its own index by 1,000 times.

In the message she also announced, as part of a “birthday” overhaul, Google would be dropping the index counter from its frontpage.

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