Happy Birthday, Google!

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September 27, 2010 – It’s not every day you get to celebrate the birthday of the Internet’s largest search engine – but today is that day!…sort of.

September 27th seems to be the company’s official celebratory day, complete with custom Google Graphic drawn by well known artist Wayne Thiebaud. Known for his simple paintings of common objects, this is the first painting in 8 years for the 89-year old artist who has been featured alongside other famous pop artists such as Andy Warhol.

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Google’s logo likes to reflect their birthday celebrations.

Google’s official birthday wasn’t always so clear-cut and it really depends on when you consider a website to have an actual origin day. Some claim as far back as January 1996 when the Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began work on the original BackRub project which would eventually evolve into modern Google. This would actually make Google 14 years old (and 9 months, give or take a few days).

The actual www.google.com domain name was registered on September 15, 1997 which would make the domain 13 years old this year. Then there’s the incorporation birthdate, which is September 7th, 1998 (they did file on the 4th but these things take some time). For a while, September 7th was the semi-official birthday, until 2005 when Yahoo decided to cause a media-shakeup by announcing they boasted an index of pages larger than Google’s.

Google countered the debate by announcing for their September 27th birthday, they had grown tremendously, so much that they decided to drop the count of indexed pages from their homepage. This helped to end the size wars that really have nothing to do with the quality of search results. It also officially established the date as Google’s official birthday, although there’s not a clear-cut reasoning as to why the extra 20 days were added (I guess we just assume it’s part of that PR stunt).

You can check out Google’s official timeline of company history which seems to at least support the correct year being 1998. Google spokespersons have been known to comment that their birthday moves around, depending on when people feel like having cake. At We Do Web Content we support the idea of celebrating ambiguously dated holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with cake whenever appropriate!

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