Google put out a special doodle today to mark is 18th birthday.
The animated Google doodle, designed by Gerben Steenks, depicts the letter “G” as a balloon modeller, wearing a party hat and surrounded by confetti and streamers.
The G blows up a long balloon and twists it into the letters “oogle”, to complete the name of the search engine, before the balloon floats away and pulls the G with it.
The doodle is being displayed on Google’s homepage around the world on September 27.
There’s just one problem.
While Google has celebrated its birthday on September 27 for the past 10 years , that hasn’t always been the case.
In 2005 Google published a birthday doodle on September 26, in 2004 it was put up on September 7, and in 2003 it was put it on 8 September.
According to Google’s own company history , Google.com was registered as a domain on 15 September 1997, and the company filed for incorporation on 4 September 1998.
The reason for the choice of September 27 remains unclear – although some have suggested a dispute with rival search engine Yahoo in 2005 as the cause.
Supposedly, in 2005, Yahoo announced an index that was larger than Google’s, resulting in a heated debate between the two companies.
Google used the excuse of its “birthday” on September 26 to announce a new, expanded index, making Google “more than 3 times larger than any other search engine”.
Others have suggested that Google has settled on September 27 because it was the date of Google’s first birthday doodle in 2002.
Either way, Google makes no apology for the fluidity of its birthday.
“Google opened its doors in September 1998,” the company said back in 2006.
“The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake.”