In Brief

Why Google Doodle is causing birthday confusion

Search engine celebrates its 18th anniversary - but has it got the wrong date?

Google Doodle birthday

Google is celebrating its 18th birthday with a Google Doodle today – but the animation has sparked confusion over the true date of the search engine's anniversary.

The internet giant, which was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, has marked its birthday on the Google homepage on 27 September for several years.

However, in 2005, it celebrated the big day on 26 September – while in 2004, its sixth birthday Doodle went live on 7 September and the year before that, it appeared on 8 September, reports the Daily Telegraph.

To further complicate matters, Google's own official history lists its incorporation date (perhaps the closest thing to a corporate birthday) as 4 September 1998.

However, the Google.com domain was first registered on 15 September 1997.

Whichever date is correct, there is no doubting the success Google has enjoyed over the years. It is one of the world's most powerful companies, second only to Apple in value, with a market capitalisation of $541bn (£417bn).

Page and Brin are now ranked 12th and 13th on Forbes's list of the richest people in the world, with a bumper net-worth of $35.2bn and $34.4bn respectively.

Google's commemorative doodle is a festive, balloon-filled affair by artist Gerben Steenks.

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