Confetti, cake, and balloons don't typically decorate Google's homepage, but today isn't just any day: It's the search engine's nineteenth birthday.
Today's Google Doodle depicts a celebratory birthday scene that includes popular characters — like the cat and frog — from prior Doodles, as well as a brightly colored spinning wheel. Click on that to activate your spin and see where you land. There are 19 total options, each of which leads to a "surprise" Google feature from years past. These include everything from built-in games of Solitaire to games from prior Doodles.
It might be hard to believe that nineteen years ago, there was no such thing as Google (or, "to Google" for that matter). As today's Doodle Blog explains, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin named Google after the number "googol" — a one followed by a hundred zeroes. Page and Brin met by chance in 1997, when Brin was randomly assigned to show the new Stanford Ph.D. student around campus. Little did they know that encounter would lead to the most valuable company in the world less than two decades later.
Nowadays, Google is about so much more than its humble search engine origins. It's created a popular line of products — Google Home, Pixel, and streaming device Chromecast — and, back in 2006, it acquired YouTube. On October 4, the company is expected to announce an updated product lineup at an event in San Francisco.
Google's creations are known for having a playful edge, so it's fitting that today's celebration echoes that sentiment. Today, toast Google's birthday by spinning the birthday wheel — you can take as many spins as you want and, if you're so inclined, experience all 19 options. There's even one brand "new" game in the mix, Snake, to let you indulge in Nokia nostalgia and keep you distracted all day long at work.