Google can no longer get away with teenage strops, as the site is now officially an adult. But there seems to be some confusion around when the firm's actual birthday is. Although it claims to be 18 today, in previous years it has celebrated its birthday on a range of dates across the month of September.
Google's Doodle today (27/09/16) shows an animated birthday balloon, to celebrate its 18th birthday.The firm was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, and since 2013, has celebrated its birthday on 27th September. But not even Google seems to know when it really formed! In 2003, Google celebrated its fifth birthday on 6th September, while in 2004, it claimed its sixth birthday was on 7th September.
None of these dates seem to have any particular importance in Google's birth.
On Google's history page, it lists its incorporation date as 4th September, 1998, yet there is no reference to 6th, 7th or even 27th September.
The idea for Google came about in 1996 after Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University. The site was originally called BackRub, but was changed on 15th September 1997 to Google - again, not a date used as the official birthday. In 2013, Google admitted that it had four different celebration dates, but that it would be sticking to September 27th in future– which is the birthday of the first Doodle.
It is thought this date was changed in 2006 as an attempt to gain media coverage, at a time when Yahoo! was gaining ground on Google.
The site is now the world's number one search engine and its name has become so synonymous with searching, it is now used as a verb in its own right.