By Rachel Anderson
One of my favorite things about opening up the Google homepage each day is to see whether or not there’s a Google doodle! Google doodles are the fun, artistic representations of the Google logo celebrating holidays and the lives of famous, meaningful people in history. The Google doodle to the right from April 3, 2011 celebrates the 119th anniversary of the ice cream sundae and, as an ice cream junkie, is one of my favorites.
The doodle started in 1998, back before the company went inc., when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to replace the second ‘o’ in Google with a stick figure drawing as a humorous way to let users know they were out of the office. This spurred the idea of using the Google logo to celebrate various events.
It took two years, however, before the next doodle was released. Dennis Hwang was asked to create a doodle to commemorate Bastille Day and it was a huge success. Users ate it up. Hwang became Google’s chief doodler. After that, doodles showed up more frequently on the homepage mostly celebrating traditional holidays.
These days, doodles celebrate a variety of holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, events, and people. A talented team of artists and engineers known as ‘doodlers’ create the doodles using all different mediums and technologies. Google takes pride in their doodles as a way to brighten up their homepage and give users something to smile about.
Over the years Google has created more than 1500 doodles! See them all at http://www.google.com/doodles.
A group at Google meets regularly to decide which holidays and events will be celebrated with a doodle. The ideas for these come from both the Google team and Google users like you and I. If you have an idea for a doodle, email it to [email protected].
As we all madly try to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithm and to stay in Google’s good graces we can also learn from Google’s fun side. Google is all about providing a great user experience. Google doodles are a unique way to keep users excited about pulling up the homepage as well as a way to interact with and learn from Google. Many times I’ll pull up the homepage and find a doodle celebrating an event or person I know nothing about and I’ll take a second to click and read about it. Think about the ways your business can liven up your site or give your customers something to smile about. It could pay off big!
Rachel Anderson is a Pay Per Click Advertising Strategist at Netmark.com. Off the job she enjoys photography, good food, being outside, and spending time with her husband. Share your thoughts with Rachel on Twitter @gladygirl, Google+ or Facebook- she’d love to hear from you!