Tom Hanks character Forrest Gump is know to say: Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna to get.

Similarly, Google doodles are a surprise. One never knows what to get unless they log in to the search-engine's home page.

It's Google's 15th birthday today and what better way to celebrate than a playable doodle.

A children's favourite and a must at every birthday party; today's doodle is a swinging piñata that needs to be hit to score candies (read points).

For PC and laptop users, the swinging piñata is hit with the space bar. Touch phone and tablet PC players need to swipe the screen from left to right to play, rather hit the piñata.

Google is celebrating its 15th birthday with a piñata doodle appearing on its home page.

September 27 is celebrated as Google's birth date, even though the company was incorporated a few weeks ago. It was founded at a garage in Menlo Park, California by Larry Page and Sergey Bin.

The company is today headquartered in Mountain View in California. The co-founders’ landlord was Susan Wojcicki, Brin's sister-in-law.

According to international media reports, Wojcicki sold the home to Google in 2006 and it is now maintained as a mark to Google's beginnings.

A Google+ page meanwhile included a photo album of the original home search page, and collected dozens of birthday wishes.

Cleaner, simpler Google Search

The US-based search engine has already announced that it has updated its search algorithm in order to make it more responsive.

Since 1998, the tech world has changed dramatically and Google said its search engine has been constantly improved.

“The world has changed so much since then: billions of people have come online, the web has grown exponentially, and now you can ask any question on the powerful little device in your pocket,” said Google Search chief Amit Singhal in a blog post.

“You can explore the world with the Knowledge Graph, ask questions aloud with voice search, and get info before you even need to ask with Google Now.”

Singhal said the change includes “a simpler, more unified design on mobile devices.”

“You’ll also notice a new look and feel for Google Search and ads on your phones and tablets,” he added.

“It’s cleaner and simpler, optimised for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for.”

Danny Sullivan of the tech blog Search Engine Land said the upgrade of main search engine is based on a new algorithm with the code name “Hummingbird,” which he said is “especially designed to handle complex queries.”

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 27, 2013)
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