Google Celebrates Its Birthday with Particle Movement Simulator Logo

The Google homepage in several countries is now sporting a very interesting dynamic logo. The Google logo is created by a number of balls, spelling out the name, but the balls move as soon as you approach them with your mouse cursor.

It's unclear what Google is celebrating with the new doodle, since you can't click on it to get to a results page, as is usually the case with regular doodles.

The doodle though is very likely marking Google's birthday. The company was incorporated on September 4th, 1998, but it usually celebrates its birthday on either September 7th or September 27th of the year.

The doodle is fun to play around with and it also showcases the type of animation and interactivity possible with standard web technologies.

The balls forming the Google logo 'want' to group together to spell out the name, but they also shy away from any mouse movement.

There's a debate around the web about how Google is doing it. It looks like Google opted for a rather simple hack and the balls are just divs styled with the CSS border radius attribute, to make them round. Google then uses JavaScript code to control their motion.

Some argue that Google could have used more modern tools, like SVG vector graphics or even the HTML5 canvas element. However, it's likely that Google wanted everyone to be able to see the doodle and since current Internet Explorer versions have no support for HTML5 or SVG files for that matter. The doodle is said to be working in Internet Explorer 7, but all of the balls are the same size.

The doodle doesn't currently show up on for international users, though it seems to be working for those in the US. However, you can visit,, and any number of localized websites to see the birthday logo.

UPDATE: It looks like the doodle is not related to Google's birthday, as a spokesperson told Search Engine Land. Rather "is fast, fun and interactive, just the way we think search should be.”

UPDATE 2: Google is celebrating its birthday today, 27th of September, as has been the case in recent years.

This would imply that the logo may have more to do with the press event scheduled for tomorrow. It has been rumored that the event may have something to do with the experimental search results page Google has been testing which updates the results as the query is typed or modified.


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