The world’s most popular search engine turns 15 years old today. Started in 1998 by Stanford PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google has grown to be the leader in search, owning more than 70 percent of the worldwide desktop search market share.
To celebrate its 15th birthday, today’s Google logo is an interactive piñata game. By clicking the arrow on the birthday cake in the middle of the logo, users are instructed to hit their space bar to start the game. With 10 swipes at a star-shaped piñata, players collect points based on the number of candies they can make drop while a music plays in the background.
At the close of the game, players are given their total score along with three icons: a Google+, search and replay prompt.
It took me four tries to break 100 points, but my colleague Ginny Marvin earned 135 points playing on her iPhone. (She did admit she played six times before reaching her high score.)
According to Ginny, Google failed to follow its own advice and optimize their birthday pinata game for mobile. “It’s not optimized for Safari mobile on the iPhone 5. The right side of the game is cut off in landscape view,” said told me, “Also, during the game, I couldn’t see the last letter ‘e’ in the Google logo, and I can’t do anything but hit the search button after the game ends.” I was able to see the entire game screen on my Android, but the only prompts I received were the replay and search button.
In addition to a 1998 flashback Easter egg in honor of its 15th birthday, yesterday Google revealed their new “Hummingbird” search algorithm during a company birthday event hosted in the very garage where Google started.