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Google’s Doodle mystery

March 25th, 2011

Google are well known for their simple yet innovative products, all aimed at getting us to click on those ubiquitous monetized ads. Google’s best known product is undoubtedly their search engine. Used by an estimated 300 million people every day, the web page may look relatively simple, but uses some powerful search technology to deliver accurate results every time.

To keep the search page interesting, Google have built up something of a cult following by changing their “doodle”, or logo, almost every day. Halloween sees the G.O.O.G.L.E. bedecked with cobwebs and spiders, at Christmas time it’s flashing with fairy lights and glistening with snow. Sometimes, the doodle is just for fun. Thursday 7th September was one of those “miscellaneous” days, and yet on that day, the infamous logo sparked a Twitter frenzy and even made the news.

The logo appeared fragmented into balls of color that moved away from the user’s mouse pointer, only to settle again when you typed in the search bar. Web developers the world over scratched their heads in puzzlement – how did they do that? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuNNcdD6G9A)

Speculators have proposed that the atomized Google logo made use of a new technology called CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheet). Here, each ball of colour was in fact the element of a web page, coded to look circular instead of rectangular, and to move away from the cursor at any point other than the search bar. Clever, eh?

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