You know Google's internet royalty because it seems to have more than one birthday each year. Company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin actually began working on BackRub, a precursor to Google, back in January 1996 which would actually make it 14 this year and already starting to try and snog other websites of the opposite or even the same sex.

Another possible candidate for the moment that counts is the day that the domain name was registered, and that took place on 15 September 1997. That would make the internet phenomenon a teenager and developing some nasty acne some time around now.

Probably the next significant moment for most though, is when Google became incorporated on 7 September 1998. According to that milestone, the megasite is indeed 12, as it suggests, but a few weeks older.

All the same, it's the 27 September 1998 that Google has currently chosen to celebrate as its official date of naissance and that's been the way of things since 1995.

One suggestion is that the date was moved after a particularly tricky battle with Yahoo! over the 7 September in 2005, and it was just good PR to come out of it a few weeks later.

But either way, Google came out with a rather nice statement on the matter essentially saying who cares. It read:

"Google opened its doors in September 1998. The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake".

As for the birthday Google Doodle itself, they started with regularity back in 2002 with the one at the top of the page there, and have largely been centred around the cake side of anniversaries.

In fact, so far it's just number 6 that hasn't involved something you can eat. Oh, and number 11 of course.

As for 13, you can probably expect more bread based edibles but, you never know, the company could just start getting all embarrassed about its age - or maybe just want to go and celebrate it on its own instead. Unlikely.

Now you're done with the birthdays, check out the space themed Google Doodles.

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