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Posted at 01:53 AM ET, 09/27/2011

GOOGLE BIRTHDAY: Doodle celebrates company’s 13th anniversary

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If we’d known your birthday was coming up, Google, we’d have baked a cake (well, after Googling for the recipe). Fortunately — as you have every September since 2002, in some form — you rendered your own.

On Tuesday, Google celebrates its 13th birthday with a simple and classy main-page “Doodle”: A homey, scrapbooked image of the colorful logo (complete with the exclamation point of your youth) surrounded by an uber-traditional setting of cake, presents and balloons. A landmark worthy of Hallmark. The literal “Google Image.”

Google, in other words, has just hit its awkward teenage years.

It seemed like just yesterday, Google, you were first squawking for our attention, mastering millions of new words by the day. Our little bundle of split-second curiosity and streamlined verbosity.

Now, with your having gotten so massive and omnipresent and ravenous (such the commercial appetite), we just hope you can avoid that nasty unruly stage — especially as younger cousin Facebook tries to play with some of your things.

Can it really be 13 years since you, a behemoth of a Bay Area company, were incorporated by the “Google Guys” — Stanford’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin — and unleashed upon a fumbling wide world?

Thanks to dial-up being a distant memory, they grow up so fast. Uncle Andy (Bechtolsheim) must be so proud. Not only did you make good on his seed money; you are now even a verb and a gerund.

Ah, the years of memories made by the “Googleplex” are enough to fill an entire Flickr scrapbook — especially, of course, if we’ve linked it to our Google account. Why, do you recall the birth of your PageRank stage back when you were a burgeoning little Google? Suddenly, we could literally mark the growth.

And remember when — like opening your first lemonade stand — you began to sell ads associated with certain keywords? (More money, eh? Let us check our Google Wallet.) Soon, savvy little adventurer that you were, your entire worldview began to expand — thanks to Google Maps and Google Earth and, of course, Google-owned YouTube.

As you thrived, you were quite the irrepressible ball of Google Energy. And now, you reportedly have cornered about 90-percent of the worldwide Internet search market. (Who knew you would grow in such new ways, you would begin to face antitrust heat?)

And my, did you get quick once you stop crawling and really got mobile.

But then, it’s never about the destination, is it? The thrill is in the journey — the Search.

Congratulations, Google, and happy 13th. We can only hope that when you get yet even bigger, perhaps even get too busy to remember your first customers, you’ll still write.

If not on Google+, then we hope at least via Gmail.

And when you write, please remember to include a Doodle.

Sincerely, we just can’t get enough.

By  |  01:53 AM ET, 09/27/2011

 
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