The year in Google Doodles

By Features IDG.net

Google on Monday unveiled its latest Google Doodle, a festive tropical Christmas postcard that overlays the company's logo on its main search page. The company will be rolling out a series of additional Christmas Doodles between now and the holiday, and is archiving them at this web page.

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Google Doodles have become so popular that scammers have started latching onto the topics and planting malware-infected pages designed to ensnare those looking for more information on certain Doodle subjects.

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It's been a fun and varied year for Google Doodles, some of which are seen in all countries, some in just a portion.

Among the highlights:

Google celebrated the anniversary of the bar code in October by using a bar code that translated into the word "Google." Sesame Street's 40th birthday in November inspired a series of Google Doodles featuring characters such as Big Bird , Ernie and Bert.

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Also in November, more serious topics grabbed the Google Doodle's attention: the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall and Veterans' Day.

Mahatma Gandhi's birthday grabbed Google Doodle honors in early October, as did Brazil winning rights to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Google celebrated its own 11th birthday in September, doubling the number of "l"'s in its name to make it look like a number 11.

UFO watchers got treated to crop circles in the shape of Google's name in September, as the company sent online users on a mysterious chase for the meaning of this Doodle. The 40th anniversary of the first Moon Landing also was commemorated via Doodle showing Google's logo imprinted on the moon's surface.

Michael Jackson's death in June sparked an outbreak of viruses related to searches on the late singer's name. Google also celebrated Jackson's birthday, posthumously, via a Doodle in September featuring Jackson's twinkle toes.

Other notables Doodles included a nice one of a dad and daughter digging a Google sand sculpture on Father's Day, the 25th anniversary of Tetris in June commemorated in colorful blocks and a Feb. 12 tribute to Charles Darwin, with Google's letters represented by nature's creatures and plants.

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