Google Doodle Overview Updated September 26, 2021

Google Doodle

Get the story behind Google's Doodles

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171 'Google Doodle' stories

July 2011 - September 2021


Google Doodles are a tool on the company’s homepage that are often used to highlight world issues, historic events, and celebrations around the globe.

The homepage for Google Search is one of the most-viewed web pages on the planet as it powers billions of searches on a daily basis. Right above the search box, though, Google’s logo appears, and on occasion, it’ll add something extra by using a “Doodle.” These Doodles can be as simple as additions to the traditional logo, but often go as far as completely redesigning Google’s logo with artistic creations.

When did Google Doodles start?

Google has been putting up these fun illustrations on its homepage for longer than the company has been an actual company.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the concept in 1998 when they attended the Burning Man festival in Nevada. That first Doodle was as simple as putting a stick figure — similar to the Burning Man logo — behind the second “o” to signify that the founders were “out of office.”

first google doodle 1998 burning man

From there, the idea of a Google Doodle progressed. In 2000, Dennis Hwang was asked to create a doodle for Bastille Day. That doodle was so well-received by users that Google decided to put Dennis in charge of the project from that point forward, which resulted in doodles appearing on the homepage much more often.

Now, Google employs a staff of talented illustrators — called doodlers — whose entire job is to come up with the illustrations that appear on Google’s homepage all over the world.

How often does the Google Doodle change?

In the early days, Google rarely changed the Doodle on its homepage, but now, the Doodle often changes on a daily basis.

The subject of a Doodle often depends on world events. For example, in April 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic affects the entire world, Google has dedicated a two-week block of Doodles to the “essential” workers who are helping the world continue to function during the pandemic. That includes healthcare workers, janitorial staff, food workers, and many others.

More often than not, you’ll find a Google Doodle in place on a holiday. Whether it’s a worldwide holiday or a local occasion, Google will display Doodles in different regions to celebrate. Clicking on the Doodle can sometimes result in a little game or interactive object, but most of the time it just pushes users into a search about that specific topic. Some notable doodles from 2020 so far include:

From time to time, Doodles can also appear based on ideas from users or even from contests. On a yearly basis, the “Doodle for Google” contest offers a theme and asks for submissions from K-12 students. Later in the year, Google picks a winner and their illustration is displayed on the homepage for the world to see! 2020’s theme is “I show kindness by…”

Doodle for Google 2020

Where can I see a history of Google Doodles?

It can be fun to see the Doodles on Google’s homepage, but it’s also easy to miss them if you’re away from a computer. If you missed yesterday’s Doodle or just want to see what was used years in the past, Google has a historical archive.

At google.com/doodles, there’s a complete historical archive of every Doodle that’s ever been on the homepage. This also includes Doodles that only appeared in specific regions, so you might just find one you’ve never seen before.

How can I learn more about today’s Google Doodle?

As mentioned, Google updates the illustration on its homepage on a regular basis. Often, though, the whole story isn’t told just by the details on the search and you’ll need to do some further digging.

That’s where we’ve got you covered.

For most Google Doodles, we’ve got a full rundown of what it means, who’s seeing it, and if there are any neat tricks behind-the-scenes too. Just scroll down the page to see our latest coverage.

Google Doodle Stories September 26

Google Doodle celebrates company’s 23rd birthday w/ a cake

Google is celebrating its 23rd birthday with an animated homepage Doodle that features a chocolate frosted cake.

Google Doodle Stories September 16

Google Doodle honors Michiyo Tsujimura, chemist and green tea researcher

The latest Google Doodle honors Michiyo Tsujimura, the Japanese chemist best known for her in-depth research into green tea.

Google Doodle Stories September 14

Google Doodle honors Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, founder of National Association of Hispanic Nurses

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, Google is celebrating the life of Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, the founder of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Google Doodle Stories September 8

Google Doodle honors EDM artist Tim Bergling, aka Avicii [Video]

The latest “Doodle” to grace the Google.com homepage is dedicated to Tim Bergling, the Swedish musician better known as Avicii, for what would’ve been his 32nd birthday.

Google Doodle Stories September 1

Google Doodle honors Rudolf Weigl, typhus vaccine inventor

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 138th birthday of Polish biologist and inventor of the epidemic typhus vaccine, Rudolf Weigl.

Google Doodle celebrates the first day of school 2021 across the globe

After a long summer that has been punctuated with lockdowns and finally the easing of restrictions, for many children across the globe today is the first day of school for the 2021 academic year – and the latest Google Doodle has a neat school-related sketch to celebrate.

Google Doodle Stories August 23

Largest-ever Google Doodle game celebrates the Paralympics w/ seven minigames [Updated]

The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on Friday, and keeping in that friendly competitive spirit, Google is launching “Champion Island,” their largest-ever Doodle game, letting you compete for one of four teams across seven different minigames and explore a fantastic world.

Update: Google has brought back and updated the Doodle Champion Island Games to honor the 2020 Paralympics.

Google Doodle Stories August 4

Google Doodle promotes COVID-19 prevention w/ masks and vaccinations [Updated]

Google has launched a fantastic animated homepage Doodle featuring the letters of “Google” practicing COVID-19 prevention methods, including wearing masks, staying socially distant, and getting vaccinated.

Google Doodle Stories July 6

Google Doodle honors Ángela Peralta, Mexican opera singer

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle celebrating the birthday of Ángela Peralta, an internationally recognized opera singer once dubbed “Mexican Nightingale.”

Google Doodle Stories June 28

Google Doodle honors Pedro Linares López, Mexican sculptor of ‘alebrijes’

The latest Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Pedro Linares López, the artist who sculpted the first “alebrijes,” a mainstay of Mexican folk art.

Google Doodle Stories June 26

Google Doodle honors Tommy Kono, Olympic weightlifter

With the Olympics just under a month away, Google has replaced its homepage logo with a Doodle celebrating Tommy Kono, a Japanese-American weightlifter and Olympic gold medalist.

Google Doodle Stories June 18

In honor of Juneteenth, Google is celebrating Black history with a homepage Doodle, a new way to learn history with the Google Assistant, and more.

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Google Doodle Stories June 14

Doodle for Google 2021 winner announced, will be shown on homepage tomorrow

The 2021 Doodle for Google competition, which lets K-12 students design an inspirational “Doodle,” has come to a close, and the winner will be shown on the Google homepage tomorrow.

Google Doodle Stories June 10

Google Doodle Stories June 8

Google Doodle honors Shirley Temple, actor, singer, and diplomat

Today’s animated Google Doodle is in honor of 1930s child star, and later American diplomat, Shirley Temple.

Google Doodle Stories June 1

Google Doodle honors Frank Kameny, astronomer and gay rights activist

Kicking off their celebration of Pride Month, Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring astronomer and prominent gay rights activist Frank Kameny.

Google Doodle Stories May 31

May 27th in the United States is Memorial Day. A Google Doodle today is honoring this national holiday with a special message on its homepage that will play the “Taps” bugle call at 3PM local time.

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Google Doodle Stories May 25

Google Doodle celebrates the Savoy Ballroom with multiplayer swing dancing game

Google has swapped its homepage logo out with an addictive swing dancing game in honor of New York City’s Savoy Ballroom.

Google Doodle Stories May 24

Earlier this month, week-long US voting to select five Doodles from 54 submissions to get on Google.com closed. The company today announced the Doodle for Google 2021 finalists.

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Google Doodle Stories May 10

Google opened its annual K-12 contest for creating a Doodle that gets featured on the US homepage back in January and accepted submissions until March, following a brief extension. Doodle for Google 2021 voting, with the “I am strong because… ” theme, is now open.

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Google Doodle Stories May 4

Google Doodle honors Japanese-American author Hisaye Yamamoto

As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google is honoring acclaimed Japanese-American short story author Hisaye Yamamoto.

Google Doodle Stories May 2

Google Doodle marks the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 in the US

Google is beginning Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 in the US with an interactive homepage Doodle telling five wholesome stories of the influence an educator can have.

Google Doodle Stories April 25

Google Doodle honors in vitro fertilization scientist Anne McLaren

Google is celebrating the 94th birthday of Anne McLaren, one of the biologists credited for the development of in vitro fertilization, with a homepage Doodle.

Google Doodle Stories April 23

St George’s Day celebrated with dedicated Google Doodle

To help you celebrate St George’s Day, Google’s latest Doodle features the eponymous dragon slayer in an illustrated tapestry.

Google Doodle Stories April 22

Google Doodle celebrates the letter ‘Ñ’

In honor of the United Nations’ annual “Spanish Language Day” on April 23, Google is celebrating the letter “Ñ” — or “eñe.”

Google Doodle Stories April 19

Google Doodle celebrates 70th birthday of Luther Vandross, ‘The Velvet Voice’ [Video]

Google is honoring soul singer Luther Vandross, on what would be his 70th birthday, with a video Google Doodle.

Google Doodle Stories April 16

Google Doodle honors Italian physicist Laura Bassi

Google is replacing their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Italian physicist Laura Bassi, the first woman to obtain a doctorate in science.

Google Doodle Stories April 13

Google Doodle honors Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable type printing press, which led to “The Printing Revolution.”

Google Doodle Stories April 12

Google Doodle celebrates the Metropolitan Museum of Art on its 151st anniversary

Google is celebrating the 151st anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an animated homepage Doodle.

Google Doodle Stories March 9

Google Doodle honors Dr. Wu Lien-teh, inventor of the modern surgical mask

Google is honoring Dr. Wu Lien-teh — inventor of the surgical mask that helped stop the Manchurian plague of 1911 — with a homepage Doodle.

Google Doodle Stories March 7

Google Doodle celebrates women’s firsts for International Women’s Day 2021

The Google Doodle for March 8, 2021, is celebrating the annual International Women’s Day by highlighting a series of firsts throughout women’s history.

Google Doodle Stories March 6

Google Doodle celebrates Masako Katsura, ‘The First Lady of Billiards’

Google is honoring Masako Katsura, the world-class billiards player who blazed the trail for women to be included in the sport, with an animated homepage Doodle.

Google Doodle Stories March 5

As is tradition, Google is inviting K-12 students in the US to create a Doodle for the Search homepage. Doodle for Google 2021 is looking for artwork that reflects “I am strong because…”

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Google Doodle Stories February 22

Google Doodle honors Zitkala-Sa, American Indian composer and suffragist

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle celebrating the 145th birthday of Zitkala-Sa, a Native American musician, composer, and suffragist.

Google Doodle Stories February 17

Google Doodle honors Audre Lorde, a poet, feminist, and civil rights activist

As part of ongoing Black History Month celebrations, Google has replaced their homepage logo with an animated slideshow honoring Audre Lorde for her work as a poet, feminist, and civil rights activist.

Google Doodle Stories February 11

Google celebrates Lunar New Year w/ trio of Year of the Ox Doodles

To ring in the Lunar New Year, Google has replaced their homepage logo with one of a trio of Doodles celebrating the Year of the Ox.

Google Doodle Stories February 10

Google Doodle honors Mexican singer and songwriter María Grever

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring María Grever, an internationally acclaimed composer from Mexico.

Google Doodle Stories January 17

Google Doodle celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

Across the United States, the third Monday of January is set aside as a day of service and community in honor of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. This year, Google is joining in the celebration with a homepage Doodle depicting the past and present fights against racial injustice.

Google Doodle Stories January 14

Google Doodle honors Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball

Today’s Google Doodle is a cute animation celebrating Dr. James Naismith and his invention of basketball in 1891.

Google Doodle Stories December 30, 2020

Google Doodle series celebrates the many global holidays in December [Updated]

To ring in the December holiday season, Google is running a series of Doodles celebrating the many holidays happening globally, including New Year’s Eve.

Google Doodle honors Elizabeth Peratrovich, Native Alaskan civil rights activist

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Elizabeth Peratrovich, an Alaskan Native and civil rights activist responsible for the first anti-discrimination bill to pass in the United States.

Google Doodle Stories December 20, 2020

Animated Google Doodle showcases the winter solstice and ‘great conjunction’

Google, in collaboration with NASA, has replaced their homepage logo in the Northern Hemisphere with an animated Doodle celebrating the winter solstice and suggesting that you keep your eyes to the skies for the current “great conjunction” of Saturn and Jupiter.

Google Doodle Stories December 19, 2020

Google Doodle commemorates Sudan, the last male northern white rhino

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a breathtaking Doodle honoring the memory of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino.

Google Doodle Stories December 9, 2020

Google Doodle honors Nobel Prize-winning economist Sir W. Arthur Lewis

Google has replaced its homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Sir W. Arthur Lewis, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor.

Google Doodle Stories November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Day has arrived and for 2020, it’s going to be a very different experience for most people. To celebrate the day, though, Google has posted a new homepage Doodle to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 and the history of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Google Doodle honors London’s first black fireman Frank Bailey

Today’s Google Doodle in the UK is honoring yet another of Britain’s trailblazers, Frank Bailey, on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Google Doodle Stories November 23, 2020

Google Doodle video pays tribute to mariachi

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle video paying tribute to mariachi, a traditional style of music from Mexico.

Google Doodle Stories November 19, 2020

Google Doodle honors Benoit Mandelbrot, Polish mathematician

Google has replaced their homepage logo with a Doodle honoring Benoit Mandelbrot, a Polish mathematician and the namesake of the Mandelbrot set.

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