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Google Speaks: Secrets of the World's Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page by Janet Lowe

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4.5. THE GOOGLE DOODLE

A 2008 survey indicated that more than 75 percent of Britons said they couldn't live without the Internet, and 50 percent claimed that the Internet was more important than religion.[] The Queen of England herself has become a computer user and Internet surfer, so it was natural that she would want to visit the Google office not far from Buckingham Palace. On the morning of her visit, Google users in the United Kingdom logged onto a special logo, one displaying the Queen's cheery face.

It was in the UK that Google held its first nationwide Doodle 4 Google contest, using the theme "My Britain." The winner was 13-year-old Katherine Chisnall of Trowbridge, whose doodle was displayed on the national Google website, but not on the same day Queen Elizabeth II was so honored. Chisnall's design displayed the Union Jack colors and five wonders of Britain, including Shakespeare and a castle. She won a trip to California to visit Googleplex and work with Hwang.

It has become a tradition to tweak the logo for special occasions. Susan Wojcicki first came up with the idea of "doodles," or playing with the emblem for holidays or notable events. Her original doodle was an alien landing on Google. Now Hwang provides Valentine logos, Christmas logos, and spontaneous surprise logos. For one Halloween, it was a dark-and-stormy Google, with a leering jack-o-lantern for one of the Os and a dripping candle for the L. During the 2008 Olympics, the second O in Google was replaced ...

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