Google filed for incorporation in Califormia on September 4th 1998. The name Google was chosen by company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and is a play the words googol (The number 1 followed by 100 zeros). By December of the same year Google were cited as being "a great search engine" by PC Magazine Online . Eric Schmidt became CEO of Google in 2001, Larry became president of Products and Sergey president of Technology.
Commemorative Doodles around the Google Logo were introduced in 1998 and over the last 13 years there have been over 1000 doodles (700 international and 300 US designs) The first Google doodle was a stick figure representing the Burning Man festival in Nevada. See All Google Logo Doodles. One of the most nostalgic doodles was an animated Pac-Man Google Logo on the 22 May 2010.
Doodle 4 Google competition.
April 1st 2000 saw the first of Google's April Fools Day Pranks. What elevates Google from just being a search engine is the sense of humour and personality displayed by the pranks, Easter Eggs that can be found within their services, the dressing up of the Pegman in Google Maps Street View and specialized Search Engine Options like Swedish Chef, Images, Chuck Norris, Klingon, and Gravity.
Since their humble beginning Google services have expanded to include Docs, Labs, AdWords, Directory, Blogs, AdSense, Translate, Analytics, Nexus Android Phone, Gmail and much much more.