Ubiquitous web giant Google this month knocks up 20 years of existence, so we thought it a good time to take a look at some salient facts and milestones in the company's history...

• Google traces its foundation to a small internet search company founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on 4th September, 1998, in the garage of a friend in Menlo Park, California. The pair met as grad school students at Stanford University and first developed a search algorithm, called BackRub, in 1996.

Google logo

Source: Google

• Google, for more than a decade, has actually celebrated its birthday on 27th September. This has apparently due to an event in 2005 when it changed the date of its founding to coincide with an announcement about the number of pages it was indexing.

• The company has been headquartered at Mountain View in California - a campus known as the "Googleplex" - since 2003. It has more than 85,000 employees both in the US and in scores of countries around the world (a newly employed Google staff member is apparently known as a 'Noogler').

• The company's first server was actually partly made out of Lego. It's now housed in a museum at Stanford. (Speaking of firsts, the company's first official dog was called Yoshka).

• Google's much talked about unofficial motto is "Don't be evil" which is used within the company's code of conduct. It's official mission: "To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."

• The first 'Google doodle', creative variations on its search engine logo designed to "celebrate notable events", actually predates the incorporation of the company. Page and Brin put a stick figure behind the second 'o' in the logo to indicate they were attending the Burning Man Festival in what amounted to a light-hearted attempt to show they were "out of the office". The first doodle to mark an event was created in 2000 by graphic artist Dennis Hwang, then an intern, to mark Bastille Day. More than 2,000 doodles have been created since and there's now a whole team of 'doodlers' coming up with designs.

• As well as the flagship search engine, Google's products have included email service Gmail, social network Google+ (the latest of several social networks), web browser Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Assistant and the mobile system Android. Google also bought YouTube in 2006.

• Google is these days owned by parent company Alphabet, Inc, which was created in 2015. Page is CEO and Brin is president.

• The word 'google' is a variation on the mathematical term 'googol', which is a number equal to 10 to the 100th power. The word has been officially recognised by numerous dictionaries as a verb - Dictionary.com defines it as "to search the Internet for information about (a person, topic, etc.): We googled the new applicant to check her background."

• Google has been involved with numerous  blue sky projects over the years including one to develop self-driving cars (now known as Waymo), another using technology to detect and tackle cancer, it's AI project 'Google Brain', and another, more controversial project, in which the organisation has been involved in working with the Pentagon to develop military solutions using its tech.