Google has a brilliant and fun way of paying tribute to special events, notable occasions and important historical figures. If you've ever used the search engine, you've probably noticed changes to the iconic logo from time to time - these alterations are known as Google Doodles.

From interactive games to amazing animations, Doodles can be just about anything. A team of Doodlers (aka expert illustrators) are in charge, and they partner with various teams across Google to bring Doodle ideas (which can also be submitted by the public) to life.

The first ever Doodle was created way back in 1998, and today there are over 2,000 stored in the Doodles Archive. 2017 has seen some brilliant Doodles hit the Google homepage, so we've selected our favourite five to look back on.

Valentine's Day

Active on Google: 11-14th February 2017

This year, for Valentine's Day, the Doodlers began early. On the 11th February, anyone that used the search engine would be met with a rather cute pink animal looking for love - his name was Pangolin.

Pangolins are actually real animals, and the world's only scaly mammal. Sadly, smugglers and poachers pose a serious threat to their existence, and Google - along with WWF - sought to educate the world about the issue. The Doodle explained that Pangolin was on a quest to visit his sweetheart - who lives far, far away.

The user's mission was to help him roll across the globe using the left, right, up and down arrows to help him travel. Day 2 to 4 continued the journey with new levels and animated updates on Pangolin's adventure for love. In total, 15 people worked on this particular Doodle, which reached a worldwide audience.

Seven Earth-Size Exoplanets Discovered

Active on Google: 23rd February 2017

A reactive Doodle, the team at Google must have been working all night to get things ready for the 23rd February. On the 22nd February 2017, NASA revealed the discovery of seven new planets - all similar in size to Earth and orbiting the same star.

The collection of planets is called TRAPPIST-1 (catchy, right?), of which three were deemed highly likely to have liquid water. To mark the world's excitement about our not-so-distant neighbours, the Doodlers transformed the Google logo into our universe. The second 'O' became a curious planet Earth, who looks through a telescope only to see not one but seven planets smiling and waving back.

ICC 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup

Active on Google: 24th June 2017

Fancy a round of cricket? On the 24th June 2017, if you made your way over to Google's homepage you could do just that. Doodlers announced the start of the ICC 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup with a simple yet addictive game.

Users could join the snails and the crickets - we see what you did there Google - on the miniature-sized field. Desktop users click their mouse to play, while mobile users were instructed to tap their screen to take a swing at the ball.

Even those suffering from a slow mobile network could take part - Google purposely made this the smallest interactive Doodle ever to decrease loading time drastically.

44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop

Active on Google: 11th August 2017

There was an extensive team of over 50 people behind the Doodle marking the 44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop. Produced for the 11th August 2017, even RUN DMC got involved.

Doodlers partnered with famed graffiti artist Cey Adams to customise the Google logo, which you could click on to view a video all about hip hop history and see two interactive turntables. A tutorial was available for those new to the DJ scene, then all you needed to do was select records from the best of the genre and get mixing.

50 years of Kids Coding

Active on Google: 4th December

One of 2017's later Doodles, the 4th December saw Google's first ever coding Doodle. It celebrated 50 years since kids programming languages were introduced, the beginning of Google's Computer Science Education Week, and also stressed the importance of helping more children get into tech.

This Doodle featured a quest - you must code your way through six levels to help a furry rabbit friend collect carrots. Snap together coding blocks, follow the instructions and begin learning the basics of coding.

Make sure you never miss a Google Doodle in 2018, by picking up a superb smartphone from Mobiles.co.uk.