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Dynamic Google doodle draws dancers, complaints

The search company honors choreographer Martha Graham with an animated doodle on its main page. Not everybody likes it.

A screenshot of the Ryan Woodward's Martha Graham dynamic doodle after it's finished drawing the Google logo.
A screenshot of Ryan Woodward's Martha Graham dynamic doodle after it's finished drawing the Google logo.
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Today's Google doodle honors choreographer Martha Graham's birthday--and with animated dancers revealing it, the doodle also showcases the company's push to build a more dynamic Web.

The only problem: some people find it's slowing their machines. That's hardly the outcome that Google--obsessed over every millisecond of delay in delivering search results--could have wanted.

The dynamic doodle is a rarity for Google, but you can expect more as the company tries to draw attention to what can be done on the Web, not just to the subjects of its doodles. Indeed, Google had a whole session at its Google I/O conference this week to Google's Pac-Man doodle a year ago, which was an actual playable game.

Related link
• Complete coverage: Google I/O

Google tests such things, but still, not everybody is happy.

"The doodle is great," said commenter From the Pews in a Google forum posting spotted by Search Engine Roundtable. "Here's the problem. It's so great that it is actually interfering with the search engine. It is causing it to respond slowly to key strokes and of course to actual searches. You may want to adjust your doodle just a tad."

Cartoonist Ryan Woodward created the animated doodle, in which a dancer leaping across the page leaves Google's logo letters behind. Clicking the logo searches Google for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Graham was born today in 1894; the dance company was pleased about the doodle and congratulated itself on Facebook that "Martha Graham" is a hot trend on Twitter--a result that shows the power of Google's promotional abilities.

"Hope you guys like the Google Doodle I did in commemoration of legendary Martha Graham," Woodward said on his Web site. "This was released on May 11, 2011 on I it was really great to work with dancers and choreographers from the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York on this. Martha was an incredible artist!"

Woodward, too, got some new fame out of the animation--but also some attendant troubles.

"The Doodle traffic just crashed both my websites and my host tells me I already have 'unlimited' bandwidth...? Sorry guys," Woodward tweeted early this morning.