Newtown shooting: Google adds solitary white candle to US homepage
Move appears to be the first time site's popular doodle feature has been used to respond to a breaking news story
"Our hearts are with the families and community of Newtown, Conneticut." Photograph: Google
Google added a small, glowing candle to its main search page after news emerged of the school shooting in the US.
When users hover a cursor over the icon, a text box appears that says: "Our hearts are with the families and community of Newtown,Connecticut."
According to the site, more than 5 million people searched Ryan Lanza, the person incorrectly identified as the suspected shooter, on Friday. The next most popular search was CNN, with one-fifth as many searches at more than 1 million.
A scan of the official doodle blog shows that this appears to be the first time Google has deployed a breaking news icon in this way. The Google doodle began 12 years ago.
Usually, Google doodles appear in place of the search engine's logo. This time, the emblem appears below the search box.
Google is the most popular website in the world and Google Doodles usually signify major historical milestones and anniversaries.
The previous Google doodle appeared on Monday – a picture to celebrate the 197th birthday of Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace, a woman often credited with being the first computer programmer.
A list of most popular doodles was released on Wednesday, with interactive games for the Olympics and playable animation for Valentine's Day.