The only mystery seemed to be how, exactly, it managed to achieve revenues of more than £15 billion last year.
To many, the colourful home page of Google is the friendly face of the internet.
Indeed, the company, which was created 12 years ago by two American Ph D students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, has always prided itself on its quirky presentation.
And how philanthropic to record our landscape for posterity.
But the next thing we heard was that these vehicles were not just taking pictures, but also searching electronically for wireless networks, logging whether individuals had secure or insecure wi-fi – and gathering personal information.
The robotic searchers seem to have a smidgin of sen¬sitivity, and if you mention suicide, murder, death, 9/11 or some other catastrophe in your email no adverts will appear, but only, it seems, if you type in the word often enough.