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2006: The Year Search Grew Up

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Barry Schwartz first posted this over at SEL, but Chris Winfield of 10e20 did such a great job of listing the 101 Biggest Stories in Search for 2006, it deserves to be noted several times in the search blogosphere. It's a comprehensive list of everything from product launches, personnel moves (including those here at SEW), and the rise of Internet celebrities.

Perhaps most important to recognize is Winfield's commentary looking back on the year and how 'search' played a bigger role in society:

2006 was a year that saw the definition of search expand. Search to me has become an all-encompassing word. Search is information. Search is media. Search is social interaction. Search is life.

Though mostly an arbitrary listing, Winfield priortized the list according to his opinions, and did a comendable job, so the entire thing is a must-read. Barry noted the top 5 stories, so I would like to point out some other defining moments in the list:

    #97 - Stephen Colbert vs. Wikipedia
    #84. Yahoo! and Ask embark on huge traditional ad campaigns but still remain at 2 & 4 respectively in searchers
    #69. Google launches Book Search
    #54. Yahoo settles click fraud suit
    #51. Google agrees to censor results in China
    #28. AOL leaks user search data
    #26. Microsoft launches adCenter
    #20. Yahoo announces Panama Search Advertising System
    #19. Google tops $500 a share
    #15. Microsoft introduces new search engine (3/8) and then redirects to
    #13. The Butler is Dead - AskJeeves rebrands itself to
    #7. Congress bans Internet gambling
    #5. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft support Universal Sitemaps Standard
    #3. Social Media Optimization
    #1. Google Buys YouTube for $1.65 Billion

Personally, I'm really happy Chris put together this mega-list, because I had thoughts of compiling one, and honestly, I was a bit overwhelmed by the idea. (And yes, I think #2 on the list was a pretty big deal.)

Postscript: Kevin Newcomb & I both posted about the list at nearly the same time, (it should be noted he did beat me to the punch) - I combined some of his post with this one.

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