2006: The Year Search Grew Up

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 search.msn.com to Live.com
    #13. The Butler is Dead - AskJeeves rebrands itself to Ask.com
    #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.

About the author

Elisabeth Osmeloski has been in the search engine marketing industry since 1999, with agency experience as an SEO consultant and web copywriter for a variety of clients, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, as well as working in-house for a travel search industry startup. Elisabeth is also a regular speaker and a moderator at the Search Engine Strategies conferences.

Elisabeth recently launched a new blog and consulting agency, Adventures in Search, specializing in editorial services including content strategy, SEO copywriting, community development and management, social media marketing, online PR and customized link building. Elisabeth's areas of expertise include adventure travel services, destination and tourism marketing, outdoor recreation and action sports, as well as luxury- and lifestyle-focused brands.

She holds a B.A. in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also spent several years as the Skiing Editor for About.com, and still enjoys writing as an active travel journalist whenever possible. In addition to freelance travel writing assignments, Elisabeth has also created Downhill Divas, a social network for women interested in skiing, snowboarding, freeride mountain biking and living a healthy, active lifestyle.