Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories Of 2007

Below are Search Engine Land’s 25 most popular stories, in terms of pageviews, during the 2007 calendar year.

1) Google Kills Bush’s Miserable Failure Search & Other Google Bombs – After just over two years, Google has finally defused the "Google Bomb" that has returned US President George W. Bush at the top of its results in a search on miserable failure. The move wasn’t a post-State Of The Union Address gift for Bush. Instead, it’s part of an overall algorithm change designed to stop such mass link pranks from working. (Published January 2007: 130,153 pageviews)

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2) Google 2.0: Google Universal Search – Google is undertaking the most radical change to its search results ever, introducing a "Universal Search" system that will blend listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages. (Published May 2007: 129,701 pageviews)

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3) Mapping The Southern California Fires – I’m back home (my original home) in Southern California for vacation, and to welcome me back, the Southland is on fire. Ah, just like old times. As I was keeping up with the news, I came across some maps online from Google Earth, Google Maps, Virtual Earth, and elsewhere that I thought I’d share with others. (Published October 2007: 101,235 pageviews)

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4) Google Universal Search Means Looking For Raccoons Is No Longer Family Friendly - A reader tipped me off to this. Search for raccoon, and Google Universal Search puts some pictures up at the top of the page: See it? Third one over? I didn’t know a dog and a raccoon could, well… (Published August 2007: 99,830 pageviews)

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5) Billboard Showdown: Google 411 Takes On Ask’s Algorithm – I’m in the Bay Area this week, and driving down Lombard Street, I brought the car to a halt when I saw the two billboards above. Yes, that’s one of the Goog411 billboards for Google Voice Search sitting on top of an Ask.com "The Algorithm" one. Sadly, there’s doesn’t seem to be room to squeeze in ones from Yahoo and Microsoft. Want to see them for yourself? Go down Lombard, just up from Gough. I’ve got another shot here, as well. (Published October 2007: 99,358 pageviews)

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6) Google Declares Stephen Colbert As Greatest Living American – It’s official. Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American, or at least now ranks tops for that phrase at Google. It’s all come from the latest Google bombing campaign sparked off in part by Stephen himself. The backstory on this, plus the "I thought Google bombing didn’t work anymore" angle, in this story. (Published April 2007: 70,405 pageviews)

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7) George W. Bush: A Failure Once Again, According To Google – Remember how Google introduced a link bomb fix in January that, among other things, finally got US President George W. Bush out of first page of results for searches on miserable failure and failure at Google? Bush is back, at least for failure, and the White House has only itself to blame. (Published April 2007: 50,651 pageviews)

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8) Google Maps Causes US Navy To Change Its Swastika Building – You have to feel a bit sorry for the US Navy. They have a building in California that looks like a swastika from the air. But who looks at buildings from the air? Until Google Maps popularized easy access to aerial views, only the occasional bored air traveler. But thanks to Google Maps, the swastika building got known, discussed, and now is being camouflaged. (Published September 2007: 47,363 pageviews)

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9) Goodbye Froogle, Hello Google Product Search! – Back in December 2002, Google launched its long expected product and shopping search engine. It was called Froogle, a combination of "frugal" and "Google." Just over four years later, Froogle is finally loses its cutesy name for something more descriptive — to become Google Product Search. It also gains a cleaner interface, as well. (Published April 2007: 44,062 pageviews)

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10) Google Birthday Logo: Nine Years Old – The Google home page is sporting the special logo celebrating the company’s ninth birthday. But wait? Didn’t Google just turn 10? Google’s domain name turned 10 years old on September 15, but the company itself celebrates its incorporation date in September 1998. But when is that incorporation date: Sept. 7 or Sept. 27? (Published September 2007: 41,202 pageviews)

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11) Google Maps Adds Terrain View, Replaces Hybrid View – If you load up Google Maps, you may notice that they have removed the "Hybrid" button and replaced it with "Terrain" and a simulated view of cities or terrain. Here is a live frame of the Google Terrain view of New York City 10010. (Published November 2007: 40,473 pageviews)

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12) Ask Relaunches: Now "Ask 3D" – Ask.com is touting the release of "Ask3D" as a "major leap forward" for search. A bold three-panel interface (taken from the experimental Ask X) integrates more multimedia content, including images, videos, music files, as well as more structured text-based content. It also offers a battery of impressive features – new and existing – to bring more context and help to search results. (Published June 2007: 35,674 pageviews)

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13) Larryos, Raisin Brin, Porn Flakes & Other Google Cereals – I was at Google last month and did a double-take at the wall art up near one of the mini-kitchens. It featured familiar cereal brands morphed with Google personalities like Larry Page (Larryos) and Sergey Brin (Raisin Brin). I shot a few pictures, below, plus here’s some of the backstory. (Published September 2007: 30,681 pageviews)

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14) Google Search History Expands, Becomes Web History – Google’s Search History feature, which was switched on as a default option for many Google searchers in February, has now been renamed Web History to reflect how it has expanded to track what Google users do as they surf the web. It’s a huge move for Google and raises anew privacy issues. A detailed look at how the system works, how to pause or delete logging if you want, the impact on search results and more. (Published April 2007: 30,606 pageviews)

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15) Gphone? The Google Phone Timeline – Rumor after rumor after rumor keeps appearing that Google is to release its own mobile phone, the Gphone. In April 2007, we originally compiled all these Google Phone rumors into a timeline view. Since then, we’ve continued to update the list, so that the confused, perplexed or just plain curious can keep track of what’s come out when. Enjoy! NOTE (Nov. 5, 2007): Google’s Android Arrives: Not Gphone But An Open Source Mobile Platform covers the actually announcement that all these rumors have led up to. (Published April 2007: 26,945 pageviews)

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16) The Right Way To Fix Inaccurate Wikipedia Articles – Suppose your company, boss or political candidate discovers that their Wikipedia article is wrong, or has subtle inaccuracies that nonetheless paint them in an unfavorable light? Most people unfamiliar with how Wikipedia works consider only two solutions: edit the article or sit on their hands. Unfortunately, neither approach typically results in the optimal outcome: a factually accurate profile containing trustworthy information. Search marketers and reputation management professionals should know that there are legitimate ways to correct errors in Wikipedia. Knowing the right way to fix things is even more important now that Wikipedia results frequently appear in the top listings of Google search results. The good news is that Wikipedia actually offers a broad range of options for correcting inaccurate or negative entries, and even better, all are easy to use and take little time to implement. (Published August 2007: 25,899 pageviews)

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17) Google’s New Navigational Links: An Illustrated Guide – After months of testing, Google is rolling out new ways to navigate within its search results and between different Google properties. Here’s an illustrated guide to the old and new. (Published May 2007: 25,107 pageviews)

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18) Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google - More and more, I’ve been seeing people wondering if they’ve lost traffic on Google because they were detected to be selling paid links. However, Google’s generally never penalized sites for link selling. If spotted, in most cases all Google would do is prevent links from a site or pages in a site from passing PageRank. Now that’s changing. If you sell links, Google might indeed penalize your site plus drop the PageRank score that shows for it. (Published October 2007: 24,573 pageviews)

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19) iGoogle, Personalized Search And You – Yesterday was "Google Personalization Day." We spent roughly two hours touring the history of personalized search at Google, the genesis of these products and getting a glimpse of where it all might be going. (Published May 2007: 20,715 pageviews)

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20) Google Releases New Link Reporting Tools – For years, Google’s link: command has deliberately failed to show all the links to a website. This came out of Google’s fear that site owners simply wanted the data to try and manipulate rankings — which was pretty true. Instead, they only provided a sampling of backlinks. Today, that changes. Google Webmaster Central is rolling out new support allowing you to view and even download thousands of links to your site. (Published February 2007: 19,715 pageviews)

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21) Google Says Stephen Colbert Is No Longer The Greatest Living American – Sadness, Colbert fans! Last month, I reported in Google Declares Stephen Colbert As Greatest Living American how Stephen Colbert had defied Google’s link bombing defenses and rose to be the greatest living American, according to a search for those words at Google. Today, it is no longer so. Google has dissed Colbert. (Published February 2007: 19,714 pageviews)

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22) Instructions On Tracking Santa With NORAD & Google: The 2007 Edition – I’m a serious Santa Claus tracker. When I was a kid, I used to get Santa updates from NORAD (the US missile tracking people) via the radio. As an adult, I’ve long used the NORAD Tracks Santa web site to keep up with St. Nick, Father Christmas, or whatever your local name is for the jolly red suited man. This year, Google officially partnered with NORAD, bringing the NORAD Santa tracking site some of its most substantial changes in years. Some of the changes I like, and some make me think I wish Google had stayed out of it. Here’s how to use the site, what’s different, and what’s cool. (Published December 2007: 18,838 pageviews)

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23) What Is Google PageRank? A Guide For Searchers & Webmasters – Several times in the past few months, I’ve written about new Google features where PageRank was involved. Unfortunately, Google itself has very poor information about PageRank that I could use for those wanting to learn more about it. To solve that, here’s a guide to PageRank, designed for searchers and site owners alike. (Published April 2007: 18,820 pageviews)

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24) Wikipedia Enters Top Ten Most Visited Sites – Impressive. Scanning the latest top web sites rankings from comScore for January 2007 , Wikipedia sites are highlighted for just entering the top ten most visited. OK, technically – they’re in the top ten for having the most unique visitors. In December 2006, Wikipedia sites were ranked 13th of all US web properties, with 39 million unique visitors. (Published February 2007: 18,528 pageviews)

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25) How To Win Friends And Influence People In Social News Networks – Still wondering why you submit an article on Digg or Reddit and it goes nowhere? The key, as with most things in life, is who you know. But as with links, clients or affiliates: you want quality over quantity. You want people who are active and have strong profiles. So how do you go about building your network? Here are eleven ways to get started. (Published February 2007: 17,998 pageviews)

To see all of our most popular stories over time, especially on a month-by-month basis, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

Related Topics: Channel: SearchCap | Most Popular Stories | SearchCap

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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