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December 22, 2006

Google 2006 in 12 Pictures


Google agrees to censor search results in China. "In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on, in response to local law, regulation or policy. While removing search results is inconsistent with Google’s mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission."

Compare the image search results for [Tiananmen] in Google China (screenshot below) with the uncensored results.


Google integrates instant messaging into Gmail. Google saves your chat history and lets you search it.


Google acquires Writely, an online word processor, that will later become a part of Google Docs & Spreadsheets.


Google Calendar launches: it's easy to use, integrated with Gmail, you can create and share events. Later on, Google will add search for public events.


Google Co-op is a new platform that involves improving search results by using experts and communities. Google Co-op is behind the search refinements you see for health-related queries (and others), Google Accessible Search, custom search engines.


Google Checkout, an easier and safer way to make payments. But also an incentive for AdWords advertisers.


Google is officially an English word.


Google Apps for Your Domain lets you access Google services using custom mail addresses.


Google Reader has a new interface and becomes one of the best online feed readers.


Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. This way, Google gets more exposure for its contextual video ads and admits Google Video wasn't too successful.


A sign that Google had a great financial year: on November 21, Google's shares jumped to $509.65.


Google officially launches the new version of Blogger that adds dynamic publishing, labels, and a more flexible template editor.


  1. You seem to have forgotten Jotspot their Wiki acquisition.

  2. You forgot google sketchup!

  3. And Neven Vision, iRows, Endoxon.

    I didn't forget any of these. Just that SketchUp acquisition happened in March when Google bought Writely, and JotSpot acquisition happened in October when Google bought YouTube.

    You can't include everything in a small list of 12 events.

  4. Cool article, Ionut. I think you chose the most significant events there! I wonder what 2007 has to offer. Is that going to be Google's big year? We say it every time!

  5. A nice list of Google highlights of 2006.

  6. If you can't include everything that is meaningful that means your idea for the list sucks and you should have called it Google 2006 in 20 pictures :)

  7. My idea was to include a single event that had a big impact for each month and to balance the launch of new products with acquisitions and other important events.

    The censorship in China marked the entering on one of the most important developing markets, Gmail chat meant treating instant messaging the same as mail, Writely was the first block of Google Docs & Spreadsheets - something that will mean a lot in the future, Google Calendar was expected by everyone for so long, Co-op is a new platform for search collaboration, Checkout could be the new PayPal, inventing a word ("google") and putting it in the dictionary is not a small thing (even if the word already existed in a different form), Apps for Your Domain was a revolution for a lot of people and will continue to flourish next year by adding a premium version, Google Reader was the most successful Google update this year (the product was mostly ignored until the change), YouTube is one of the most important acquisitions of the year, Google's stock is always a mystery even for analysts, and Blogger received the biggest update since it was bought in 2003.

    Other important events:

    * Google buys dMarc in January and prepares to enter radio ads market.

    "Google's advertisers are looking to broaden their advertising options in effective ways, and radio presents a great opportunity."

    * In February, Google buys Measure Map and prepares to add blog stats to its offering.

    * In April, Google introduced GData, a new protocol based on ATOM and RSS that makes it easy to interact with (some) Google services. The first service that had GData API was Google Calendar. Google Base, Spreadsheets, Blogger followed.

    * In September, Google complied to a decision of a Belgium's court to remove some papers from Google News Belgium and posted the decision on The new homepage was surprising.

  8. Regarding china censorship... I don't know if anyone tried this:
    Go and search on on images for "china masacre". You will see that there are ways to see those images ;)

  9. I'm sorry to inform you that if you go to and you're not in China, you won't see the censored version of Google. You'll just see Google in Chinese. So, most likely, you need a proxy.

    For example: the famous Tiananmen example.

  10. im a great fan of google..i cant't live without suggestion is that please make the home page and all google websites more attractive...i mean please improve the GUI which is very empty now.....good job google way to go ...
    no matter what happens i will use google till my last breath...i love google.

  11. nice 2006 synopsis...reminder of the kazillion reasons why im proud to be a Googlite!
    Krista-Lee Bissoon

  12. Nice to see that deep search

  13. google is growth so fast


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