This Year in Search

Yesterday, we defined 2007 as “The Year that Search Grew Up.” It was a year of growth, change, and maturation in an industry known for never sitting still. Blended and universal search, quality scores, social media, and personalized search results all contributed to the change, as we outlined yesterday.

But there were many other important events in the search world. Yahoo seems to be in a constant state of reorganization. Ask is making a major push to become a legitimate contender in the search world. AOL and Microsoft are morphing into advertising companies. For search marketers, paid links and Google-slaps have been a hot topic of conversation for the better part of the year. Click fraud, while more muted than in years past, continues to be a concern.

And the acquisitions keep on coming. Google acquired Feedburner, and is two-thirds of the way through the regulatory process to acquire DoubleClick. Microsoft acquired aQuantive, Yahoo acquired Right Media, and AOL went on an ad technology buying binge.

Here at Incisive Media, home to Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies, there have been several changes as well. We’ve got a fresh infusion of new blood on the conference side with Kevin Ryan, and on the site side with Kevin Heisler. (No, we haven’t instituted a “Kevin-only” hiring policy, but apparently it helps.) We’ve already begun bringing SEW and SES to new heights, and look forward to improving both properties even more in 2008.

I’ve gone through our news coverage from the past year, as well as the new SEW Experts columns, to bring a sampling of what I think were some of the biggest news stories of 2007, as well as some recurring themes. In case you’ve been asleep for the last 12 months, or living in a cave, I’ve compiled a list of the most significant search-related events of 2007:

Universal/Blended search