With just a few hours of 2011 remaining in Mountain View, Calif., we’re taking our traditional look at the past year on the Official Google Blog, as well as Google’s presence on Google+ and Twitter.
On the blog this year, we published 471 posts (including this one)—17 more than 2010. Those posts were read by nearly 20 million people; we had 19,905,679 unique visitors between January 1 and December 31. We find a few themes in the most popular posts: Google+ was a favorite topic, as well as greater focus and simplicity across Google, and search quality. The top 10 posts are:
- Ten years later – 1,731,280 unique pageviews. Our post for the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 recognized a few online spaces for remembering the day. (This post was linked from google.com.)
- Introducing the Google+ project: real-life sharing, rethought for the web – 909,537 unique pageviews. In June, we launched Google+ to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web.
- Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it – 538,764 unique pageviews. We posted about how our experiments determined that Bing was using Google web search results.
- Supercharging Android: Google to acquire Motorola Mobility – 431,366 unique pageviews. In August we announced an agreement to acquire Motorola.
- Evolving the Google design and experience – 352,254 unique pageviews. We began to bring greater consistency to the Google experience, revamping first the homepage, then Gmail and more.
- Games in Google+: fun that fits your schedule – 265,995 unique pageviews. Less than two months after we launched the Google+ project, we brought games to the platform.
- More wood behind fewer arrows – 310,912 unique pageviews. As part of the process of prioritizing our product efforts, we announced the winding down of Google Labs.
- Advanced sign-in security for your Google account – 281,385 unique pageviews. It’s not often we can say that a post about online security is one of the top posts of the year. 2-step verification, an opt-in feature that helps verify that you’re the real owner of your account, was an exception.
- Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about – 237,467 unique pageviews. The third most popular Google+ post on the blog was about pages for brands and businesses to connect with people on Google+.
- Finding more high-quality sites in search – 258,974 unique pageviews. A major change to our ranking algorithm, known as Panda, is aimed at helping people find even higher quality in our search results.
Other popular posts included the announcement that Larry Page was becoming CEO, a project to help Egyptians communicate during the January protests, Google+ updates and +1 news, a keeping your information safe from phishing campaigns, patents and Android, practical steps toward greener computing, more search news and the debut of Google Wallet. We shared special doodles (from Lucy to Les Paul to the lunar eclipse, and Jules Verne to Jim Henson) and stories from unique Google users. We brought music to the cloud, Ice Cream Sandwich to your pocket, and great works of art and pieces of history to your computer screens. We worked to help those affected by disasters in Japan and elsewhere, told some history tales, and, as always, had some fun along the way.
Like many of you, we were excited to start using Google+ Pages when they launched in November. We’re now running 22 pages for Google products and teams; nearly 100,000 of you have the flagship page, +Google, in your circles. Popular posts there include photos of our L.A. office, holiday, New Year and Marie Curie doodles, the year-end Zeitgeist, Google Photography Prize and Sebastian Thrun on self-driving cars.
We’ll soon celebrate @google’s third anniversary on Twitter, and we hit the 4 million follower mark this month. Popular tweets include the Les Paul doodle, patents and Android, Motorola, Larry and Sergey remembering Steve Jobs, Google Wallet, Google+ and Wael Ghonim.
As the clock ticks toward the close of 2011, we thank our readers for following along—by feed reader, phone app or however you please—and hope you join us for the next year of Google news. Happy 2012!