Google has hailed its company blog as the “fastest way” to reach out to customers and partners, after reporting that it significantly increased the number of posts it made to the site during 2006.

The company said it made 294 posts to the Official Google Blog last year, 100 more than in 2005, with 24 new products, 128 product upgrades, new features and “how-to-use it items” reported by the service.

Blogs covering Google Earth for Macs, an explanation of “Googlebombing”, downloading public books, Gmail open signup and the acquisition of online word-processing firm Writely were among the most popular among the 7.6 million unique visitors to the site.

Google admitted that its Official Blog was not without its problems last year, pointing to “the time the blog disappeared” and “all-too-human goof-ups”, but insisted that the service was proving a success with customers. "Even if real-time, all-too-human goof-ups make it a bit harrowing on occasion, the fact is a company blog is the fastest way to reach out."

Furthermore, Google is going to expand the service this year. Buoyed by the success of new blogs in China, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and Russia last year, it plans to introduce new country-specific blogs in 2007.