The strong influence of the support properties on the activity of gold catalysts has been observed in many publications. The most studied reaction in this respect seems to be CO-oxidation, for which gold catalysts have outstanding activity. However, since in most studies the support properties are also important in influencing the nature of the gold particles deposited on them by co-precipitation or deposition–precipitation, it is difficult to study the support effect alone. We have in a series of studies used colloidal impregnation of preformed gold particles approximately 3 nm in size on different supports in order to decouple the gold particle formation from the deposition process, in order to isolate the support effect. Even for such similarly prepared catalysts very strong differences between different supports were observed. The analysis of the data, also in the light of literature data, suggests that there is no unique factor explaining the high activity of gold catalysts, but rather a combination of effects, which act in different proportion for different catalysts.