How Many Google Failures and Flops Have There Been?
There have been plenty – we’ve found well over 50 Google project failures and counting!
What Was Google’s Biggest Flop?
Some might say Google Buzz is one of Google’s biggest flops becauseof the huge amount of hype it gathered before its release, and theproject’s subsequent utter failure.
Why Does Google Kill Off Projects?
Google pulls the plug on its projects for a number of reasons, andnot all are bad. Sometimes the projects get absorbed into other areas.Other times the return on investment isn’t worth continuing the projectfor – too much effort and not enough return. Lack of interest, or simply knowing when one is beat, are some other reasons. The internet is afield that is continuingly growing and shifting, and as a result,sometimes implementations that seem necessary and useful one monthbecome outdated and irrelevant the next.
Google Seems to Have Many Failures. Do They Have Any Successes?
Despite the long list of failures, don’t start feeling too bad forGoogle – they’ve had plenty of successes too. And when Google hits gold, they usually hit it pretty deep. Google Chrome was been a tremendous success as a web browser, despite plenty ofestablished competition. Google+, depending on who talk to, continues to grow as a healthy alternative to Facebook.
Android Phones have done very well, and Google’s takeover of YouTubehas improved the site, rather than led to its destruction, as was thecase for some of Google’s other acquisitions. Google News continues tothrive, and Google Maps has become to go-to place for trip planning,beating out the longtime champion MapQuest. And of course, Google hashit the jackpot with Google Advertising, as it continues to develop its main revenue stream.
Why Are Google Successes Not Noticed as Much as Failures?
Google has tremendous power in the webasphere, called a monopoly by many, so attacks against Google’s ego usually get more attention rather than confirmations of Google’s glory. Google successes often integrateso seamlessly into the Google experience, that we forget they were oncejust experiments, as susceptible to failure as other Google products.
Why Does Google Have So Many Failed Projects?
Google’s history of making efforts to extend itself into new marketshas resulted in a lot of experimentation. Some of these projects havemade Google a better search engine or have helped Google grow in amanner that is useful to users. Others, however, have not been so lucky; with so much experimenting, plenty of projects end up in theFrankenstein pile.
What is Google X?
Google X was a version of Google’s classic homepage, modeled afterthe Mac OS interface. Google even crafted a haiku saying, “Roses arered, violets are blue. OS X rocks, homage to you.” It’s difficult toimagine Google honoring Apple today, considering their continuedrivalry. Google X only last one day, with Google opting to stick withtheir tried and true layout.
What is Google Catalog?
Google Catalogs was a search engine for print catalogs, and struggled through its seven years in existence before being shut down by Google,who finally figured out that only internet illiterates continue to usecatalogs.
What is Google Web Accelerator?
Google’s downloadable Web Accelerator was a proxy server used toreduce web access times via caching technology. The Web Accelerator hadenough bugs and privacy issues that it was put out of commission in2008.
What is Google Video Player?
That’s right – Google use to have its own video player. The GoogleVideo Player was a standalone desktop application for playing Googlevideo files. Despite being branded with the Google name, the internethas never been short on video players, and the Google Video Player wasaxed after a couple of years.
What is Google Answers?
Hoping to compete with the established Yahoo Answers, Google createdits own, creatively titled solution, Google Answers. Google Answers paid researchers for in-depth answers, asking users to bid on answers totheir questions. Users ended up preferring to get their information free from Yahoo answers, even if free often means unreliable.
What is Google Wave?
It was once imagined that Google Wave would reinvent email, combining regular electronic mail with instant messaging and social media.Despite the enormous hype surrounding Google Wave, users found it toocomplicated and Google Wave fell flat.
What is Google Wiki Search?
SearchWiki turned Google Search into a wiki. Users could log in andmove results up, down, or delete entries they didn’t like. While Googlesearchers can still star their favorite results and give preference tothem, the other wiki options were abandoned.
What Are Google Audio Ads?
Google Audio Ads, a radio-based advertising platform, was intended to offer the powerful metrics of search-based advertising to broadcasters. However, measuring performance proved too difficult, and so in 2009Google Audio Ads was tuned out.
What is Google Dodgeball?
Dodgeball was a mobile social networking service that Google boughtout in 2005. The founder of Dodgeball left Google and went on to startFoursquare, the current leader in location-based check-in apps.Dodgeball was junked, and Google went on to launch the mobile appLatitude, which is proving equally unsuccessful.
What is Jaiku?
Jaiku was a microblogging service similar to Twitter, with its postsresembling haikus. Jaiku never quite took off, so Google has sinceopened-sourced the code and no longer develops it.
What is Google Notebook?
Google Notebook was a browser-based application that let users cut,paste, save, and share text, links, and images from the web to apersonal “notebook.” This functionality has since been replaced byGoogle Docs, but really it’s Evernote who ended up taking this idea andrunning with it.
What is Google Page Creator?
Google Page Creator was a tool designed to help users create webpages, which were then hosted on Google’s servers. Google halted theproduct in 2008 to focus on Google Sites instead.
What is Google Buzz?
Google Buzz was a social network that was another attempt to keep upwith Facebook and Twitter, serving as an opt-out service for Gmailusers. Many users were unhappy with Buzz, and it has since beendisbanded.
Is Google+ a Failure?
That depends on who you ask. Google’s effort to compete with Facebook and other social media networks, Google+, was launched in June 2011.Compared to Facebook, it’s just a baby. Although many complain thatGoogle+ feels like a ghost town, Google+ claims 100 million monthlyusers.
Not bad, unless you are comparing it to Facebook’s 900 million monthly users, in which case Google vs. Facebook looks like a David vs. Goliath situation. We won’t be able to declarethe ultimate victor until Google+ gets through the tween stage, and with backing from the King of Search, Facebook shouldn’t be throwing a party just yet.
Are There More Google Failures?
Yes – there are many Google failures and flops in the graveyard. Wehighlighted some of the top Google flops, but there are many more wherethose came from. Here is a list of some additional Google failedprojects:
Google Knol: Launched in 2007 to create web contentformed by collaborating experts, Google Knol project files weretransferred to WordPress before shutting down in 2012.
Picnik: In March 2010, Google bought Picnik, one ofthe pioneers of cloud photo-editing, but abandoned it for Google+.Picnik’s more popular photo editing features were integrated intoGoogle+ photo editing.
Aardvark: Google acquired Aardvark in 2010, aiming to have users answer one another’s questions, much like the more successful Quora.
Google Desktop: Google Desktop was a program thatallowed for text searches of a user’s e-mails, computer files, music,photos, chats, Web pages viewed, etc. As this became standard incomputer operating systems, Google disbanded the project.
Google Pack: Google Pack was a software bundling and updating system that was started and discontinued in 2006.
Image Labeler: Google Image Labeler was a game thathad users label random images, in an effort to improve Google imageresults. Started in 2006, the project was shut down in 2011.
Google Web Security: Part of the Postini acquisition in 2007, this offered enterprise security and was discontinued in 2011.
Google Gears: Google Gears was a browser extension for creating offline web applications.
Google Lively: Lively consisted of web based virtual worlds that could be embedded into other websites. It only lasted fourmonths from when it was first launched in July 2008.
Google Checkout: Checkout was an online paymentprocessing service provided by Google that aimed to simplify the process of paying for online purchases. Users could store credit cards andshipping info on their Google Account, and could use the stored info atparticipating web stores. Google Checkout was replaced by Google Wallet on September 19, 2011.
Search Mash: Search Mash let users reorder aka”mashup” their own search results by dragging and dropping results. This project was a bit too much of success – some people were content withthis project, and used it as their default search engine instead ofGoogle. Google was none too pleased about this, since SearchMash wasad-free at the time. SearchMash was axed in 2008 and replaced withSearchWiki, who also was shutdown in its own due time.
Google Dictionary: Google Dictionary was an onlinedictionary service, branching off of the Google Translate service. TheGoogle Dictionary website was terminated on August 5, 2011 after part of its functionality was integrated into Google Search usingthe define: operator.
Google Health: Google Health was apersonal health information centralization service to store and managehealth records, introduced by Google in 2008 and closed in 2011. Theservice allowed Google users to upload their health records to theGoogle Health system, by either manually inputting information or bylogging into their accounts at partnered health service providers. Theidea was to merge separate health records into one central database,letting users easily capture and share health information with different health practitioners. Retirement for Google Health was announced inJanuary 2012, due to lack of widespread adoption.
Google One Pass: Google One Pass was created in 2011 and was an online store developed by Google for publishers looking tosell subscriptions to their content. Google announced the closure of One Pass in April 2012.
Knol: Knol was a Google project that aimed to offeruser-written articles on a range of topics. Its goal was tokill Wikipedia, but the enemy Encyclopedia proved too powerful. Knol was shut down in May 2012.
Google Videos: Google Videos hoped to take a sliceof the YouTube video pie, but it failed to gather much attention. Theysay if you can’t beat them, join them, and that’s just what Google did,buying out YouTube for $1.65 billion rather than continuing with a lostcause.
Google SMS: Google SMS was a free service for cell phone users who wanted to access Google Searchthrough mobile but did not have the means to. By texting to 46645(GOOGL) what you would type in Google Search, Google SMS would return alist of search results as a a series of text. Google SMS was shut downin May 2013 without any warning, foreseeable due to the rise of smartphones.
Google Cross-Language Search: Google Cross-LanguageSearch was an advanced search tool that enabled users to search forcontent in another language using keywords of the language they werecomfortable with. Cross-Language Search was discontinued due to the lack of use by users.
Google Checkout: Google Checkout’s ultimate goal was to make secure online payments easier – but after becoming a bannedpayment method on eBay, Paypal quickly overtook the market. Checkout’sfailures will be the catalyst for Google Wallet.