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Google Products Graveyard: Mourning Google Reader and Other Discontinued Google Products and Services

By Elisa Gabbert June 27, 2013 Posted In: Google Comments: 22

Google Reader is going away on July 1, leaving its small but loyal fan based scrambling to find a replacement RSS reader. (This longtime Google Reader user has been very happy since switching to Feedly.)

Retired Google Products

With Google Reader on its death bed, and iGoogle approaching the end as well, we thought it was high time we revisited some of the many other Google products that we’ve said goodbye to over the years. Many of these products were great ideas that just never caught on with a larger audience; some had overlapping functionality with other products, forcing Google to focus development efforts on one over the other. I still mourn the old, social version of Google Reader. Which Google product still haunts you from beyond the grave?

Our Google Graveyard infographic reviews some of the many great ideas that went dodo-wise at Google over the years. As Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO once said, “We celebrate our failures.” So today we celebrate 10+ years of Google product ghosts, with Google Reader being the latest to pass away.

Click the infographic to see the full-size version.

Discontinued Google Products

List of Google Products Retired and Discontinued Since 2006

Google Reader

What it did: An once-robust RSS reader with a small (in Google’s eyes) but very loyal fanbase.

What happened: Google stripped Reader of its social properties in October 2011, then finally axed the product. Date of death: July 2013.

iGoogle

What it did: A customizable homepage containing web feeds and Google Gadgets, launched in May 2005. Renamed iGoogle in April 2007.

What happened: Citing “erosion of the need for the site,” Google will retire iGoogle on November 1, 2013.

Google Talk

What it did: Desktop instant messaging service that provided text and voice communication.

What happened: Replaced by Google Hangouts on May 15, 2013.

Google Health

What it did: Allows users to store, manage and share all their health and wellness information in one central place.

What happened: Development ceased June 24, 2011; accessible until January 1, 2012; data available for download until January 1, 2013.

Knol

What it did: Google’s attempt at a Wikipedia competitor, Knol enabled subject experts and other users to write authoritative articles related to various topics.

What happened: Content was not accessible after October 1, 2012.

Google Insights for Search

What it did: Similar to Google Trends, Insights for Search provided insight into popular search terms.

What happened: Discontinued since September 27, 2012. The functionality was merged with Google Trends.

Picnik

What it did: An online photo editor. Before being acquired by Google in 2010, Picnik was the default photo editor in Flickr.

What happened: Closed on April 19, 2012.

Google Buzz

What it did: Google Buzz was a social networking, microblogging and messaging tool that was integrated with Gmail, initially (to much chagrin) as an opt-out service.

What happened: Discontinued on December 15, 2011.

Aardvark

What it did: A social search service that facilitated Q&A sessions over live chat, intended to match askers with good answerers.

What happened: Acquired for $50 million in February 2010, Aardvark was discontinued in September 2011.

Sidewiki

What it did: Sidewiki was a browser sidebar tool that allowed users to contribute information to any web page.

What happened: Killed in September 2011 along with a host of other unsuccessful products.

Google Notebook

What it did: A free application that allowed users to save clips of information in an online “notebook.”

What happened: Discontinued in September 2011. Google launched a similar product, Google Keep, in March 2013.

Google Dictionary

What it did: As the name implies, an online dictionary service.

What happened: Shut down without warning in August 2011; part of the functionality was integrated with the define: operator.

Google Labs

What it did: A “playground” where adventurous users could test and provide feedback on prototype projects.

What happened: Discontinued in July 2011.

Google Wave

What it did: Released as an invite-only preview in 2009, Google Wave was a framework that allowed real-time collaborative editing with elements of email, IM, wikis, and social networking.

What happened: Google ceased development of Wave in August 2010 due to lack of interest

SearchWiki

What it did: This feature allowed logged-in users to annotate and re-order search results.

What happened: Search Wiki was discontinued in March 2010.

Dodgeball

What it did: Google bought Dodgeball, a mobile social networking service, in 2005. Its founder went on to leave Google and form Foursquare.

What happened: Google killed Dodgeball in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude.

Jaiku

What it did: Jaiku is to Twitter as Dodgeball is to Foursquare: This microblogging service was so named because the posts resembled haiku.

What happened: Google stopped development on Jaiku in 2009.

Google Lively

What it did: A 3D animated chat program, using avatars, that was only supported on Windows.

What happened: Google Lively only lived six months, going to the chopping block in December 2008.

Google Page Creator

What it did: A basic website creation and hosting tool that required no HTML knowledge.

What happened: Canned in 2008.

Zeitgeist

What it did: Zeitgeist was a collection of popular search queries, including weekly, monthly and yearly lists, plus topic and country specific lists.

What happened: Closed May 2007 and replaced by Hot Trends, a dynamic feature in Google Trends.

Google Answers

What it did: Google's answer to Yahoo Answers employed paid researchers and asked users to bid for a response to their question.

What happened: Users preferred their answers free, and the product was killed in December 2006.

Other discontinued and abandoned Google products include Google X, Google Catalog, Google Web Accelerator, Google Video Player, Google Audio Ads, Google Sets, SearchMash, and Writely.

With Google Reader going away next week, are you still in a state of shock or have you already moved on? (Body’s not even cold yet!) Which dead Google feature do you miss the most?

Google Alerts RSS Feed




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Comments

Thursday June 27, 2013

Brian Park (not verified) Said:

It is fun to read..I remember most of it.  Only Google can do this..lots of resources.

Also Google Check Out should be in that list Soon..

Thursday June 27, 2013

Elisa Gabbert Said:

Google Check Out is dying too?! Thanks for the tip!

Thursday June 27, 2013

Victor Pan Said:

Check out is now part of Google Wallet - much like how Google talk is now part of Google+

Thursday June 27, 2013

Brian Park (not verified) Said:

thanks..I can't use google check out on my Freshbook Invoice 

Wednesday July 03, 2013

Jason (not verified) Said:

Yes google checkout is going bye bye as well but they will be creating another merchant service

Wednesday August 07, 2013

Mike R. (not verified) Said:

I read an article that says Feedly is better than AOL reader and Digg. 
 
I'm using Digg right now but not sure if i should migrate to Feedly.
What's your opinion?

Monday July 01, 2013

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

I strongly recommend Feedly, a good alternative to Reader: http://blog.anaplaza.es/2013/05/27/una-de-alternativas-feedly-lo-mejor-en-mucho-tiempo/

Saturday June 29, 2013

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

Google Zeitgeist lives! http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/

Saturday June 29, 2013

Collin Davis (not verified) Said:

I have a strange feeling that in time Google Glass may too be added to list here. Do not see it to be particularly practical for usage but I may be proved wrong. But this is the gut feeling!

Thursday December 12, 2013

Tuna (not verified) Said:

Google Video can be still accessible (http://www.google.com/videohp) however it doesn't have same functionality. It's just serving as a video search engine at the moment. The services provided by it were migrated to Youtube.

 

Monday July 01, 2013

AMR (not verified) Said:

Zeitgeist isn't closed yet. It's still there

www.google.com/zeitgeist/
 
 

Saturday June 29, 2013

Randall Magwood (not verified) Said:

RIP Google Video... I think you guys left that one off here.

Friday November 22, 2013

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

Soon, add Chrome OS to the list.

Wednesday November 20, 2013

faospark (not verified) Said:

google zeitgest is still actually active and most likely not going away 

Friday October 04, 2013

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

Considering I've only heard of one, it's probably not that big of deal that they died.

Friday August 09, 2013

Karthik (not verified) Said:

Where is Google Latitude? 

Missing in this list.. 

Wednesday November 20, 2013

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

LOVE THE CAPS AND COLOURS, YOU MUST HAVE FOUND THE AWESOME KEY!!! TOO BAD YOU MISSED BLINK, I MISS 1995 BLINK!!!!

Thursday June 27, 2013

Ken Lyons (not verified) Said:

Rumor has it Aaron Hernandez is linked to some of these deaths.

Thursday June 27, 2013

Elisa Gabbert Said:

SNAP

Thursday June 27, 2013

Andy Williams (not verified) Said:

Some very old favourites in this list and some I had totally forgotten about.

It's amazing just how much has fallen by the wayside, most of which most platforms would still have running

Friday June 28, 2013

Matthew Barby (not verified) Said:

This is great stuff - some real blasts from the past! Still not quite over Google's decision to end Google Reader though :| Any recommendations toward the new RSS readers that you're using? I use Feedly at the moment but exploring new options...

 

Matt

Friday June 28, 2013

Elisa Gabbert Said:

I've actually been really happy with Feedly so I haven't explored anything else. I believe Dr. Pete at Moz has been running weekly reviews of different readers. Good luck!

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