Products and Services Google Killed – The Google Graveyard

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There has been a buzz around Google Reader being killed by the search giant today (1st July 2013). But if we go back in time, it’s not the first product that Google has killed intentionally leaving their fans in dismay.

Below are the 20 products taken offline by Google in an attempt to re-launch with a greater force or integrate the features in an existing product.

  1. Google Reader – A once-robust RSS reader with a very loyal fan base. Google stripped Reader of its social properties in October 2011, then finally axed the product.
  2. iGoogle – A customizable homepage containing web feeds and Google Gadgets, launched in May 2005. Renamed iGoogle in April 2007. Google will retire iGoogle on November 1, 2013.
  3. Google Talk – Desktop instant messaging service that provided text and voice communication. Replaced by Google Hangouts on May15, 2013.
  4. Google Health – Allows users to store, manage and share all their health and wellness information in one central place. Development ceased on June 24, 2011; accessible until January 1, 2012, data available for download until January1, 2013.
  5. Knol – Google’s attempt at a Wikipedia competitor, Knol enabled subject experts and other users to write authoritative articles related to various topics. Knol was not accessible after October 1, 2012.
  6. Picnik – An online photo editor. Before being acquired by Google in 2010, Picnik was the default photo editor in Flickr. Closed on April 19, 2012.
  7. Google Buzz – A social networking, microblogging and messaging tool that was integrated with Gmail, initially (to much chagrin) as an opt-out service. Discontinued on December 15, 2011.
  8. Aardvark – A social search service that facilitated Q&A sessions over live chat, intended to match askers with good answerers. Acquired for $50 million in February 2010,  Aardvark was discontinued in September 2011.
  9. Sidewiki – A browser sidebar tool that allowed users to contribute information to any web page. Killed in September 2011 along with a host of other unsuccessful products.
  10. Google Notebook – A free application that allowed users to save clips of information loan online “notebook.’ Discontinued in September 2011. Google launched a similar product, Google Keep, in March 2013.
  11. Google Dictionary – As the name implies, an online dictionary service. Shutdown in August 2011; portal the functionality was integrated with the define: operator.
  12. Google Labs – A “playground” where adventurous users could test and provide feedback on prototype projects. Discontinued in July 2011.
  13. Google Wave – Released as an invite-only preview in 2009, Wave was a framework that allowed real-time collaborative editing with elements of email, IM, wikis, and social networking. Google ceased development of Wave in August 2010 due to lack of interest.
  14. Google SearchWiki – This feature allowed logged-In users to annotate and re-order search results. Search Wiki was discontinued in March 2010.
  15. Dodgeball – Google bought Dodgeball, a mobile social networking service, in 2005. Its founder went on to leave Google and form Foursquare. Google killed Dodgeball in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude.
  16. Jaiku – Jaiku is to Twitter as Dodgeball into Foursquare: This microblogging service was so named because the posts resembled haiku. Google stopped development on Jaiku in 2009.
  17. Google Lively – A 3D animated chat program, using avatars, that was only supported on Windows. Google Lively only lived six months, and passed away in December 2008.
  18. Google Page Creator – A basic website creation and hosting tool that required no HTML knowledge. Canned in 2008.
  19. Zeitgeist – Zeitgeist was a collection of popular search queries, including weekly, monthly and yearly lists, plus topic and country specific lists. Closed May 2007 and replaced by Hot Trends, a dynamic feature in Google Trends.
  20. Google Answers – Google’s answer to Yahoo Answers employed paid researchers and asked users to bid for a response to their question. Users preferred their answers free, and the product was killed in December 2006.

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