Google, Google, Gone! Eichner wields the Google axe

Updated happygeek 0 Tallied Votes 673 Views Share

Since last fall, Google has either closed down or combined more than 30 different products. If you thought that was the end of the axe wielding, think again: another bunch of Google technologies are to bite the dust.


According to the General Manager of Global Enterprise Search at Google, Matt Eichner, the closures are part of a streamlining process that will enable Google to "focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives" by ensuring the company remains focussed so as to prevent it from ending up "doing too much and not having the impact we strive for".

So, what's being killed off by Google now? Here's the full list:

Google Mini

First introduced in 2005, Google described this as offering "the simplicity and power of Google's enterprise search technology at a great price" via an integrated hardware and software plug-and-play solution. Eichner admits that the Google Mini has been an important part of the Enterprise Search product line, but has confirmed that it will be discontinued as from July 31st due to the same functionality being better provided by the Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search.

Google Talk Chatback

A simple tool that enabled you to embed a 'chat badge' into your site so that visitors could chat with you via a Google Talk widget, this was both simple and effective. However, Eichner insists it is outdated and must go. So the service is being switched off. Google is encouraging websites to use the Meebo social chat bar instead. Meebo, of course, being a company that Google acquired last month for a rumored $100 million.

Google Video

This one should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, especially when you consider that the Google Video service stopped accepting uploads way back in May 2009 after Google bought YouTube a couple of years earlier in a $1.65 billion deal. Google Video users are asked to migrate or delete their content before August 20th, after which any remaining videos will be transferred to YouTube as 'private videos' viewable only via the video manager.


Not to be confused with the Google Glass product, iGoogle has nothing to do with a head-mounted Google viewer that projects Augmented Reality data in front of your eye. If only it were that interesting, then iGoogle might have survived the axe. But no, launched in 2005 it is just another personalized web homepage portal of the kind that are two-a-penny these days. If you do happen to be one of those folk who make use of it, and I personally don't know of anyone who does, you will have "16 months to adjust or export" your data before the service is wound down for good on November 1st, 2013.

These products follow the demise of other Google products you may, and in some cases almost certainly will not, have heard of such as:

Aardvark - a social search experiment to connect people by posing and answering questions.

Desktop - a Google search for the data held on your local PC.

Fast Flip - the much hyped Google news reading service that mimicked the feel of 'flicking through a newspaper' by providing a visual version of Google News.

Image Labeler - a game, as far as I can tell, that enabled you to 'label' images on the web. What the ...?

Google Notebook - a web content clipper and aggregator.

Sidewiki - social collaboration tool that worked by enabling web page user annotation that could then be shared with and edited by other users.

Google Health - access to your personal health and wellness information via a web portal.

Google Powermeter - an energy use monitoring tool.

The question is, will you miss any of the products that Google plans to close and do you miss any of the ones that have already bitten the dust? More to the point, are or were you a user of any of these? Let us know what you think of the Google closure decisions, and maybe suggest a few more products that Eichner could sharpen his axe in readiness for?

Member Avatar for diafol

I'm fed up with Google's lack of vision. They publish an app without telling anybody, just waiting for people to discover it in Labs / Codebase etc.

So, now that I've found something vaguely interesting - I realise that it's been out for over a year - anyway I start using it and after that start poking around with the API. I get really excited about this and start integrating it with a couple of sites. So far, I've invested maybe 20+ hours in developing and testing this app.

I check the API page a little later on and see the word 'Deprecated' next to the title. Oh oh, this ain't good. Not good at all. All that work down the drain. I could have gone with a rival app, but I put my trust in Google. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

They seem to behave like little kids. Ooo - nice shiny, bash, yeaaah, yahooo (no pun). OK, what's next? No thought to the thousands/millions that they leave in the lurch.

I have to say, I do think that the majority of the apps are totally pointless, but you get the odd couple that seem to have legs. Until Goggle lops them off in their youth, that is. :(

BTW - I was looking at Knol and Moderator. No more Google Apps for me.

canadafred 220 SEO Alumni Team Colleague Featured Poster

It was a sad day for Google Health users when they were told to migrate their personal health data to their competitor's platform. Ludicrous were the Google engineers publically complaining of Microsoft's sad excuse of a health management program completely oblivious to thousands no doubt who were now were faced with their exact predicament.

It's doesn't bother me that Google would want to discontinue their corporate headaches, it's another thing altogether how they sacrifice their users like pawns. That really irks me about google sometimes.

Do no evil ... ya. ok.

Dani 4,010 Most Valuable Poster Administrator Featured Poster Premium Member

I kind of understand their strategy, diafol. Internally, they have their 20% time for employees, where employees spend one day a week working on a project that interests them. So, internally, the company has been designed to homebrew all different kinds of projects. But which ones are going to be the next AdWords and which are going to be the next Aardvark? The only way they could tell is to throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.

They do soft launches in Google Labs to gain user feedback and gauge interest, usability, etc. Anything that makes it out of this incubator / field test gets a hard launch where it's promised to stick around for a long while.

They even had a warning notification on Google Labs saying that everything here is free dibs to come, go or massively change at any time.

All companies need to innovate to stay ahead of the curve, and I actually like Google's approach of putting ideas that would normally stay in a board room until 100% ready for primetime out in the public as early as posible to gauge real feedback and usage.

Member Avatar for diafol

I actually agree with a lot of what you say Dani, but why go to the bother of producing an API and get users to come on board only to drop it like a hot potato and then leave you dead in the water with regard to a really cool feature you were developing as it's not just no longer supported, it's disappeared. I suppose the caveat is there - it's free - we owe you nothing. That's why I won't be using them again. It's the huge waste of time and energy (mine, I mean) that I begrudge.

I was setting up Google Apps for Education for my school and I started messing with the apps I mentioned as they were listed as cool ones to use. No warning about them being deprecated or possibly being murdered in their sleep.

Don't get me wrong I love Google for making most of its stuff freely available, but when it advertises its free / reduced price plans as being better than this and that, and how much money they can save you etc etc (have a look at the promo video - apparently I can save my school £500k - hilarious), and then they constantly change the services they offer, you wonder about their grip on reality.

happygeek 2,411 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

Dani, Google Labs is one of the things that Google has closed so don't expect too much innovation from there in future...

we’ve decided to wind down Google Labs. While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead. In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. we don't have any plans to change in-product experimentation channels like Gmail Labs or Maps Labs. We'll continue to experiment with new features in each of our products

Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure at Google, July 20, 2011.

Mepooooo 0 Newbie Poster

Google mini is good for me.

OBVA VAs -2 Newbie Poster

Google analytics is nice.

offshoregeek -12 Newbie Poster

Google always trying to do someting different from others. That is the main reason of closing many Google products. They make products and launch then into interent, if that product is accept by people then Google is continue with that product ( YouTube, Google Analytics ). If product is not accept by people then after some time Google close that product to make new thing for people.

ptduran 0 Newbie Poster

The main reason for closing these products are, google is now after money. May be they couldn't make pretty good money with these services. I would say, they made a right decision, instead of pulling the dead donkey.

sheikhali449 0 Junior Poster

Google analytics and Google mini both are awesome ones

maria.methews 0 Newbie Poster

Welll yeah is a sad story for the google Health... Disappointed

tuberose 0 Newbie Poster

Google webmaster tools is nice

ams-fms -2 Newbie Poster

one of the best and free tool

mike00 -4 Newbie Poster

it is is good and free tool for your help

jyotsna01 0 Junior Poster in Training

google is introducing its products like microsoft surface amd android phones..
n they are too good in terms of technology..!!

PressReleases 0 Newbie Poster

It seem like Google simply throws stuff out there to see how many people grab it. And if not a lot of people 'join' they simply retire the product. I liked Goolge Knoll a lot and I used to publish content there at least once a week. Then they closed it!

It was an experiement that worked well for the first few years. More than a few Knolls were actually ranking well. Let's see what's next!

I hope they don't close Blogger.

sujitbikash 0 Newbie Poster

Google analytics is nice for me and I use it lot.

gyno -5 Light Poster

i believe google have good reasons for doing what they did, actually as we all know if you can agree with me, Google do always have intresting ways of suprising us with cool packages, let's just wait for them a bit more.Meanwhile i sympatize with guys that will miss all their services turned off

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