List of top Google Projects that failed

Is Google Plus dying? What is Google doing to take care that Google Plus won’t fade away into history as its other projects did? Google tried their best to promote it and make it popular, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. You all know it split Google Plus to Plus, Photos and Hangouts. But none of these are appealing. Businesses still use Lync and Skype to conduct interviews. Facebook is preferred to Google Plus. OneDrive and Dropbox offer better storage for photos. Add Amazon to the list and even Google Photos does not have a bright future because Amazon now offers unlimited storage for photos at around $10 an year.

The point is, Google has good ideas. Some of them made it to the public or users as we call them. But were left in middle to fade out and to die. Nothing was done by Google to restore them as it never seemed interested in its products. It has hands in too many projects and probably the only areas it is focusing is are Search; Business Apps; Chrome and Android. I can’t think of any other product at the moment. The Computing Engine has a bright future if Google can take it out to the masses. Google Drive can give a tough competition to OneDrive because it supports more formats than OneDrive. It is not happening. Google seems to let users drive it projects to success or to death.

Google Projects that failed

Here is a list of some of the most interesting Google projects that died soon after the launch.

Google Answers

FIg 1 - Google Answers

The project is not related to Google help discussions. This was a project that allowed users to ask a question from experts from across the world. The users had to post a question and mention a small amount of fee they would pay to satisfactory answers. It had a good future if only the project was taken seriously but evidently, Google did not pursue it. It died as soon as it was launched. Yahoo! Answers, on contrary, went on changing and is still alive and being used – even though the answers are free of cost.

Google Buzz

Google Buzz was fast to pick up with several people opting in. It was a type of social networking where people following others can see the images, blogs and other Google items of those being followed. Some “experts”, however, viewed it as an invasion of privacy (though they could simply block users they don’t want to see their posts and images). Anyway, it was killed even before it bloomed fully – probably because of these experts.

Google Nexus Q

The Nexus Q was a multimedia player that had potential to beat Apple TV. If taken forward, it would have posed a competition to Xbox and Playstation. But the cost was high – around three hundred dollars. Google never pursued the project to make it mainstream. The Nexus Q was given a quiet burial without any notice.

Google Wave

Wave was much hyped at launched. It created over expectations and hence, under delivered. It too was a kind of social experiment that allowed people to make friends, send instant messages and had an email program. In short, it was a platform for people to come together and share what they want – with their friends on Google contact lists. But Facebook and Twitter were too strong and overshadowed the project. Google killed it as well – instead of working on it to make it better.


Most of you might have used it. iGoogle was a handy and customizable home page developer that would put all the important things at one place. You could collect news items, weather report, YouTube listings and much more on your browser’s main page so that you could access them easily. For whatever reasons, Google removed it from mainstream and it is no longer available to the general public.

This is not a comprehensive list of failed Google projects. Many more, like Google TV, Latitude, Knoll, Orkut and Web Accelerator Proxy server can be included in the list. We are now seeing the possibility of Google Plus being shut down – who knows!?. Chromecast and Compute Engine too are not being advertised properly.

I guess the reason why Google failed at these projects was lack of proper project managers and lack of interest as it went from one project to another too fast. Some could not sustain the competition while others became obsolete according to Google (like Orkut).

In a few days, we will read about Microsoft Projects that failed or were abandoned.

Now read: Failed Electronic Gadgets and Devices (Wearable).

Did you love any Google project that failed and caused you frustration? If so, please share the story with us.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Mulliano

    Nice post, Arun. I think Google is now an oversized, bloated corporation that cannot offer any technology innovation, except for buying out smaller companies and ruining them. Case in point; YouTube.

    As you recall, Google was the first company to chip away at your personal privacy. Also, Google was the first company to work with the NSA (in the US) which led to a blatant disregard to our personal privacy; contacts, files, and phone calls. I stopped using all of the Google products (including GMail) over 4 years ago and never looked back. And I don’t miss them.

    With respect to your posting, Google is yesterday’s news and you’ll see the company fade away over the next 5 years – and I have no reason to feel sorry for them.

  2. Eternal Optimist

    RE: the company fading away in the next 5 years? Very, VERY doubtful, considering the stranglehold they have on Search.

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