10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Since Larry Page and Sergey Brin change the way world viewed search engine by establishing Goolge, this company then famous by search engine giant by so many successful products such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, and many more. Google has certain character, which is, whatever they launched, it should give the best user experience for their users, also with minimum cost. Based on such philosophy, whatever launched by this website seemed always be successful and attracted public attention. Including Google’s success story competing iOS by their Android OS. But, is it really true?

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Although Google is known as really good company in anticipating the future by launching various product which changed how the world move, still there are some Google products are considered as big failures. Probably you have heard some of them, but SOT is sure that you probably never heard most of them.


Google Lively

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google Lively is one interesting example about ‘correct idea, but wrong implementation’. This social network is developed by assumption that people will love more ‘online life’, so why don’t give “the real” online life in Internet?
Based on such idea, user could create avatar to interact in a three dimensional environment which combined chat dynamism with “Minecraft”-styled architecture and room creation. Google Live is also followed by Chat Room which made you possible to communicate with friends in real time.

It is the major problem then. Mixing real world (by 3D graphic) with digital world (chat room and bulleting board) really made people out of interest. According to analysis, it because people search for different experience in digital world. Surely something which is not similar with real world (such as chatting and social networks), but surely it doesn’t mean bringing real life figures (in form of 3D avatar and game-style movement) into digital world. Through Lively, we should meet other people, do interaction and similarity about experience in real world, it made people lose their interest to Google Lively.

Google Answer

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

The pioneer for this system is Yahoo! Answer which is actually has its own fans. But when Google created similar website to compete Yahoo, what is happened? Actually when someone used Google and type on keyword, in search engine, it is appeared something which became ‘answer’ of material asked by the user. It became so awkward when we need to question formally to Google Answer. Not many people wanted to try it since it gave different image about Google.

Google Print Ads and Radio

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google is pioneer in creative advertising system. In the internet, Google offered various website to share the profit they received when someone click on Google commercial spot. The creative commercial technique is in fact attracted many people’s attention, which made adwords got crowded each day.

But when Google try to advertise material in Google via print and radio media socialization, the result is failure! Not many people interested to put commercial via radio or print it in mass media by counting on Google as its support. This project is fail since people already trust Google as an Internet giant. They don’t believe to printed media and radio which is considered as ineffective to sound their ads, even if Google is the one who manage it.


10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

In 2005, Google did important acquisition to two creative works, Android and Dodgeball. The former is probably unfamiliar to us. Dodgeball is a specific social network depended on location. It is acquired along with its founder, Dennis Crowley in May 2005. Once again, Google bet their vision in combining online and real world, combining social experience with favorite location, surely within discussion about culinary, traveling, etc.

After two years deadlock, Crowley left Google and founded Foursquare. The problem is on device. At that time, detecting location (Google hadn’t had latitude feature at that time) using Dodgeball is really slow, so this idea couldn’t run well.
We probably could call it: wrong era. If this project is defended, probably nowadays, it would become hits. In the world today, where you can easily turn GPS on in Smartphone, using Google latitude, Facebook location, and many more, probably Dodgeball would have its chance too.


10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google acquired Jaiku micro-blogging site in October 2007. The idea is, short posting using RSS Feeds. However, in 2009, it became clear that for micro-blogging competition, Twitter is the ultimate winner! Whereas, when Jaiku was acquired by Google and received abundance resources, Twitter is still in the same position with Jaiku and lack of funds!

Separation between Google and jaiku was surrounded by internal clash rumor. Google announced officially to close Jaiku in 2011.

Google Notebook

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google Notebook actually was old form of Google Docs, a Cloud storage service, which is able to synchronize note and tasks, connected well from desktop or cell phone. Quite attractive, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, its development is full of problems. Its script full with bug and finally it is decided not to integrated to Google world. Whereas, its basic idea is quite brilliant. You can share your note, also give comment by using this Google Notebook feature.

Google Buzz

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google Buzz was added to Gmail in 2010. It was optional service which appeared to folder without warning.

So, what actually this Google Buzz’s form? It was similar with Google Reader, by using RSS, it was able to tract our favorite sites. Its strength is, easy to use in handheld devices such as tablet or smartphone. At that time, smartphone wasn’t popular yet. Why was it appeared in Gmail? This Google Buzz made you possible to collect and read unopened email.

Probably, if Google Buzz was defended, probably we would enjoy it because tablet and smartphone device nowadays are common devices and made us possible to access this Google Product more comfortable. Unfortunately, it was stopped before it was developed.

SideWiki – Wikipedia Alternatif

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google has access to millions of books in various world’s libraries. They even had their own special clauses with some famous universities to spread many books for free via Google Books. That’s why, it is natural if Google think to create ‘Wikipedia-killer’ website – a website which would be able to compete the benefit and functionality of wikipedia with more accurate sources.

However, the fact is, not many people interested to participate in this project. Everyone is already familiar with Wikipedia and rejected to use one more site even if it is called ‘complementary’ (Side wiki). It is proven that not easy for Google to do monopoly by using all their resources.

Google Video

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

We don’t need to make a long chat. It is clear that Google Video which was launched in 2005 wasn’t able to compete YouTube popularity, which finally made Google took a ‘sweet-sour’ step – which is acquired YouTube with billions US dollar value. This acquisition meant to keep Google monopoly in search engine.
By having YouTube, Google assured that major traffic still flow to Google in overall. It has huge impact to willingness of ordering ads by using Google products such as Adsense and Adwords.

Google Wave

10 Google Failed Project You Probably Don’t Know

Google Wave is the most famous Google’s failure. Its early purpose is a website for sharing content in whole. So, by using Google wave, we can send mail, playing video, sharing article like in Forum, chatting, and many more. But finally, because of its over-huge benefits, it became ambiguous and not specific.

It didn’t attract visitor to come. People already has their own ‘favorite services’ to do such things. For example, they could send mail via Gmail, chatting via YM, etc. an all-in-one website, is become unattractive concept for many people!


Watching SOT’s review, we found fact that there are many failed Google products. But it wasn’t a reason for the giant to stop innovating. It should be used as example. Fail, discredited by all the world, but never stopped. Keep going and trying to loyal by their basic principles which already formed it, which is keep innovating and trying to spread goodness for the world – at least, it was thing said by Larry Page.


Natasha Jones is a 20 years-old girl who really passionate about technology. She spent most of her time by looking for any technology issues around the net. Once she get bored, she would take a walk with her lovely dog, Bimboo.

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