Top 10 Google Fails
Script written by Ian Astraquillo
Donâ€™t be too surprised if you donâ€™t get many search results Googling these. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Google Fails.
For this list, weâ€™re taking a look at Googleâ€™s entire roster of products and services, and are choosing the ones that we feel were the companyâ€™s biggest embarrassments, due to their inability to attract public attention, profit, or to synergize with other Google properties.
Special thanks to our user Phailure for submitting the idea at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Ian Astraquillo
Top 10 Google Fails
Don’t be too surprised if you don’t get many search results Googling these. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Google Fails.
For this list, we’re taking a look at Google’s entire roster of products and services, and are choosing the ones that we feel were the company’s biggest embarrassments, due to their inability to attract public attention, profit, or to synergize with other Google properties.
#10: Google Answers
Launched in 2002, this knowledge market program allowed users to post questions that were then answered in-detail by other users. If an answer was deemed satisfactory by the asker, the researcher of the answer would collect a bounty ranging from $2-$200, with Google keeping 25% of the reward. Despite its heavy influence on competitors, having spawned rival online reference desks like Yahoo Answers, Mahalo Answers, and Quora, Google Answers was ultimately shut down in December 2006, remaining as a read-only archive. Our theory as to why it failed? People discovered they can simply Google answers themselves – that, or they discovered Wikipedia.
#9: Google Lively
Back in early 2000, video game developer Maxis created this neat life-simulation title called “The Sims,” which allows players to dictate the daily activities of virtual people in user-created environments. Rising in popularity at an unexpected rate, Google decided to release their own web-based version of the idea eight years later; thus, Google Lively was born. Partially intended to provide a new take on accessing web pages and information, Lively was ultimately viewed as a three-dimensional chat room, thanks to its emphasis on creating virtual avatars and habitats. Still, even though it was easy to use and derived formulas from other successful virtual world programs, Lively was discontinued a mere six months after its release.
Launched as Google Personalized Homepage in 2005, this service did exactly that: it allowed users to create their own, custom Google homepage. Developed side-by-side with iGoogle gadgets, which allowed users to design and remodel their own page widgets, iGoogle was essentially MySpace in its heyday fused with Google properties, services, and features. Generating millions of active users, nearly 20% of visitors to Google used their own customized page by 2008. However, the service began to stagnate after Google transferred much of the service’s resources, particularly its social applications, to Google+, eventually leading to iGoogle’s complete shutdown in November 2013.
#7: Dodgeball Acquisition
Founded in 2003 by two NYU students, the social networking app that was Dodgeball had users texting their locations to the service, which in-turn pinpointed the whereabouts of friends and acquaintances in the area, which is only mildly creepy. However, Google was nonetheless prompted to acquire the service in 2005, with founders Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert brought on board. However, two years later, Crowley and Rainert parted ways with their brainchild, citing the lack of support and resources from Google to be the driving factor. Lo and behold, the service was then shut down in 2009, and was conveniently succeeded by Google Latitude, which was likewise shut down four years later.
#6: Google Videos
Launched a month before YouTube, Google Videos was the original video search engine and sharing site meant to be the web’s next big thing. Despite their acquisition of YouTube, Google, for reasons that remain unclear, continued to operate Google Videos as a sister site. In the years that followed, it received a bevy of criticism for its lack of organization and pricing schemes, driving away its already low number of active users. This led to a slow and inevitable decrease in support for the site on Google’s end. Ultimately, they discontinued uploads in 2009 before closing down its website in 2012, and moving the remaining videos to YouTube.
#5: Google Wave
Released in 2009, this web-based platform was meant to revolutionize and simplify our interactions on the web by merging communication programs such as e-mail, photos, online documents, and social networking under one umbrella. In other words: Google’s epic failed attempt to monopolize the web with one wave. What they got instead was a tsunami of unhappy users that hated on the site’s design and failure to provide the ease-of-use that Google products are normally known for. Despite a re-branding effort similar to that of “Google Buzz,” both programs were eventually reduced to read-only databases before their total deletion months later, although the former is now run by the Apache Software Foundation.
Named after its developer, this social networking site was founded on the same premise as every other one in existence: to stay in touch with family and friends. At one point one of the most visited websites in America, Orkut appeared to be well on its way to replacing MySpace, which in the mid-2000s was a very big statement. However, as controversy began to stir around the site for its concerns with privacy, fake profiles, and hate group pages, the site dwindled in popularity, seeing a massive drop in active U.S. users. This would lead the site to lose the battle with, well, every other social media platform, and eventually Orkut was totally shut down in 2014.
As the company’s fourth attempt into social networking, Google+ was founded with a slightly different take on keeping in touch by allowing users to group friends, photos, and communities into circles. That said, it was basically Google Wave with a new name, new interface, and removed features in place of less-than-innovative new ones. Although Plus currently has over 400 million accounts, it has next to nothing new to offer, save for an emphasis on organization. Also, with user frustrations arising from Google’s cross-platform integration, it’s safe to say that their new site won’t be dethroning Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg anytime soon.
#2: Google Glass
The device that was supposed to be the biggest future-y gadget since touchscreen tablets instead became one of Google’s major public and market disasters. Designed to be an ultra-compact computer, Google Glass was meant to cater to the basic web-browsing, photo-taking, and GPS needs of the public right before everyone’s eyes – literally. Essentially a smartphone in the form of glasses... minus the phone. However, despite the hype, Google Glass ultimately failed to sell because of its extravagant price tag, less-than-favorable reviews, and lack of exclusive features, leading to a cease in production and a return to the drawing board.
Before we Google search Google’s biggest fail, let’s take a look at a few honorable, or, in this case, dishonorable mentions:
- Google Web Accelerator
- Gmail Mic Drop (April Fool’s Prank)
- Google Shopping (Froogle)
#1: dMarc Broadcasting Acquisition
Never even heard of this company? You're not alone. Anticipated by Google to grow from its $102M purchase price, dMarc was supposed to be the brand that would finally get Google’s stagnating radio advertising initiative to spread like wildfire. However, wary of Google's dominance in online advertising, marketers and radio companies were reluctant to work with the company, so the unit floundered. Despite being one of the more promising startups, Google's woeful integration made dMarc fizzle, even though remnants of it were eventually integrated with Google’s AdSense program.
Do you agree with our list? Which product fail do you think is Google’s biggest? For more innovative and not-failing Top 10’s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.