Google’s Most Awesome Failures

By  |  Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm

The untimely passing of Google Wave may be the most high-profile termination of a Google service which began with great expectations. (At least on Google’s part: Seems like a high percentage of the people who were supposed to love Wave were skeptical from the get go.) But Google has terminated a lot of services over the years–and Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land took Wave’s demise as an opportunity to remember some of them.

Danny didn’t mention my favorite Google dud, though. Google Web Accelerator, which went live in 2005, was a piece of Windows software designed to speed up Internet access by pre-fetching cached versions of popular pages. It had a nasty bug which caused it to sometimes show one person a cached version of another person’s account at sites such as message forums. It also had trouble displaying YouTube videos.

Accelerator was never popular, and Google axed it in 2008. But even though you can’t download it anymore, Google has left up the pages explaining the service and touting its benefits. Which is cool. If, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt says, launching products that fail is an essential learning experience, it makes sense to document them rather than to pretend they never existed.

 
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  1. Deranged Shaman Says:

    I'm surprised knol is still around, and Buzz is definitely next to go.

  2. Tech Says:

    Wave was dead before it was released. It was a pointless concept.

  3. Marc Says:

    IMO Google is good for search, news agregation, maps and mail. I don't like what they did to DejaNews and wouldn't be supprided to see that going soon. I've never warmed to their Office or Social products. The fact that it's web based isn't enough of a feature for me, and with Wave I think a lot of the hype was because it was using HTML5, which most people don't care about.

  4. ediedi Says:

    My thoughts exactly. Instead of counting its failures, wihch is a long list, focus on the only useful things it does: search, mail & maps/earth. Oh, and maybe a honourable mention for Android.

  5. camyyssa Says:

    I don't actually agree with that. I think it's great Google is experimenting around and trying to make a difference out there. Sure they've had their failures, but I don't see how that is relevant, since it is in most cases what you get when you're experimenting around.

    Maybe it sounds naive, but I actually believe the guys at Google do try to improve internet services to the best of their intentions. And just for the record I am one of the people who are very sorry to see wave go.