Google's Biggest Bombs and Bungles
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.