More Than Just a Search Engine: Google’s Best, Failed, Unknown Products [Infographic]
“Google it” has become one of the most well known phrases in today’s society. It is the quickest and easiest way to find information on practically anything; from health concerns to discovering new dad jokes to add to the collection. Similar to that of your average Joe, Google has had significant success, epic flops and has different parts to it’s complex personality that only a select few people know about. Google is not only the world’s most popular search engine or a way to assist directionally challenged people to get from A to B, but boasts over 200 different products!
Some of these you will know like Gmail or the Chrome web browser. Others are more obscure like Google Arts & Culture, which gives virtual tours of galleries, museums and landmarks. Some were even complete busts, like failed social networks Jaiku and Google Buzz, which hoped to challenge Twitter and Facebook.
Think about this, there are 4.5 billion active users on Google chrome and there are over 2.3 million searches every second. That is 2 trillion searches every year!
It is easy to see why we are called the selfie generation, out of 4.5 billion users over 50%, myself included, google themselves.
In an infographic designed by the team here at Skilled.co we have put together 21 of the most successful, unknown, and failed Google products. In the article below the 21 google products are reviewed; some you have probably heard of and some you might wonder why anyone in their right mind would create them.
The Best Google Products of All Times
The most used google products have become ingrained into our everyday life without us even realising it. I never realised how much I relied on google maps to get me from A to B until my phone died and a 1 hour scooter home turned into a 4 hour trip in circles around Bali.
This is the most used search engine, and it made its debut in 1997. The ball park of its success is due to the PageRank algorithm. This algorithm is used to help prioritize the value of web pages so it can offer results tailored to everyone’s individual interests. The search engine is continually optimized, and it has undergone multiple algorithm modifications over the years.
Android is one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world (challenged perhaps only by iOS on the iPhone) and is one of Google’s most successful investments. They acquired it in 2005 just as the wide adoption of modern smartphones was about to hit, and have never looked back. Today Android has 1.4 billion active users worldwide, supports over 2.5 million apps from Google Play, and generates revenue of $31 billion annually. Not bad considering its estimated Google only paid $50 million to acquire it from Android Inc. I bet Android Inc is kicking themselves in the butt for that annual loss of revenue.
Available in 103 languages, Google Translate is used by over 200 million people and is available for the web and mobile platforms. Users can translate in 29 languages using only the camera of a phone which proves useful when travelling. There are 52 languages are available for offline translation.
Google Translate; connecting star crossed lovers from around the globe since 2006. Imagine how difficult communicating would be if entire languages needed to be learnt first.
Google Products That Flopped
Not all Google products were as successful as the ones mentioned above, some because they could not find the right public, others because the implementation was wrong even though the original idea was brilliant and some that really just make you think ‘why?’
This was an attempt to create an environment for an online life that let users create avatars and interact in a 3D environment. The concept tried to replace the concept of chat rooms that have been around since the dawn of Internet, but, the promise of a new level of interaction with the Web failed to deliver.
The “answers” concept was around before Google came up with the idea of setting up Google Answers as a way for users to post questions and receive answers from other users. Examples included AskJeeves and Yahoo Answers. The reason this venture failed is that you can get an answer by Googling it instead of posting a question and waiting for an answer from strangers.
No Google did not invest in a failed dodgeball league, but they did acquire a bizarre social network in 2005 that was a cross between a dating app and a map service. Dodgeball, was powered by SMS. Users texted their current location to the service and they were then notified of any contacts who were nearby, any friends of their contacts, and so-called ‘crushes’ which users mutually agreed to. Google reengineered the platform in 2009 and renamed it Latitude, but even though it ditched the archaic SMS function, nobody was interested and it raised privacy concerns.
Products Made by Google You Never Heard About
Just like the special personality quirks of a new crush that you never knew about, Google has special developed products that are not well known within the general population. Here are a few of them:
This service emulates the popular Google Earth, but instead of exploring our planet, it allows users to explore the red planet.
This is a website for advertisers and other creative professionals to get inspiration and marketing insights directly from Google.
A search engine for scholarly articles, Google Scholar allows users to access a wide range of academic books, theses and articles for their research. Features include citations, metrics and alerts for those moments something new is published in your research field.
To discover more of google’s well known products, google flops and special unknown google products, take a look at the adjoining infographic.