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Google Kills 10 More Projects, Including Aardvark

Danny Goodwin
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Google AardvarkGoogle continues to trim its offerings, announcing that 10 projects will either be discontinued or merged into other products. Aardvark, a Q&A social search startup acquired from former Googlers for $50 million in 2010, is the most noteworthy among the closings. 

Also gone or repackaged are:

  • Desktop: All associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets, and support for the desktop search software will be discontinued Sept. 14. Launched in October 2004.
  • Fast Flip: Most recently seen on Google News, the visual browser’s approach will live on in Google’s “other display and delivery tools.” Launched in Google Labs in September 2009.
  • Google Maps API for Flash: Ability for developers to add Google Maps functionality is being “deprecated”; Google will focus on JavaScript Maps API v3. Launched in May 2008.
  • Google Pack: Software bundling and updating system was discontinued as of Sept. 2. Launched January 2006.
  • Google Web Security: Part of the Postini acquisition in 2007, this offered enterprise security; Google will discontinue new sales but support existing customers.
  • Image Labeler: Game that let you label random images will be discontinued, no date given. Launched in August 2006.
  • Notebook: Combined notes plus clip and save URL, text, and images, will shut down in “coming months.” Launched in May 2006.
  • Sidewiki: To focus on Google’s “broader social initiatives,” Sidewiki, which allowed users to read and comment on every website, is being discontinued in “a number of months” to give authors time to download their content. Launched in September 2009 (guess the SEO Sidewiki obsession was all for nothing).
  • Subscribed Links: The custom search results will no longer appear to subscribers as of September 15. Launched in May 2006

Google has been busy eliminating waste since Larry Page returned as CEO earlier this year. Slide, acquired for $179 million, was shut down a couple weeks ago, as were numerous other projects (Google Friends, APIs, Firefox Toolbar, Google Directory, Google Health and PowerMeter), as well as Google Dictionary.

And Google has been sorting through its Labs projects, as part of a planned phase out. Here’s what Google has revealed so far:

  • Graduated/Available: Earth Engine; Fetch as Googlebot; Finance for Android; Flu Trends; Gesture Search; Google Books Ngram Viewer; Google Correlate; Google Goggles; Google Listen; Google Moderator; Google Reader Play; Google Scribe; Google Shared Spaces; Google Shopper; Google Swiffy (SWF to HTML5); Google Transliteration; Indic Music Search; Intersection Explorer; Julia Map; My Tracks for Android; Open Spot; Scripting Layer for Android; Sky Map for Android; Walky Talky; Web Application Exploits and Defenses.
  • Winding Down/Phased Out: App Inventor for Android; City Tours; Google Breadcrumb; Google News Timeline; Google Sets; Google Squared; Google Talk Guru; Image Swirl; Places Directory; Realtime Mytracks; Script Converter; Sputnik.

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