What it did: Google Offers launched during the daily-deals heyday of Groupon and Living Social. As the trend died down, so too did Google Offers.
13. Google Web Accelerator
Lifespan: 2005 – 2008
What it did: Google Web Accelerator was meant to help users browse faster by speeding up page load times. The product, however, was riddled with bugs, including YouTube videos not being able to load. The company stopped supporting Accelerator in 2008.
What it did: Jaiku was a micro-blogging platform developed in Finland and purchased by Google in 2007 to compete with Twitter. Messages sent out were known as "Jaikus." Google announced in 2009 that it would open-source Jaiku's code base and no longer develop the product itself. Eventually, it was shut down altogether due to a lack of users.
What it did: Google Health allowed users to input their health data into its system with the goal of creating one consolidated health record that could be sent to participating healthcare providers. Privacy concerns (including the product not being considered a "covered entity" under HIPAA) and competition in the space (including products from Microsoft), played a role in the decision for the company to shut down Google Health.
9. Google Answers
Lifespan: 2002 – 2006
What it did: Instead of Google Search as we know today, Google Answers allowed users to submit questions (like "How many tyrannosaurs in a gallon of gasoline?") and the dollar amount they would be willing to pay for an answer (the tyrannosaurs question had a $10 bounty attached to it). The created a platform for researchers to earn anywhere from $2 to $200 per item answered — Google would take its cut as well. Due to a lack of users, Google Answers was shut down in 2006.
Interestingly, before Google Answers there was Google Questions and Answers. That service involved Google employees answering user questions for $3 each, but demand was so overwhelming that it only lasted for one, single day in 2001.
8. Google X
Lifespan: March 16, 2005
What it did: An alternative interface for Google Search, Google X allowed users to search terms based on categories like Groups, Local, and Images. The design was similar to that of Apple's MacOS dock. However Google X only lasted for one day. Today, its name was later repurposed for Google's research arm for moonshot projects.
7. Google Buzz
Lifespan: 2010 – 2011
What it did: A mix between a social network and instant messaging, Google Buzz allowed users to share links, photos, videos, statuses and more. These "conversations" took place and were organized within Gmail. Google turned Buzz on by default for Gmail users, leading to user backlash against the not-ready-for-prime-time product. Ultimately, amid a class action lawsuit over privacy issues with the product, Buzz shut down within 18 months of its launch.
6. Google Lively
Lifespan: July 2008 – December 2008
What it did: Launched in July 2008 and shuttered by December of that same year, Google Lively was a web-based virtual world similar to that of "Second Life." At the time, The New York Times described Lively as a "cartoonlike method for talking in chat rooms." Google said that despite all the "virtual high fives" it had received for Lively, it decided to shut down the product after only four-and-a half-months to, "prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business."
What it did: Knol was Google's response to Wikipedia, and even had the same font as its entrenched competitor. Knol, a term made up by Google to mean "unit of knowledge," was supposed to consist of user-generated articles on a wide variety of topics. But without enough users actually generating content, Knol failed to take off and was ultimately discontinued in 2012.
What it did: Google's Nexus Q was a streaming video player that made it possible to play YouTube and Google Music on a TV — kind of an early predecessor to the Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV devices that are so popular today. It sported a funky, spherical design.