5 things Google might have got wrong!

When it comes to the internet Google almost always gets things right. The other day I started a discussion on Devils’ Workshop’s Facebook page about what are the things that Google got wrong or what are the things that Google failed at.

There were quite a few opinions but I thought it would make an interesting post on listing them down and why Google seems to have got these services wrong.

#1. Google Wave

This was a failure not on the technology front but from a failure at promising more and under delivering. It was unveiled at the during Google IO developers conference in 2009. It promised to change the way we used internet and more crucially it promised to change the way we use Email. Email and its basic usage has not changed over the last 10-15 years and Wave promised a revolution. When released it turned out to be a collaboration tool rather than a communication tool. Considering Google Wave is still a solid product technically it might still be a success but will it change the world? I doubt it. 😛

#2. Google Answers

Google Answers is something not many people are aware of. It was created in 2002 and the idea was the questions asked could be answered for a price. These answers obviously had to be well researched and the charged per answer could vary from $2 to $200. Aardvark is probably a watered down free concept of Google Answers which Google recently acquired.

#3. Orkut

I remember the days which were many years ago when testimonials, scraps and looking up who looked up your profile was a cool way to pass ones time on a social network named Orkut. Yes, Orkut has been jazzed up with a redesign and now it does have many similarities with Facebook. Orkut was never leveraged into a great product to the whole world. Google has probably not given much attention to Orkut and when the attention was given I think it is a bit too late. 🙁

#4. Google Buzz

Google Buzz was a great idea. A social network embedded within Gmail. That was a sure fire way to get people interested in it. They did not even wait for you to sign up but simply got everyone with a Gmail account added onto it. Was it supposed to compete with Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo? The point of Google Buzz is that it is simply not an alternative to either Facebook or Twitter and unfortunately for Google we do not want all our Gmail contacts to be contacts on a Social network.

#5. Nexus

Google decided to come out with its own phone, possibly to take a step forward to compete with Apple’s iPhone. It has not at all competed with iPhone and possibly the Nexus phone is doomed as lately. Apparently the sales are 70% less than what they were expected when Nexus One was released by Google. Earlier it could only be bought online but now the online store will close down and vendors will be selling Nexus One. Probably this one is bad dream that Google would like to forget very soon.

Google might not have got expected success considering their size and power over the internet but many of these products are not central to Google to survive so it won’t really have a lot of impact on Google. Also Google might be leveraging some of these services to keep competitors like Apple (with Nexus) and Facebook (with Buzz) focused on their core competencies and not try to take on Google’s core competency which is Search and Email.

Do you agree with the list or do you have more products to add? Do let me know your views through your comments.


Shanker Bakshi June 27, 2010

Not much, but a little disagree on “ORKUT” we geek or blogger don’t use it much, but its there and doing that, pretty young things still making profile and using it. Yes but with the other four google might have got wrong.

Aditya Kane June 27, 2010

Maybe you have a point, but I know plenty of non-bloggers who have moved loyalties from Orkut to Facebook. If that is the case in India which along with Brazil is one of its biggest user base then I don’t see much hope for it in the future.

Drew June 27, 2010

Interesting viewpoints. Though I don’t think the Nexus is wrong it just needs time to grow in populaity and when it hits the stores it probably will. The answers one confuses me.. paying for an answer? Reminds me of a forum asktheexperts.com something I would never pay to join or even take part in their trial. Reason being I believe it’s a pathetic idea to charge people for access to a forum.

Aditya Kane June 28, 2010

Google Answers was really about experts. So sometimes it would take time and money for someone to answer. Considering only 100 questions were asked about every day shows that it was done only for high end expertise. The problem couldve been that Google retained 50% of the feeds of the person who answered.

Puneet June 28, 2010

I think that Most of the bloggers rarely use orkut. However in India, Orkut is still very popular. I had a discussion with some people few days back and they said that they find it difficult to use facebook UI.

Dhawal June 28, 2010

Google Buzz is a great product and recently it got a new feature like re-share. I like this product because its very difficult for me to check all of my a/cs like opening orkut than gmail than blogger than facebook than twitter and so on. That’s why i like google buzz just open your mail and see if their is any new buzz and if yes than you will get the latest buzz of the blogs you are following and the buzz from the people you are following. And if you don’t want buzz from any person than simply don’t follow him.
Google buzz have given me speed now i don’t have to open twitter because i got tweets as buzz.
I love buzz

Aditya Kane June 28, 2010

My point is not if its a great product or not. The main point is that for a majority of Buzz users it doesnt bring something different that they have to use. If Buzz did not exist it would make no difference to most of its users.

Ramkumar June 28, 2010

Good post mate, I never knew Google answers existed., Orkut is still alive atleast for its communities, true that Google dint give attention to it.

ashok June 28, 2010

i don’t have any idea about Nexus,, i am sure that google wave and google answers are flopped, but google buzz and orkut are great products,,, in india peoples are mad of orkut,,and also orkut is in the list of top biggest websites,,

Indrajit June 30, 2010

The UI of facebook is pathetic. There is no such thing called communities where you can discuss freely about any issues and get answers from the right people. Facebook is mostly popular for party-goers and rich people who never cares to ask anything, do not have any necessity to ask things to other people… It is a social divide… rich vs. the poor… party-goers vs. the knowledge hungry academician… People blow their own trumpet in facebook, in orkut it is one’s own merit that is selected throughout the social network…. Orkut became less popular for only one reason… excessive privacy… most people, especially girls have locked down their accounts,and not even the girls… some days ago one of my junior from IIT-Kanpur was asking for sharing a room and I could not even write a reply… his profile was locked down so tight that nobody can send him any kind of message… you can not even send friend-requests unless you know their email.. The very purpose of Orkut: “expand your social circle” is no more being fulfilled due to excessive “privacy” features…

Ritesh Sanap June 30, 2010

I completely agree with this post and really think that point of orkut is 100% correct. earlier orkut was good but afterwards is fell down

jaswanth June 30, 2010

Ohh you are done good job friend….!

Indeed google must take care of these… i agree with you.

Gautam Hans @ Blog Godown July 4, 2010

Google wave has been a little fail but it has limited use. Google Buzz is still a good service but against Facebook and Twitter – It is very tiny

Aery July 5, 2010

I dont agree on Orkut. Its very early to comment on its potential. And you must also understand that you cant be number one at everything.

stan July 10, 2010

about nexus1, it is a wounderfull phone i am useing it.nexus1 is far better than iphone4g,i have both phone but i love nexus1.I am from finland here speed is very high.I an not agree “Probably this one is bad dream that Google would like to forget very soon”

Aditya Kane July 11, 2010

Good to know about your Nexus One experiance, but its obvious but the reason I wrote Google would like to forget very soon is because nexus one will not be upgraded and Google is planning to get out of the hardware market completely.

shah dhruti July 25, 2010

orkut also has some security problem that if anybody know our e-mail id for account then anybody can change it’s password also they can miss use it,google should take care of it

vishal August 28, 2010

Orkut is losing its fame but, Google buzz looks though has some potential left in it

Riyas September 3, 2010

I can’t fully agree with u. Some moved to fb (including me). But most of my friends are still in orkut. I hate it because , it is very slow loading. I think people who use social network for first time, sign up for orkut. Other is about google phone. Eventhough i dont have that phone, my friend is a very big fan of it. He liked it very much. Google wave and answer i never used. So don’t know anything about that.

Aditya Kane September 4, 2010

I am not denying about some features of these products. I am personally a fan of Google wave but they got the whole thing wrong when it came to distributing it. Also Google Phone might be awesome but it surely is not giving as good returns as it was hoped.