After trying to perform searches via Google SMS Search last week, many users discovered that the mobile search service had been discontinued. In the Google Web Search Help forum, a Google spokesperson wrote, “Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives.”
Google SMS Search let users send search queries and receive results via a text to Google. Beginning last week, users received the following notification in response to their search queries, confirming Google SMS Search had been shut down.
In March of this year, Google listed a number of services to be discontinued, along with a comment on their need to focus:
Everyone has a device, sometimes multiple devices. It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change—it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago. To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact.
While Google has closed more than 70 services since announcing they were doing some spring cleaning in 2011, there was no advanced warning that Google SMS Search was going to be discontinued. According to study of Google’s shutdown patters that we reported on our partner site Marketing Land, Google has closed 35 percent of its products since its start. The study also predicted the top ten Google products most likely to be shutdown, but failed to identify Google SMS Search as being at-risk.