Google Starts Choosing Winners & Losers Among Its Lab Projects

google-g-logoThree weeks have passed since the surprising news that Google would be shutting down Google Labs, its playground where experimental product ideas went to live or die.

We now know a little more about which ones will live and which won’t.

Over the past several days, Google has been updating GoogleLabs.com with the status and decisions on several current labs projects. Here are the decisions that have been made since the larger July 20th announcement:

Google Labs Survivors

  • Google Books Ngram Viewer: Google just announced today that this product will be incorporated into Google Books. For background, see our article When OCR Goes Bad: Google’s Ngram Viewer & The F-Word.
  • Google Scribe: Also announced today, this word processing tool is now part of Blogger in Draft.

Google Labs Deadpool

  • Image Swirl: This image search tool “will be winding down,” Google says. No date is given for its demise. We wrote about the experiment back in November 2009: Google Image Swirl: A New Way To Browse For Similar Images.
  • Sputnik: No date given for the end of this Javascript testing tool.
  • Google Talk Guru: Google says this tool, which added a search element to Google Talk, will shut down by the end of September 2011. For background, see our article Google Talk Guru Brings Search To Instant Messaging.
  • App Inventor for Android: A tool that enabled non-programmers to build Android apps. Google says the product will be discontinued, but the source code will be open sourced. For further details, see GoogleLabs.com’s App Inventor page.
  • Breadcrumb: Google says this mobile app developer tool will be shut down by September 2, 2011.
  • Script Converter: This transliteration tool will be shut down on August 16, 2011.

There are currently 54 products listed in Google Labs, so the company obviously has a lot more decisions to make.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Google: Labs

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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