Official: The Google Wonder Wheel Is Gone

A Google spokesperson has informed Search Engine Land that the Google Wonder Wheel feature has been taken offline.

The spokesperson said that the search tool was removed due to the “initial stage” of the Google site redesign announced earlier this week.

The Google Wonder Wheel along with a number of other search refinements were formally introduced at the 2009 Searchology event but actually became available as part of a test a couple of months earlier.

Wonder Wheel was used by SEOs, SEMs, and advertisers as a way to visually identify relationships between a search term(s) and related searches using the Google database. As you moved from one set of terms to another results would change.

It could help this user group discover related keywords and ideas to explore for possible purchase as AdWords or for further exploration.

Another group of users who also used Wonder Wheel for keyword discovery and to spot relationships and new concepts were educators, librarians, and students.

For example, a librarian might use it to help a user find new words to search with not only with but also using other databases. A teacher or student might use Wonder Wheel to identify ideas for a research project.

Will Wonder Wheel be back and available soon? Google didn’t provide a timeline or commit one way or another if it will or will not be available in the future.

A quick review of the Google Help Forums shows that at other times Wonder Wheel was inaccessible to users for various amounts of time.

So, stay tuned for updates.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago we wrote about Google taking several verticals offline. We learned then that Google failed to let users know about the change but then quickly admitted to the error and publicly apologized.

As we said then and will say again now, taking a service offline is up to the company. Users are free to go elsewhere or share their opinions with Google. What we hope for is simply for the company to let users know what’s going on versus waiting around, speculating, and wasting time.

Related Articles:

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Search Features: Query Refinement | Top News


About The Author: is a librarian, author, and an online information analyst based in suburban Washington, DC. He is the co-founder and co-editor of INFOdocket and and prior to that was founder/editor of ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. He has worked for Blekko,, and at Search Engine Watch where he was news editor. In 2001, Price was the co-author (with Chris Sherman) of the best-selling book The Invisible Web.

Connect with the author via: Email


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  • Doc Sheldon

    I noticed this last Wednesday, and had a sinking feeling that its disappearance might be part of the Google Facelift. I truly hope they intend to bring it back, as it was a valuable tool.

  • jtjohnson

    This is terrible news if the loss is permanent. The WonderWheel was a great way to demo search strategies and relationship between/among categories. I don’t understand why Google removes this like this: surely the cost of keeping them up and linked is trivial.

  • ☆◊ WickedLizzie ◊☆ was out way before Google’s WonderWheel, so there is still an option for using relational search engines.

  • Jeff Loquist

    I am having a hard time understanding many of the changes Google has been making as of late. The WonderWheel was one of the most useful tools they offered. If it is gone for good it is a huge loss. I will mourn it like a favorite pet or something.

  • P.E.

    I didn’t use Google’s Wonder Wheel a lot, but I really liked it. I know there are other tools available, but I really liked the keyword relationships displayed graphically.

  • Silvia

    I agree: This is a terrible news! We should ask Google to bring back Wonder Wheel!

  • Ralph

    I’m going to head right down there and chain myself to the front doors of the lobby till they bring it back! Ok… maybe not, but I’m pretty sad to see it go, it was a brilliant tool for helping clients understand keywords and their role in SEO/PPC etc.

  • S.O.

    I am in mourning over this tool (especially since I have a book coming out this month where I mention it as a tool – DOH!) But let’s not forget the original cloud tag search tool which still is alive and kicking (you have to click on “older version” on the top nav though)

  • Jamie Pelaez

    So it has been awhile since I have written an article that required me to do additional keyword research, until today… I headed over to the Google Wonder Wheel to generate some data and ideas. Hmmm… I don’t see it, nope not there, or there… Aye… Where is it??? (A sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach hits and I think, “Oh no don’t tell me they got rid of this awesome tool with the ‘new’ Google.”)

    I immediately type in ‘where is google wonder wheel’ and find this blog post which assures me that my sinking feeling was justified.

    Why do Google and so many others take away their most valuable tools? It’s counterproductive. Praying they bring it back, but not holding my breath either! Shame on you Google! It’s time to search for alternatives…

    Jamie Pelaez
    Skype: Jamie.Pelaez

  • Ken Weiss

    I just tried to access Wonder Wheel to no avail, and sadly found out that Google has taken it off line.

  • zaki

    I new to the internet business and came to know about the wonder wheel, but I miss the bus.

    Hopefully it come back soooooon. : )

    Or is there any alternative to this emm software or plugin?

  • Aliza Majid

    you guy stink BRING THE WHEEL BACK WHO’S WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thomas Carl-Erik Jönsson

    Yes, bring it back!

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