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It’s the biggest problem with web apps: they disappear. Desktop software is on your computer, meaning it keeps working long after the company that made it goes under or stops offering support. Web apps are totally different, as Google teaches us regularly by shutting down services people depend on.

Last year the web giant shut down Google Reader RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] RIP Google Reader: Google's RSS Reader Will Shut Down On July 1st [Updates] Google Reader, Google's popular RSS application, will be shut down on July 1 of this year. The company has revealed the news in a blog post that spells the end for another batch of Google... Read More , something millions of people (your correspondent included) used every day. Just last week Google announced plans to shutter Google Code, basically ceding the entire code hosting market to GitHub.

Today we’re going to look at five websites you can check to find out what Google has already shut down – and what they might shut down next.

DidGoogleShutDown.com: Crowd Sourced Speculation

Our first site attempts to predict which services Google might shut down next. It’s basically a list of services and apps currently provided by the company with quick, colour-coded projections. These are followed by a few lines of explanation.

did-google-shut-down

It’s not an official source, sure, but crowd-sourcing means it’s kept up to date. If you’re wondering whether a Google service you use might go under, this is a quick place for an overview.

The site’s creator seems to think Google shuts down services too quickly:

Google Wave was the e-mail killing chat hybrid app that they unveiled to a cheering crowd. It lasted 6 months, but not because the world wasn’t ready for that kind of app. Slack, HipChat and FlowDock are similar apps that have long outlasted Google in that industry.

He’s got a point.

Google Graveyard: Leave a Flower For Services You Miss

If you want an idea of how many well-liked services Google has already shut down, check out Slate’s Google Graveyard. This site shows you a tombstone for several dead services, and lets you click to leave a flower in remembrance. There’s an impressive number of flowers left for some services, including 150,000 for Google Reader alone.

google-graveyard

I, for one, had entirely forgotten about Google Desktop before I scrolled through this virtual cemetery – let me know which services you were reminded of in the comments below.

If you need something more complete, check out Wikipedia’s list of discontinued Google products.

Google Algorithm Change History: See How Search Has Changed Over Time

One Google service unlikely to shut down, of course, is search – the service is reportedly responsible for 70 per cent of Google’s overall revenues. But just because search isn’t likely to shut down doesn’t mean it never changes, and over at Moz.com there’s a great tool for looking into the history of all the changes made.

google-algorithm-change-history

Seeing this history is essential for anyone hoping to learn about SEO Demystify SEO: 5 Search Engine Optimization Guides That Help You Begin Demystify SEO: 5 Search Engine Optimization Guides That Help You Begin Search engine mastery takes knowledge, experience, and lots of trial and error. You can begin learning the fundamentals and avoid common SEO mistakes easily with the help of many SEO guides available on the Web. Read More , but for anyone else it’s a great look into how Google thinks as a company. They add and remove search features all the time, and anyone who works online can tell you this has profound impacts on the Internet economy.

Google’s App Status Dashboard: Find Out When Google Services Are Down

A service being permanently shut down is one thing, but web apps are also vulnerable to temporary outages. If a Google service isn’t working, and you’re wondering whether it’s temporary, Google’s App Status Dashboard is what you should check first.

google-status-dashboard

Of course, if all of Google is offline (unlikely, but still) you might not be able to access the Dashboard itself. In that case, there are other ways to figure out if a website is down 3 Ways To Figure Out If Your Favorite Website Is Down 3 Ways To Figure Out If Your Favorite Website Is Down There are a few websites out there that are devoted simply to answering the basic question that you'll eventually ask: "Is this website down?" Here, we have three of these websites, and they are all... Read More .

Google’s History Page and Blog: From The Multinational Megalomaniac Horse’s Mouth

Google’s been around a long time, and has gotten into (and backed out of) a lot of different services. If you want a timeline of all these projects, check out Google’s official timeline. This interactive page lets you scroll through the entirety of Google’s launches.

google-history

That’s a great place to see how Google sees its past. To see its plans for the future – including all announcements of upcoming closures – be sure to check out the official Google blog on Blogspot. Subscribe to it and you’ll know exactly what Google plans to shut down next (at least, until Blogspot is shut down, at that point I’m not sure what you should check).

What Dead Google Service Do You Miss Most?

It’s not like every Google service is at risk: search remains a powerhouse, and it’s unlikely Gmail and YouTube will shut down any time soon. At the same time, it’s understandable anyone who uses one of Google’s lesser-known projects – or who is considering trying out a new Google service – might be hesitant. I know next time Google launches a new site, I’ll probably watch to see how it does for a few years before transferring all my data to it.

There are plenty of dead Google projects out there The Top Ten Dead Google Projects Floating About In Cyberspace The Top Ten Dead Google Projects Floating About In Cyberspace Read More , and everyone reading this can probably name at least a few that they miss. I’m wondering: which services do you wish Google would bring back? Which services are you worried might die? Let’s discuss below.

  1. ranjit
    March 18, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Hi everybody, Can any one tell me why does google want to kill their own services when they r performing well, aka google reader which was my favorite all time. Thanks in advance.

    • Justin Pot
      March 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Usually Google shuts down services that aren't in their prime, as for shutting down Reader we only have speculation. One popular theory is Google couldn't find a way to make money from Reader, or that they think RSS is a technology in decline. But they've never really explained it, so we don't know.

  2. Carol Elkins
    March 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I worry about losing Google Sites. I've used Sites to build a couple of very complex Web sites (e.g., http://www.blackbellysheepbook.com/) because the tool was free, storage was free, it had the properties of being a Wiki, I could use it in collaboration with others, I could customize it to my heart's content, and I could use a custom domain for it at no additional cost. It would be a royal PITA to have to rebuild those sites from scratch somewhere else.

  3. CoolHappyGuy
    March 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Google reader. It turned me on to RSS. I don't use a feed service anymore.

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Feedly's pretty good, especially with the right third-party client, but I think a lot of people like you ditched RSS when Reader shut down.

  4. likefunbutnot
    March 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I worry a lot about Google Voice. It is only completely functional with a Sprint Cell phone, which is something I happen to have. I love the voicemail transcription and I do use the SMS-to-Email functionality so that I get messages to my email. Unfortunately, Google seems to be pushing that functionality into Hangouts, which itself requires a Google+ account to be fully functional. I don't have or want a Google+ account, so on the day when the plug is pulled on Voice, I'll have to find some other way to do all the things that Voice does.

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      I'm really worried about Voice too, I've been using it for all my calls and texts for years. I'd really hate to see it go away.

  5. A41202813GMAIL
    March 17, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I Miss The Time When CHROME Would Allow Any Type Of Extension To Install, Even Those From Outside The CHROME Web Store.

    CHROME Loss, OPERA15+ Gain - For Me, Anyway.

    GOOGLE FIBER WORLDWIDE, PLEASE !

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      It's still possible! It's just a little more work:

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-install-chrome-extensions-manually/

    • A41202813GMAIL
      March 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      I Still Think Power Users Should Be Able To Use The Stable Version, And Be Allowed To Change The Default Settings To Install Whatever They Want.

      Thank You For The Link.

    • Justin Pot
      March 18, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      I agree, but this is better than nothing. And Mac and Linux users can still do this in the stable version, maybe Google is just assuming power users will make the switch. :)

    • A41202813GMAIL
      March 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      I Use Lots Of GOOGLE Services.

      I Do Not Want To Use The CHROME Dev Versions, If I Do Not Have To.

      I Use 4 Browsers, But, Because Of This, I Stopped Using CHROME As My Main Browser And Switched To OPERA15+ - They Still Allow All Kinds Of .NEX And .CRX Extensions To Install - For How Long ?

      The Changing Policies Regarding Extensions Is What Makes Me Adopt A Different Main Browser, From Time To Time.

      There Are Lots Of CHROME Clones - The Day OPERA15+ Pushes The Rug, I Will Switch To Another One - Maybe I Will Be Forced To Use The Dev Versions, Then - But Not Yet.

      Thank You For Responding.

  6. Name
    March 17, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Google Reader

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      :'(

  7. chanklor
    March 17, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I really miss Google Reader. Feedly is a good alternative but I preferred GReader.

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      So say we all, Chanklor. So say we all.

    • iurmd
      March 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      go inoreader and you will never miss google reader again.

  8. Dan Price
    March 17, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Oh iGoogle, how I long for thee, with thy quirky RSS/widgets combos and customisable cover images. Takes me back to a time before paywalls, when Nokias ruled the phone world, IE was still number one, and trolls had pink hair and lived on the end of pencils...

    Not sure I agree with didgoogleshutdown's assessment of Chrome OS having a sketchy outlook, but what do I know.

    • Justin Pot
      March 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Yeah I'm not sure about ChromeOS, it's really finding a home in schools and there are all sorts of other potential applications. We'll see.

    • Tide
      March 18, 2015 at 12:41 am

      iGoogle for me too. Still haven't found anything I consider comparable.

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