Google All Out of Answers

Dennis Faas's picture

Google usually makes headlines for introducing new products and continually expanding the Google empire. Last week, however, brought different news: Google has actually announced the end of one of its services. The victim? Google Answers.

Google Answers was launched back in 2002, and was the company's first project. The service allowed users to ask questions and set a price for how much the answer was worth to them. Other users could then answer the question and receive payment; Google also benefited from the 50 cent listing fee. (Source:

What Google Answers failed to capture, however, was a mainstream audience. Only 800 people had utilized the service in the 4+ years of its existence. (Source:

So what does this news mean? Is Google not the growing powerhouse that we think it is? Is this failed service a sign of things to come?

Not exactly -- in fact, not at all.

Andrew Fikes and Lexi Baugher, Software Engineers at Google, explained that "Google is a company fueled by innovation, which to us means trying lots of new things all the time -- and sometimes it means reconsidering our goals for a product." They went on to say that Google Answers "was a great experiment" that actually helped the company with developing future products. (Source:

If there's one important detail that can't be overlooked in this situation, its Yahoo. While the demise of Google Answers seems rather insignificant to most, it does signify a small victory for their toughest rival.

Yahoo, which recently announced its impending need for a company restructuring, has been visibly lagging behind Google. The company can now rejoice in knowing that its question and answer service, which does not charge any fees, has beat out its toughest competitor.

Now that Google has shelved a stagnant project, it will no doubt look to the future. If there's one thing we know about the innovative company, it's that the status quo is never sufficient.

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