Google’s prompt closing of Google Reader earlier this year led many users to wonder what products will end up on the chopping block next. Thanks to a study conducted by www.gwern.net predicting Google shut-downs, Ars Technica reports that of all Google products offered over the years, only 35 percent have been terminated.
After analyzing data collected on 350 Google products to identify predictive variables, the 35 percent that were shut-down appear to have four similar characteristics: they were not part of an acquisition, they did not generate revenue, they were not related to social networking, and they launched early in Google’s history. Of course, there are always exceptions. Google Affiliate Network was the result of Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, and generated revenue, but, obviously, not enough revenue as Google has scheduled to close the affiliate network this July.
The study offers a list of products at risk of being shut-down, as well as a list of products not likely to be closed. Unofficial Guides, Cloud Messaging, and Correlate all made the at-risk list, while the top ten products most likely to stick around include search, translate, AdWords, Picasa, Groups, Image Search, News, Books, Toolbar, and AdSense.
In reference to the swift increase of products that were closed in 2011, the study claims Steve Jobs influenced Google’s Larry Page to narrow Google’s focus. To support this claim, the study noted an exchange between Jobs and Page taken from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography where Jobs advised Page to focus on no more than five products, along with a subsequent post from Larry Page’s Google+ profile in July 2011 stating, “Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter–more wood behind fewer arrows.”
(Image credit: Gwern.net)