10 Failed Google Projects

Google Print Ads and Google Radio Ads
Google’s online advertising program has been a huge success, so it was natural to think that a similar approach might work offline. Screen capture by HowStuffWorks staff

Picking up on that pesky "monetize the Internet" theme, we have Google's forays into non-Internet advertising. Perhaps influenced by ongoing pressure to show revenue, Google attempted to expand its brand into the print and radio advertising industries. With its astounding user-information and product-purchase metrics, Google could do for offline concerns what they did (and continue to do) for online advertisers: Bring potential customer information to the people that need it.

Of course, Google's private and personal consumer information is its bread and butter and probably will be for the foreseeable future. In a world where all the information ever created by humans is quickly becoming instantly available, advertising continues to be the dominant profit paradigm.

While using Google metrics to target consumers in offline markets – which is exactly what happened -- may sound like a good deal for offline advertisers, those methods of communicating with consumers are dying. The metrics Google uses to perfectly identify the right market for ad placements online just didn't translate to the offline world. Tracking the success of Google's ad placements proved difficult, and both radio and print executives were reluctant to turn over their advertising systems to Google's methods [source: Vascellaro].