The end of Google PageSpeed and the continuity of projects

Google PageSpeed is going to end in August this year. It’s bad news for us because we use it for our test results and we’ll have to find another way of analyzing your site. It’s also bad for you, webmaster, because it’s taking a good, useful tool away from you.
It seems like there’s a Google culture to end projects in the middle because they just couldn’t get the appropriate traction, hitting its adopters without a warning that could have anticipated it. Just a few weeks after the announcement that having a mobile-ready site was crucial, one of the tools that was giving insights about that gets closed.

Google moves fast and has a culture of Rapid Prototyping -> Failure -> Correction. In this case, correction means closing it in case of failure.

Since 2006 Google closed a total of 68 products and services, taking with it the popular Google Reader in 2003 and most recently Google Code. This is a generous number and it’s mainly because the company thinks that even if a product is good and has a decent amount of traffic, if it’s not able to scale to the million, it’s not worth the effort.
For the record, Panoramio is also set to be closed.

Google Magic Trick: Integration

On some cases the closing is understandable because the project should have never started, like Google Offers, a complete copy of the Groupon business model that was meant to be unsuccessful, but on the other hand there are projects that didn’t get the necessary traction because Google didn’t want to use its magic trick: Integration.

You can argue that Google tried a lot to integrate and force everyone to use, for examplem Google+, but the problem with google’s integration is that sometimes we are forced to use products we don’t want to, like in this case. As nobody wanted to use it, the result is that the infamous Social Network is going to be split between Streams and Photos.
Don’t get me wrong, Google+ is not a bad piece of software, people just didn’t want to use it because they had other options (not necessarily better), that arrived first and took the momentum. At the time Plus joined the race the best strategy would have been to attack one theme-specific Social Network like Flickr or use it to extend Youtube’s video service helping people to discover more content and music, entering Myspace’s territory.

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What about Page Insights?

Now back to Page Insights and what it means to us: Why isn’t Google integrating the Page Insights service into Webmaster Tools? Isn’t this the place for Webmasters to come and check how their websites are performing? More: why does Webmaster tools still exist? Isn’t Analytics a better place to concentrate all the tools to serve your website?
That would certainly appear logic to me, as it would create an one-stop shop to access all your website insights, showing you the traffic, search insights and site performance as they are both integrated, anyway.

I think what’s missing on Google is a sense of community, of humanism. I get the idea that everything there is ran by engineers: hardware, software and social interactions. Google+ was a good example of that, let’s hope they don’t do the same mistake again.

EDIT 13/05/2015:

It seems like there was a confusion on what sort of PageSpeed service is going to end, here’s a quote from a Google staff at Hacker News:

Hoping to clear up some confusion: there are three things under the PageSpeed name.
* PageSpeed Insights: tells you how to make your website faster and gives you a score.
* PageSpeed Modules (mod_pagespeed/ngx_pagespeed): open source web server plugins that rewrite your site to load faster.
* PageSpeed Service: Google-hosted proxy version of the PageSpeed Modules.
We’re only deprecating PageSpeed Service.

So PageSpeed Insights will live on. Anyway, the purpose of this article is still relevant.